How to shingle a roof

Basic steps, methods and instructions on how to shingle a roof, including a list of shingling materials and supplies.

In order to place new shingles on a roof a little bit of study is required if it is to be done correctly and if saving money on the project is an issue. By shopping around and studying material closely the cost of putting shingles on a roof can be kept to a minimum without skimping on quality.

Before starting one must decide on what type of shingles to use. There are many to choose from. Slate, asphalt, cedar shake, fiberglass, thatch, tile, wood, and metalmake up the majority of materials used for shingling a roof. Asphalt is the least expensive and lasts anywhere from eight to fifteen years. Slate is the most expensive but can last between seventy and one hundred and ten years. The other materials cost and last somwhere in the middle.

After choosing which material to use for shingles one must decide what color to buy. Also it is wise to calculate how many square feet that will be needed for the job.

New shingles can be placed over old ones. Two to three layers is the limit. The thing to remember is that the new shingles will last longer if the old ones are removed.

Another material that will need to be purchased is 30 pound felt. Some companies or hardware stores refer to this as felt. It comes in various weights but 15 or 30 pound is the most popular and useful.

This article will concentrateon asphalt shingle placement as this is the most basic to install. The other shingles are more complex to remove and install.



Before doing anything nail some wooden boards on the roof that can be used to step on for saftey. These are called roof jacks and they will help keep roof workers from falling off the roof.

Remove the old shingles. This can be done with a square faced shvel, a straight tined pitchfork or any of the shingle scrapers available for sale at local hardware stores. The best method is to shovel all the debris into the bed of a pickup parked close to the house. Remove all the old nails. If any are left sticking out this will damage the new shingles. Sweep the roof very good. Repair or renail any loose boards.

Next the tar paper is placed. As stated before this is sometimes referred to as felt. Overlay the tarpaper by about three inches per strip. This will ensure good coverage. The easiest way to apply this is with an air-powered staple gun. Many hardware stores rent roofing tools and this will save the expense of purchasing such tools that may be rarely be used. Now place or replace any flashing around vent holes in the roof.

Clean out rain gutters andreplace them if needed. Place or replace a drip edge on the eaves. The shingles should lie over the roof edge by about one-quarter of an inch.

Some states have building codes related to types of materials that are mandatory to use. Check the codes to make sure they are complied with.

Asphalt shingle packages have lists on them explaining the way that particular brand or type of shingle should be laid down. Place starter strips after marking straight lines using a chalk line. Begin placing the shingles working from the right lower corner and work to the left and upwards so the shingles fall in place and lie correctly overlapping each other. The amount of overlap is also included on the lists of the asphalt packages.

Always work from the botom upwards not from the top down. Think of the overlapping and this makes good sense. And the use of airpowered nailguns makes this part of the job not only quicker it makes it easier to work more accurately keeping the shingles in a straight line.

Roofing tar can be used for small areas around chiminey or plumbing vents.

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