Roof Shingles Installation – Eaves, Edges, Valleys

Roof shingles installation is not just about slapping shingles on the plain areas of the roof and hammering in a few nails. There is more to roof installation that meets the eye at first glance. It is how we deal with the eaves, the edges, the valleys, the ridges and the areas around fixtures like chimneys, skylights, dormers and other vents on the roof.

Not taking proper precautions while installing shingles in these areas can spell disaster to your roof

Before, we start with the shingles an important layer that is usually forgotten by most newbie or diy roofers is laying the ice and water shield. This is very important for roofs that very shallow pitch. The shield layers should be at least two feet higher than the inner wall. If you find that shield height is lower than raise the height by installing an half roll. Make sure that the shield is at least half or three quarters of an inch overhanging the plywood edge. It should be under the drip edge and seal gaps between fascia and plywood.

This way the ice does not backup under the drip edge and into the top of the fascia board. Place the ice and water shield in the valleys too. Next, important step is applying felt all over the decking. Use the 30 pound or 15 pound felt depending on the building rules in your area. Make sure the felt rolls overlap and nail the layers into the decking in three rows with a slight offset so that they make a W pattern of nailing. If you live in very windy conditions add an extra row of nails to keep the felt from getting blown away.

Next, comes the actual roof shingles installation. Start with the starter courses. These are 3-tab shingles with the tab cut off. Install the shingles, let them overhang a over the drip edge by half an inch. The tar strip show be at the edge preventing it from getting blown off in a wind.

Start from the outer edge. Install the first few shingles then go the next,row by cutting off 6 inches in the next shingle and keep cutting cutting off 6 inches for every row above. The first row of shingles have to go on top of the starter shingles with the tab faces downwards towards the edge of the roof. After you no longer can reach to lay a shingle comfortably, move your ladder little and continue laying the shingles till you reach the other edge. Proceed upwards till the ridge.The staggering of the rows helps prevent the lining up of shingles which in a heavy, wind conditions can simply tear off whole columns of shingles in a zipper kind of effect. Each shingle has to be nailed in using 4 nails.

If you have any doubts about how specific roof shingles installation has to be done then look at the wrapper that comes with the shingles. The directions for the laying them are clearly spelled out in these wrappers. Follow those directions and you won’t go wrong.

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