Tips and Tricks to Properly Install Roof Shingles

Installing Roof Shingles

There’s no denying that installing roof shingles is a difficult task. If you’re planning to tackle a roof shingling job because your existing shingles have been damaged beyond repair or your roof has reached the end of its lifespan, please hire a professional contractor. Never handle roofing tasks yourself or your safety will be put at risk.

Installing Roof Shingles

The reason why we’ve prepared this article for you is that we want you to get a clear picture on the best strategies when replacing a roof shingle. You can refer to this practical roof shingles installation guide while your roofers do the heavy work for you.

So, are you ready to learn roof shingling? If so, continue reading.

Tip #1: Choose the right shingles

Picking the right shingles can be a tiresome task but it matters if you want your roof to last. Among the several types of shingles used on roofs, asphalt offers the greatest advantage.

Asphalt shingles are durable, provide sound protection, resist weathering, and are cost-effective too. Better yet, ask your trusted contractor for recommendations so you get the best value for your money.

Tip #2: Avoid replacing shingles in extreme weather temperatures

Installing roof shingles to replace worn out ones is best done during days when it’s moderately humid – about 55 degrees. The problem with applying new shingles in very hot weather is that your adhesive will dry out quickly. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight.

On the other hand, roof shingling in winter months can cause shingles to become brittle and easily break apart. Lastly, avoid rain and strong winds due to safety concerns.

Tip #3: Decide if you really need a roof overlay

According to Angie’s List, there are positive and negative sides to new roofing shingles installation versus a roof overlay. They say that the best scenario for an overlay is when there are no past leaks and if you’re overlaying roof shingles on a metal roof.

There are disadvantages to overlaying and one of them is the added weight and stress imposed on your roof. Moreover, this process can also void your warranty. However, the advantage is that you’ll be able to cut costs.

Tip #4: Safety first at all times

Professional and licensed contractors adhere to safety practices. Not only does this guarantee proper shingle installation, this also prevents unwarranted high roof damage costs. Aside from the practice of avoiding shingling during extreme temperatures, here are some other special considerations to take note of:

  • Use a pneumatic nail gun properly. Avoid resting the tool against your body and disconnect the air supply when not in use.
  • Position your ladder on a smooth, evened out surface. Remove unnecessary debris and rest the ladder against a durable surface.
  • Avoid carrying too many materials to prevent straining your back.
  • Don’t randomly toss anything below the roof. Check if there are passers-by or any structures on the ground.

Tip #5: Install felt underlayment

If your contractors are installing a new roofing, your decking will be covered with a waterproof membrane which is called a roof felt. This material is important because it helps block out moisture that enters your new shingles whenever it rains.

Without this waterproof barrier beneath your roofing, you could get a lot of problems over time such as a weakened structure and mold growth. These can prompt untimely and costly roof replacements. When applying roofing felt, it should be done in overlapping layers. They should never be mounted on wet sheathing.

Tip #6: Use the racking method

One of the strategies on how to properly shingle a roof is to use the “racking” method or “staggering” method. If you’re wondering what this is, this involves arranging shingles in a vertical line or column all the way up. This keeps your shingles straight and creates a watertight roof.

Another advantage of the racking method is that if a shingle goes out of alignment, it can easily be detected and fixed. Moreover, it helps professional roofing contractors complete a roofing shingles installation in a much faster way.

Tip #7: Chalk line your roof

Before installing a new set of roof shingles, you need to take advantage of a chalk line to create a proper guide. Creating a mark where your shingles should go will help you avoid wrong installation which leads to a poor aesthetic appearance.

When chalking a roof, you need to use a tape measure from end to end. This is especially important if you’re dealing with roof valleys. Properly using a chalk line takes time. This should not be rushed or else your roof with look bad.

General Signs You Need New Roof Shingles

Asphalt Shingle Roof

HomeAdvisor states that the cost to replace asphalt shingle roof ranges between $1,700 and $8,400. This varies depending on various factors such as the size of your roof, your geographical location, and the brand of the product itself.

But regardless of price considerations, how will you know that your existing shingles need replacing? Here are some general signs:

  • Cracked shingles– Shingles crack over time as a result of temperature changes, wind, and other elements. If there are cracks all over your roof (not isolated to one place), this may call for a total roof replacement.
  • Moss or algae growth – Plants on your roof are not cute! The more you leave them be, the more moisture these growths retain. Moss and algae act like a sponge that absorb water. This seeps through your roof and cause leaks and other moisture problems inside your home.
  • Roof age– Asphalt shingles usually last between 20 to 30 years. Roofs that are 40 years old and still look good on the outside may have hidden problems. It’s better to have your roof inspected regularly by your trusted roofing contractor.

Final Word

Thank you for taking the time to read this quick guide on how to properly install roofing shingles. Remember that safety is a must. If you think you need a roof replacement, Straight Arrow Roofing is ready to meet your needs. Get in touch with us today.

2 replies
  1. Adam Johnson
    Adam Johnson says:

    You should never rack install (install vertically up the roof line). Since each course doesn’t start with a full shingle (otherwise you would have the seam between shingles running up the entire roof line), you’d have to pick up and slide the next column under an already laid shingle. The portion of the shingle that gets slid under can’t be nailed, leaving a zipper line of un-nailed areas. This method is specially discouraged under the Haag roofing guidelines.

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