How to Shingle a Roof

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There are many kinds of shingles available, including proper asphalt, aluminum, copper, tin, concrete and plastic. Their installation procedure will differ at the different stages; therefore this guide will be asphalt shingle installation specific, as this is the most common roofing choice in the United States. Be sure to obtain any required permits before working on your roof.

Instructions For How To Shingle A Roof – Asphalt Shingles

In order to preserve shingles and prevent leaks, do not commence shingle installation during extremely cold/hot weather. Before beginning shingle installation, make sure all underlayment and roof edging is in order, as this will be your main source of waterproofing. If you need to also apply new underlayment, No. 15 or 30 asphalt-saturated felt underlayment is required.

  1. Depending on the package you have bought, installation should begin either:
    at the lowest left-hand corner of the roof, or…
    at the roof center/eave, by drawing a chalk line down the middle of the slope. It is advised to work upward in a triangular fashion.
  2. For the starter course, 3-tab shingles should have tabs cut off and applied with self-sealing adhesive strip, facing up along the eave.
    The overhang should be Ό - 3/8” long. Edges should be flushed with a drip cap.
  3. Begin 1st course with a full shingle (if you are installing shingles over existing shingles, use butt-and-run method). Fasten shingles by nailing them in in marked areas. Proceeding courses begin as follows:
    - 2nd course: remove half a tab (3-tab shingles) or 1/6th of shingle from outside edge and fasten above 1st course.
    - 3rd course: cut a full tab from shingle and fasten above 2nd course.
    - 4th course: cut a tab and a half off and fasten above previous course.
    - 5th course: Cut off a full tab as in the 1st course, and continue this pattern throughout proceeding courses.
  4. When the ridge is reached, apply ridge caps by bending centerline of shingle over the ridge. Each shingle should overlap to create a 5” exposure.

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