What is a Roofer?

Also known as: Residential Roofer, Industrial Roofer, Roofing Technician, Roof Mechanic.

A roofer is a professional who specializes in roof construction. Roofers monitor the entire process of roofing in residential as well as commercial construction. They analyze the construction plans and make sure that the roofing is done in strict accordance with the design. Roofers also determine the materials, substrates and supportive accessories to be used for roof installations. Even the specifications of the beams, trusses and rafters upon which roofs are installed are decided by roofers.

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What does a Roofer do?

Roofers work on new installations, as well as renovations and roof repair projects. As expected from the job title, roofers usually need to climb onto rooftops to work. They should therefore not be afraid of heights and should have good balance, as well as reasonable carpentry skills.

Roofers work on the installation, repair and renovation of new and existing roofs. If needed, roofers also replace old materials with new, solid structures. Roofers deal in many different materials including metal, rubber, polymer, asbestos and tile. All these have widespread applications in both the domestic and industrial sectors.

With commercial buildings, rubber roofs are generally preferred by most builders. Rubber roof installation is quite a complex process and cannot be managed without the assistance of experienced roofers. In some rubber roof renovation jobs, it is the responsibility of roofers to uniformly mop the entire flat area of the roof using a coat of warm melted tar. Installing rubber sheeting requires measuring and cutting around every protrusion such as vent pipes, sky lights and heating units.

For jobs that involve shingle, tile and metal roofing, roofers usually have to remove the existing materials before laying down a layer of fresh tar paper and installing new materials using either staples or nails. Often, roofers have to replace wood on the roof that is damaged due to weather exposure and rot. Plywood and cheaper-quality wood-made roofs undergo similar issues and need to be replaced from time to time.

Some of the most common jobs performed by roofers are:

  • Tile removal
  • Shingle installation
  • Rubber roof installation
  • Tar application
  • Job estimating

Of all the above tasks, one of the most important is job estimating. The responsibility of the roofing job estimator is to meet with clients and provide an estimate on the anticipated expenses involved in the installation of a new roof. The roofer's ability to formulate an accurate and realistic estimate is extremely important for both parties, because if the estimate is too high, the roofing company may lose the contract to a competitor who makes a lower bid. On the other hand, if the quote is too low, the roofing company may not be able to make a profit. This makes the role of estimator a vital one for roofing companies.

What is the workplace of a Roofer like?

Apart from job estimating, most of the work performed by roofers is field based. Most roofing jobs demand a lot of physical labor, and, depending on the geographic location, the ability to work in extreme conditions is often required. Roofers can work privately as freelancers, start their own roofing business, or work full time or on a contractual basis for a construction company.

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