Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles – Tips, Tricks & Best Practices

Installing asphalt roof shingles doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming or costly – if you follow some simple guidelines. Asphalt shingles are among the most popular roofing materials, and installing a roof yourself can be quick and easy because there is so much guidance available on how to do it well. It doesn’t need a lot of expensive equipment, or even a lot of skill or expertise. Prices vary for professional installation services, so be sure to do your homework and look around for a good contractor.

Starting With The Under-Layer

This is very important to get right. The under-layer acts as the waterproofing layer. There are different types of material available. You can use tar paper or felt lining for this, and secure the layer to the roof with staples. In addition, if weather conditions locally make it necessary, you may add ice and water shields too. This is nothing but a granulated surface, to protect your roof from water seeping through. Adding galvanized tin into the troughs and valleys can provide extra protection.

Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles

Asphalt shingles come in packs or bundles. The individual shingles are all of the same size. To ensure the roof sits smoothly and nicely, you’ll have to trim off some bits from the edge of shingles so that as you go uphill, the sizes of the shingles are just right to give a seamless fit. This happens by staggering the seams.

First place shingles along the eaves. Nail these pieces firmly to the roof, leaving some extra over the edge for water to drip off. Technically, this layer is called the start shingle.

Then, lay the first row of asphalt roof shingles. Line it up with the bottom of the roof, and nail it into place with a hammer and using the appropriate sized nail. Usually you will nail the shingle in front of a sticky strip that helps seal it to the next row. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as they are specific to the brand and kind of asphalt shingles you are using.

Create Overlapping Rows

Ensuring that your shingles overlap will prevent any water seepage through to the roof. By avoiding successive layers to fall one over the other, you will minimize any risk that water will find its way through gaps. Roofing cement applied to the corrugated underside of shingles can further help reduce this risk.

Roofing tar can help hold the shingles in place until the overlapping shingle is cut, and installed in place. Place each seam in the middle of a valley, a method called single weave, so that there’s extra protection against leaking.

At the peak, bending a few shingles to create a roof cap will give a nice, even split from one side of the roof to the other. Make sure no nails are exposed, and that there is no gap. By following a simple sequence of steps when installing asphalt roof shingles, you will ensure that you create a perfectly sealed roof. Architectural shingles have their own pros and cons. You may also apply them instead of asphalt shingles, if you want a posh and stylish look.

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