We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Roofer Do?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A roofer makes repairs to roofs including the re-shingling of older roofs and installation of shingles on newly constructed buildings. The job of a roofer is often difficult when the old roof requires removal prior to installing the new roof. Along with asphalt shingles, a roofer typically installs wood or tile shingles, metal roofs and rubber roofs. A roof worker can have no fear of heights as this type of work commonly places the worker several stories up in the air. While power nailing guns make the task of laying a roof much faster than the earlier hammer and nail process, many companies continue to offer the standard hammer service as a quality control type of service.

While most of these types of jobs are completed by a roofer working for a roofing company, work on a typical newly constructed building is completed by the crew that also built the building. On the typical commercial roofing job, the building requires a rubber roof. This commonly requires the roofer to remove stone from the roof prior to removing the heavy rubber cover. The stone is placed on the rubber roof to aid in holding it down during high wind periods. Rubber sheeting commonly requires cutting around all roof protrusions, such as vent pipes, air conditioning and heating units, as well as sky lights.

In some rubber roof repair jobs, it is the job of the roofer to mop the entire roof with a coat of hot, melted tar. The roof must first be cleared of stone and other debris before being swept clean. Once the tar has been mopped out, the roof might receive small patches of fresh rubber to seal any cracks or worn areas. For tiles, shingles and metal roofing, the old roofing materials are typically removed down to the wooden roof materials before a base of fresh tar paper is laid down and secured with either nails or staples.

Occasionally, a roofer is required to replace the wood on the roof due to rot. This is commonly plywood or particle board sheeting that is secured to the rafters by nails. Once the base wood is safe and secured, the roofers cover it with tar paper and then the shingles, tiles or steel panels of a metal roof. Power nailers in the form of air or electric nailing/stapling guns are used to secure the roofing materials to the roof. Some roofing companies prefer to use hammer and nail roofing rather than power nailing devices for the additional control that the hammer offers the installer.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Drentel — On Sep 02, 2014

@Animandel - You are right that some roofers only do big jobs, but what they are willing to do basically depends on how busy they are. Not too many contractors are going to turn down work when they have nothing else to do. In some places, there aren't enough roofing jobs to go around, so as a roofing contractor the more you can do, the more likely you are to keep working year around and actually earn a decent living,

By Animandel — On Sep 02, 2014

I didn't know roofers did small repairs and patch work. I thought they were only called roofers when they put on new roofs. I thought the repair guys were just general contractors or home repair guys.

Still, I imagine there are many roofers who don't want to do the smaller repair jobs because they can make more money putting on an entire new roof, and they don't have to move from one site to the next as often when they are doing the entire roof.

By Feryll — On Sep 01, 2014

This article mentions that the roofers sometimes have to cover the roof with a hot tar before they put down the roofing material. This might not be so bad during the winter, but I would not want to be spreading that tar during the middle of summer. Installing and repairing roofing has to be one of the hottest jobs known to man.

Think about it. You're on a roof with the heat from the sun beating down on you and then it hits you again once it hits the top of the house and bounces back up. There is no shade, and you're working with hot tar. I have nothing but respect for these guys.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.