Installing Asphalt Shingles: 5 Pro Tips

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Installing Asphalt Shingles: 5 Pro Tips

Do you have what it takes to install asphalt shingles on your roof?

Installing asphalt shingles is far from impossible. 

It requires some basic but solid roofing skills though, and a commitment to safety is crucial. 

Still confident you can tackle the job yourself?

Is so, we’ll lay the groundwork for you here with five professional installation tips:

1. Remove the Old Shingles

No matter how tempted you may be to skip this messy step, it’s important that you don’t.

Installing new shingles on old ones not only adds extra weight and prevents proper ventilation but doing so may void the warranty on those new shingles.

Plus, there could be rotting under the old shingles that if left undetected and unfixed, could cause serious leaks and/structural damage.

2. Put in an Ice and Water Barrier 

If you’re in a warm and relatively dry climate, you may not need to do this step.

But it is often required by code in areas where there are freezing winter temperatures. And with good reason.

Installing this rubberized fabric guards against moisture penetration which can be especially damaging when ice dams form.

For best results, line the valleys and the first few feet of the roof deck along the eaves with this barrier fabric.

3. Flash All Penetrations

The ice and water barrier can protect your roof should the shingles get inundated with water. But the majority of roof leaks actually happen wherever there is an actual penetration on the roof.

And roof leaks can lead to dangerous conditions.

So in any places where two planes of the roof come together – i.e. sidewalls, the chimney, vents, a skylight, etc. – be sure to install new flashing.

Aluminum flashings that are at least 0.019 inches thick are typically recommended for asphalt shingles.

4. Use Proper Nails and Nailing Technique

Your best bet is to use galvanized steel or corrosion-resistant roofing nails and verify this with local building code requirements.

Using four nails per shingle is standard, but if you live in an area with high winds, then the recommended number is six.

Look for the nailing line on each shingle. This is the line of sealant material used to bond with the subsequent row of shingles. Place nails just BELOW the nailing line on the shingle.

Also, be cautious to never nail through the sealant strip of the shingle. This could have a negative impact on the water flow over the roof. 

5. Install Bottom to Top, Left to Right

If you get the opportunity to watch professional roofing crews doing installations, you’ll notice they use the same pattern.

They begin at the bottom left corner of a roof surface and work steadily toward the right and upward corner. 

In other words, they move from the eave line to the peak. 

Be sure to allow shingles to overhang the eaves and rakes by a minimum of a 1/2 inch. Standard is 1/2 – 2 3/4 inches.

For extra protection, you may also want to install a drip edge along the roof’s perimeter.

Are You Ready to Start Installing Asphalt Shingles?

We hope the above tips gave you the pertinent information required for installing asphalt shingles yourself.

But if it’s starting to feel like a bigger job than you imagined, that’s understandable. Contact us today to see how we can get your roof back to looking brand new.

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