Roof Shingle – How To Shingle Your Roof?

Installing a roof shingle is simple and straightforward process. The shingling process involves the following steps and when adopted make the whole roofing business fairly easy. It would make sense to have help when taking up roofing as it involves a lot of heavy lifting, working on dangerous slopes and monotonous laying of shingles and hammering of nails.

Here we will explore the step-by-step the process of proper roofing

Dismantle Old Shingles:

The first step to laying roof shingle is the removal of old roof. You need to take out the old shingles, nails and any other damaged part of the under-layment. There are special tools like square shovel or roofer’s shovel which make this process easier. If you are going to be working on just one roof you can even hire the tools needed from a local hardware store.

Once the shingles are removed make a visual inspection of the wooden backing which is placed underneath. Look for signs of damage or water staining. See that the plywood is firmly attached to the roof frame. If any sheets seem to be loose then hammer nails and make the whole under structure secure and firm. If there any gaps fill them with a good sealant.

Once the under-surface is ready, it is time to move on the next step.

Membrane And Flashing

All along the perimeter and edges of the roof metal drip caps are installed. This prevents leakage and formation of ice dams. Next lay bituminous membrane that comes with adhesive on one side. You can also use 50-lb felt paper to cover the edges, openings, area around vent pipe openings and chimneys. To make it more secure add a layer of felt paper all over the roofing area. For this 15-lb paper works well.

The next important step is to install flashing for all openings on the roof. Chimneys, vents, skylights all need to be given an layer of protection to prevent leaks at the joints of these places. Make slits on the membranes for these openings in order to insert the metal flashing and allow 12″ all around the openings.

Next, the valleys need to be dealt with. The membrane has to be placed along the valley where the two sections of the roof meet with wide coverage on either side. This coverage should be around 18″ at least on either side. Next, place the flashing along the entire length of the valley.

Reference Line

Drawing reference lines allows you to maintain a straight line of roof shingle all over your roof. About 5 to 10 inche from the lower frame of the roof draw a chalk line. Depending on the type of shingle used, it’s size and keeping in mind an overlap of at least 10 mm over the eaves.

Installing The First Row Of Roof Shingle

The first row of roof shingles needs to be placed with overlap over the eaves and the notched ends pointing upwards away from the roof edge. Line it up along the straight line drawn earlier. Nail the shingles about 6″ away from the header of the roof frame. For best results use four nails for every roof shingle. Hammer the nails about 1″ from the side and half-an-inch above the notch. The other nails should be about 12″ apart along the lower header of the roof frame. Don’t use nails in the self-adhesive part of the shingle. Make sure you hammer the nails straight and flush with the shingles. Any bent or broken nails should be replaced immediately.

Onwards With The Second Row Of Roofing Shingles

Start with the second row of shingles, with the notches pointing downwards. The first shingle on the second row should be trimmed by half a tab. This ensures that the joints are staggered as you go upwards row by row. The second row of shingles should also over the roof edge by 3/8 inch like the previous row. The first an second row of shingles finish the edge of the roof.

Align the lower edge of the second row of roof shingle with the top of the notches on the previous row and put in a nail. Repeat this operation for every row as you go upwards. Trim a half a tab for each succeeding row. It is fairly simple and you can shingle around 5 rows at a time.

To get maximum support at the peak of the roof. Fold the last row of roof shingle on to the edge and nail it down at the other side.

Valley Coverage

Roof shingles need to properly cover the valleys to prevent water seepage along the roof joints. Cut them so they fit over the angle of the valley. The top corners should be bevel cut to prevent water seeping through. Next step is to the seal the entire valley with a layer of plastic cement. Put in the nails at least 6″ from the center of the valley. Now seal the joint with plastic cement.

Roofing Around The Chimney And Other Roof Vents In The Roof

Now, is the time to install the membrane sheet with slits cut to placed around the openings in the roof. Ensure that the edges of the membrane go up by at least 4″ over the sides of the chimney and the vents. Around the edges it should cover an extra 12″ at least. Install the metal flashing over the membrane and seal it with plastic cement. Cut the shingles and lay them around the chimney in a neat line. Apply the plastic cement to make it water tight.

For the vents the process is simpler as you have to just cut the required size hole in the shingle and nail it down. Seal it with a layer of plastic cement.

Roofing Over Ridges And Hips

To cover the ridges and hips, the shingles have to bent over the ridge and nailed in at the other side. Do the same side from the other side. Finishing the ridge requires some extra work. Cut the three-tab shingles into three equal pieces. Cut the upper corners of the piece at 45 degree angle. Draw chalk lines about six and half inches from from ridge on either side. Start at the end that faces windy side of your home and folding the shingles at the center place it over the ridge so, it each half covers one side of the ridge. Nail the shingles on both sides of the roof ridge making it secure. Nailing should be done about one inch from the ridge and six inches from bottom of the visible part of the shingles. Keeping installing the shingles so it overlaps the last shingle. Follow the same steps when covering the roof hips.

Glue It Down And Finish

When all the roof shingles are in place take a utility knife and cut the overlapping edges. Use a metal ruler to cut the edges along straight lines. To make the roof extra water-proof use plastic cement to seal at all the edges of the roof.

The roof shingle project is not an easy task. It takes time, effort and patience. So, if you feel that you are not cut out for it hire a professional to do the job.



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