Architectural shingles are an elegant and stylish way to roof a building. They give your home an attractive and rich three dimensional appearance. But the aesthetic appeal is not the only attraction of using architectural shingles. They are also highly effective roofing materials, preventing leaks and seepage and offering fantastic protection against extremes of weather. They are also durable and last for between 40 and 50 years typically.
There are some drawbacks to using architectural shingles for your roofing needs. For one, they are more expensive than asphalt shingles. You need to take care not to waste them by breakage during installation. That’s why going with a professional roofer may be a wise decision if you intend installing an architectural shingle roof. However a do-it-yourself approach could work provided you learn how to do it right and have all the necessary tools.
The first thing to do is carefully measure your roof. This will give you an idea of how many shingles and felt rolls (for the underlayment) you will need. Professional roofers generally measure roofs in squares. A 10 foot square area usually will need 3 bundles of shingles to roof.
Once you’ve calculated your architectural shingles requirement, you must remove the old roofing remnants like prior shingles, underlayment and flashing. This may require a scraper, or a shingle ripper. If you’re re-roofing an old roof, be sure to clean it completely before installing the new shingles.
Placing the underlayment felt on the roof and starting from the lower edge, you must then roll the felt horizontally. If you reach any obstacle like a chimney or dormer, cut the felt roll at that point and continue beyond. As you move up the roof, be sure to overlap each row of felt. Continue with this until the entire roof area is covered.
The bottom end of flashing must be nailed to the roof. All valleys and crevices must be lined with flashing as well. Then start laying the shingles by cutting tabs off the top of your architectural shingles. Nail them into the roof edge. Continue with this starter course and go around the perimeter of the roof. Then lay the real course of architectural shingles.
Each shingle is attached with 3 nails, one in the middle and one each at the corners. Keep laying the shingles sequentially as you work around the roof. Be sure to seal any gaps near vents, chimneys or projections using roofing tar. Place ridges along the peak, making sure you nail them securely into place with roofing nails.
Three tab shingles are stronger than dimensional shingles because they are fastened more securely with 3 nails per shingle. This allows them to resist winds as gusty as 120 mph. But these days, dimensional architectural shingles are becoming more popular. Because the craftsmanship that goes into architectural shingles is better, these roofing shingles are tougher, more dense and of greater thickness yet at the same time are not much heavier than other shingles.
One final benefit of using architectural shingles is that they are usually easier to apply. Roofing contractors can do a speedy job of installing an architectural shingle roof and therefore the expense of laying such a roof is also lower.