Install roof shingles (Asphalt shingles are one of the most used roofing materials in this country. They are relatively inexpensive, they come in many colors and styles, they are fairly easy to install, and they can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years. Installing asphalt shingles is a task that just about anyone can do, and you can get a professional look without hiring a contractor. The process is fairly detailed, but the individual steps are simple enough that it should be easy to follow.
Most roof projects start with the installation of starter shingles. The purpose of these shingles is to create a solid base for your main layer of shingles, and they also serve as flashing around chimneys and vents. These are laid perpendicular on either side of your first set of roof trusses (ridge board). When you start to install the first course of shingles, it helps to slide a piece of 1/4″ plywood under the last starter. This will help prevent any staples from tearing up your new shingles and it also gives you something to nail into over your first layer of roof sheathing.
The next step is to start installing the first layer of shingles. The first course should be started so that it covers the second starter shingle, and since each course overlaps both the preceding and following courses, you will have to decide an appropriate starting point based upon your exposure, height above ground level, and what direction your roof faces.
To cut shingles for this layer, simply measure down from the bottom of your starter course to an appropriate point on your roof. You should also factor in any necessary rake or hip cuts. Once you have decided where you are going to make the cut, hold the straightedge along that line at a 45 degree angle and cut across it with a utility knife. Again, cutting these shingles takes a lot of pressure and you will probably find that hand nailing is easier than using a hammer tacker.
Now you can roll out your first layer of shingles and install them on top of the starter course. These should be spaced about 5/8″ apart with three nails in each shingle. Again, the idea here is to apply pressure across the entire roof surface so that you don’t have any weak spots. It might take a little time to complete this part of the project but rest assured, it will be well worth your effort when you are enjoying your new shingled roof.
Once this first layer is in place, add the second layer before nailing it down. This is usually a half course, and while you can follow the same procedure as above, there is an easier way to accomplish this step. All you need to do is overlap your first layer about 1/2″ and fold it back slightly at each cut so that it sticks out over the bottom section. Then, simply hold the folded-back portion in place and install it as a single piece instead of trying to nail down two shingles at a time.
The first step in installing asphalt shingles is laying down the underlayment. If you live in a cold climate, there will be special requirements for the thickness of your underlayment, but in most cases you can get by with two layers of standard underlayment. The first layer should be laid tightly against the roof’s boards, and it should overlap seams in the boards by 6 inches.
The second layer should only overlap the seams by 2 to 3 inches. A drip edge should be installed along the perimeter of the roof, and you should allow for a 1 to 2 inch overhang in both directions. The drip edge should go below the underlayment, and you can fasten it to the boards with nails. Careful though, exposed nails can damage your shingles. That’s why proper nailing technique is so important. Install roof shingles over the underlayment.
This step is very important, because you need to make sure that all of your shingles are cut properly before you begin laying them. It’s a good idea to pull out a few random shingles and cut them down. You should also take into account any rake cuts that you will need to make, and measure out the hip cut for each shingle before you begin to install them.
3) Roof Deck Preparation
If your home’s roof deck is in poor condition, you will have to replace it first before installing your shingles. Roof decking is a lot easier to work with when it’s new, and installing the shingles over old or warped boards can be very difficult. You can build your own roof deck from scratch if you don’t want to replace the existing one, but make sure that it’s well-insulated underneath. In fact, adding insulation will probably save you money in the long run, since it will prevent ice dams from forming inside your roof.
4) Drip Edge
These are metal strips that are installed along the perimeter of your roof, just under the edge of your shingles. They are often called “drip caps,” and they keep water from being able to get up under your shingles and cause them to curl up. While drip edge isn’t a necessity, it’s a good idea to install it anyway, as it can prevent many problems down the road. Ridge caps are designed to do the same thing. Ridge cap shingles are then installed over the top of the ridge caps. Lay shingles out over the ridge cap and nail down. Make sure to stagger seams so water doesn’t get through.
5) Nail Down All Your Shingles
Don’t forget this step! It’s easy to get caught up in all of your other preparations, but it’s important to make sure that every shingle is nailed down securely before you install the next row. That means you’ll need to use at least two nails per shingle, and these nails should be fairly close to the ridges so they don’t poke through your finished roof. Laying shingles is one of the first things that you can do to help maintain your home.
6) Rake Shingles
In most cases, your roof will have a slight pitch from one side of the roof to the other. This is to help water run off and prevent ice dams from forming. You’ll want to make sure that the ridges of your roof, which stick up over the rest of the shingles, are properly oriented for this purpose before you begin laying your shingles. If they aren’t, then you should consider doing a rake cut to the shingles that are in need. This cut will give them a small angled edge, which allows rainwater to be carried off the roof with ease. Your first starter shingle should be laid down on the ridge of your roof. Most starter shingles are built with a slight curve to them, which makes it easy to lay them out over the ridge. Stagger the last row of starter shingles up against this first row, and make sure that they overlap by at least 3 inches. Starter rows should always go under the first course of shingles.
7) Install Your First Course
Install your first course over the starter shingles along the eaves of your roof, using three nails for each shingle in this row. Nail down each shingle at a 45 degree angle- making sure that you drive them in close to the bottom edge of the shingle, but not right on it. Your roofing materials will last much longer and will not curl up if you make it a point to install them with this method.
8) Install Your Second Course
Your second course of shingles is installed exactly like your first, but it shouldn’t be laid right on top of the first course as before. Instead, stagger the seams between both courses. The existing shingles of the second course should overlap the ends of the first portion of shingles by at least 2 inches.
9) Continue Laying Your Shingles
Continue laying out courses, staggering each row and installing them with three nails apiece. You’ll want to make sure that you use no more than 6 nails for any one course, however, as the more nails you use, the thicker your roof will be and that can cause problems of its own. You should aim for a total number of nails that is about half the amount of rows on your roof. If you have a shorter row with only a few courses left to go, don’t be afraid to lay them all down at once- just be sure to overlap the seams by at least 2 inches. The existing shingles of the shorter row of shingles should overlap the ends of the existing course of shingles by at least 6 inches.
10) Ridges And Penetrations
Make sure that you pay attention to ridges and any penetrations on your roof. If you have a chimney or other protrusion, for example, then begin working towards it as soon as possible so that your shingles will
11) Install Remaining Courses
Install the remaining courses along your roof in a similar fashion, staggering each shingle from those underneath it. Keep this pattern going until you reach the edge of your roof- then
12) Ice and Water Protection
Don’t skimp on ice and water protection when you install your asphalt shingle. It’s easy for even experienced builders to forget about this step. You’ll want to purchase both ice and water shield and nails specifically made for these products. Ice and water shields come in a variety of widths and lengths and you should be certain that you choose one that will cover the entire edge of the roof where it meets your walls or soffits. Nails should be long enough to penetrate your roof deck by at least 1 inch.
13) Starter Strip
A starter strip is the short section of shingles that you put down on top of your roof’s boards. It provides extra layers between the wooden beams and the rest of your shingles, which keeps them from getting wet. This layer also helps to prevent ice dams in the winter, because the extra layer of insulation will help to keep your house warmer.
14) Hip Cut
Hip cut is a very important part of installing asphalt shingles. There are special tools for cutting these corners, but you can make do if you don’t have one. You just need to be sure that you cut it at a 45 degree angle, and that you cut it tightly enough to get a nice seal against the roof underneath.
Now you’re ready to install your shingles. Just lay them out on their side facing downwards, with the top edge facing towards the center of your roof. The first shingle should have its hips cut facing downhill, and the last one should have its hips cut positioned upwards. If your roof is longer than it is wide, you’ll probably need extra shingles to make sure that you’ve covered the entire surface area.
16) Offset Pattern
When you’re installing asphalt shingles, it’s important to alternate between “full” shingles and “half” shingles. Full shingles are installed with their hips cut oriented downwards, while half shingles are installed with their hips oriented upwards. That way, your shingle’s pattern will be fairly uniform all the way up the length of your roof.
17) Shingle Installation
Just as it is important to install your roof shingles tightly, it is also important to make sure that they are fully secured. You should never use more than six nails per course of shingles- any additional ones will actually weaken the integrity of the roof. Use three nails for every course, and be sure that you drive them in close to where the shingles overlap one another. Each nail should be placed about 1/8th of an inch to the side of where your seams are. If you want, you can use special roofing nails for this job- just follow the directions on your specific type to make sure that they’re installed properly. Your roof shingles should always have a small amount of overlap to prevent water from seeping between them. If you need extra protection from the elements, you can install drip edge flashing at your roof’s edges.
18) Roofing Nails
Nails can be a helpful tool to have, but they’re not always the best way to secure shingles to your roof. Roofing nails are specifically designed for asphalt shingle roofs- just follow the directions on the package to make sure that you don’t cause any damage when you use them.
19) Ice and Water Protection
Asphalt shingles primarily serve as a form of protection for your home. They keep out rain, wind, and snow, and they prevent any water damage done to your home. Most shingles are built with a bottom layer designed for ice and water protection- this is the layer that you should always face downward. It can also help to apply an additional course of shingles over this layer, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of your roof’s main purpose.
20) Installation of Starter Strip
Roof shingles are cut into strips called “starter strips.” You can either buy starter strips that already have adhesive attached or you can use self-stick adhesive squares on them. The first step is to place the first starter strip along the line where you will be laying your first course of shingles, and press it firmly down so that it adheres flat against the roof.
21) Ridge Flashing
Another important component of asphalt shingle installation is ridge flashing! This should be installed at all ridges, hips, and valleys on your roof. If you want to add some extra “pop” to your house, you can use a bright color like red- it will make the entire exterior of your home look much more appealing. Drip edge flashing can be used around the edges of your roof to prevent any seepage, and you should make sure that all nails are driven down tightly.
22) Ridge Venting
Another element that helps to protect against ice dams is ridge venting! After installing a new roof, it’s a great idea to install ridge vents as well. This will allow hot air from inside your home to escape through the top of your roof. It will keep the attic cooler, and that will prevent ice dams from forming on any part of your roof- even near ridges or hips. Your roofing materials are the most important part of protecting your home, so make sure that you use high-quality shingles. You may also want to invest in additional products like drip edge flashing, ice and water protection layers, or ridge vents!
You may also be able to find special deals on high-quality shingles, so it can’t hurt to look around. Installing shingles can be a difficult process, so many people choose to hire roofing contractors instead. If you want to DIY, just remember that safety is important- don’t try to do anything too complex without taking the proper precautions!
Ready to shingle a roof? If you want to install roof shingles, you should make sure that you use the right tools for the job. The best tool is a quality pneumatic roofing nailer, and it can make your work go much faster! It’s important to be patient when doing the work yourself- you don’t want to rush anything or cause any damage. If you follow all of these steps carefully, you should be able to easily install roof shingles and protect your home from the elements. This article covered all of the basic fundamentals of how to install roof shingles.
Installing shingles isn’t the only thing that you have to do if you want to protect your home from the elements. You should also be aware of some other important aspects of keeping your house safe and cozy, such as making sure that ventilation is appropriate for the type of shingles that you’re using. Even with something like this, it’s easy to find out more information by simply doing a quick search. Be sure to pick up your own roofing nailer so that you can easily get the job done- it takes less time than you might think!
Want professional help instead? Give us a call today! We provide roofing services to homeowners and businesses in Allentown, PA and surrounding areas. We specialize in roof replacement and repair, as well as installation of new roofs. For more information about our home improvement services or products, contact us today!