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Roofs that leak can result in damaged interiors. Roofers repair roofs damaged by weather and install shingles or coverings made of tar, rubber, or metal. Most roofers spent their time repairing roofing damage and installing new roofs.

Homeowners have one of two roofs: a low slope or steep slope roof. Low slope roofs are build in layers that increase a maximum of 4 inches for every horizontal foot while steep slope roofs are built with shingles and increase 4 inches per every horizontal foot. Industiral and commercial buildings are usually built with low slope roofs while the majority of homes are built with steep slope roofs. Some roofers specialize and other work on both low and steep slope roofs.

Low slope roofs are usually layered with several materials. Before roofers build a new roof, they cover the roof with materials to provide insulation, covering the insulation with a substance similar to tar known as molten bitumen. Then, they place layers of roofing felt soaked in bitumen on the roof. Prior to adding more layers, roofers use mops to soak the felt with bitumen, so the seams and roof top prevent water from entering the house. These steps are repeated until the necessary amount of layers, known as plies are installed. To create a level surface, roofers glaze the layer at the top of the roof; to create a bumpy surface, roofers insert gravel into the bitumen.

More low slope roofs are now coated with a watertight rubber. Roofers cover roofs with this material while sealing the seams and using stone ballast, fasteners, and cement to secure the watertight rubber. If stone ballast is used, Roofers must determine whether the roof will hold it.

Some people now build roofs with plants placed upon them, known as green roofs. Before a green roof is constructed, a waterproof layer must be installed on the roof. If the roof has been determined to be watertight, roofers install a root barrier with soil, so plants can be grown. Roofers must ensure green roofs are waterproof and able hold the weight of water and plants on the roof.

Homes with steep slope roofs are usually covered with shingles. Before laying shingles, roofers must cover the roof with roofing felt. Then, beginning at the bottom edge, roofers install overlapping columns of shingles. Roofers must cut shingles to fit around chimneys and other roof fixtures. After shingles have been installed, roofers cover nails with caulk to stop water from leaking. Roofers installing other roof coverings, such as tiles or wooden shingles, follow the same steps.

Roofers also cut holes in roofs to install attic fans, swamp coolers, and other equipment located on a roof. Certain roofers specialize in waterproofing foundations, floors, and concrete walls. Before creating a watertight surface, roofers must remove bumpy spots prior to applying waterproofing chemicals or materials. To create a damp resistance surface, Roofers apply a bitumen-based solution.

Work environment. Being a roofer is physically demanding since they lift heavy loads, are constantly knelling and bending, and climb steep surfaces. Roofers work outside in good and poor weather, but usually do not work in rainy and icy conditions. In Northern and Midwestern states with very cold temperatures, roofing usually does not occur during winter, so during summer, roofers often work overtime.

Roofers can be injured from falls or burned while handling roofing chemicals, but roofers who adhere to safety rules decrease injuries. During summer, roofers are exposed to heat related dangers since roofs become very hot. During 2005, roofers were injured about two times more than other workers.