A Guide to Installing Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Homeowners can never take any comfort from affordability. Life keeps getting more unpredictable and expensive by the day. Who knows what financial obstacles and burdens they might face tomorrow?

It is therefore imperative that you make the right decisions today, especially regarding your home, finances, and long-term investments.

While maintaining quality and comfort is important, cost reduction remains a priority. When it comes to your roof, asphalt shingles offer both affordability and satisfactory durability, making them a valuable choice.

Although asphalt shingles are typically a cost-effective roofing choice, the expense of labor can still be significant, depending on one’s financial situation. As a result, many homeowners choose to tackle the installation or replacement of their asphalt shingle roof themselves, greatly reducing labor expenses.

A grey Charlotte home with asphalt shingle roofing.

Is it better to do your own asphalt shingle roofing installation or to have a professional installation?

In most cases, it is recommended to hire a professional roofer for the installation of asphalt shingles, even if it incurs additional expenses. This guarantees the overall durability of the project and reduces potential hazards associated with working on a roof, such as safety concerns and physical strain.

Although it may seem daunting, a significant number of homeowners are skilled in DIY projects. With their abilities, they can take on this task independently and significantly decrease the overall cost of installation. It is essential to have confidence in your capabilities before starting the project. As long as you are proficient enough in DIY work, the following tips will aid you in smoothly installing your asphalt shingles:

Step 1: Removing Old Shingles

Whenever you add a new installation, it usually means getting rid of something that was there before. In the case of asphalt shingles, this involves addressing the existing shingles on your house. Additionally, you will need to remove the underlayment and nails as well.

Utilize a roofing shovel, which is specifically crafted to fit beneath shingles, for efficient completion of the task. Take extra caution with delicate areas, such as the chimney and siding, and be even more diligent if your intent is to repurpose the flashing.

Step 2: Eliminating Debris on Roof

Employ a combination of tools, including a hammer and your hands, along with good old-fashioned elbow grease for the more tenacious shingles.

Before proceeding with your asphalt shingle installation project, be sure to carefully inspect your roof for any stray nails or felt fasteners that may still be present. To ensure a smooth installation, it is important to remove all debris using a broom with stiff bristles.

Step 3: Inspect the Roof Deck

Choosing to DIY your shingle project also allows you the chance to examine your roof deck for potential concerns, including:

●       Water damage.

●       Warping.

●       General damage.

●       Unevenness.

Ensure any existing issues are addressed before proceeding with your asphalt shingle installation. While it may initially be viewed as an inconvenience, it is a crucial step in preventing future disasters.

Step 4: Installing the Drip Edge

To properly install drip edges, first remove all debris and previous shingles. It is also important to check that your roof deck is in good condition before proceeding.

Ensuring proper alignment of your drip edges should be your top priority. This is significantly more important than the method used for nailing them. It is recommended to have a spacing of approximately half an inch between the edges and the fascia board.

Step 5: Installing the Underlayment

If you do not have prior experience with roofing or installing felt paper, it is important to pay special attention to this section. This may be particularly noticeable if your roof is large and one strip does not cover the entire length. Refer to the instructions on the underlayment packaging for guidance on how to stagger the sections in order to address this issue.

It is crucial to overlap the strips by approximately half of their width and ensure there are no wrinkles or folds during the process. This task can be quite demanding and time-consuming for novice roofers, but it must be executed with precision.

Step 6: Installing the First Row of Shingles

Ensure proper placement of your starter strip by allowing for a half-inch overhang from the drip edge. Use the shingle height as a guide and mark the underlayment with a line indicating the desired top edge location.

It may be necessary to trim the initial row in order to achieve a close fit between the tar strip and the edge of the roof.

Step 7: Marking a Grid on Your Roof

By implementing a chalk line to create a six-inch horizontally and five-inch vertically spaced grid, you will significantly streamline this project. This will result in easier nailing of remaining shingles with optimal exposure and overlap, eliminating errors along the way.

Step 8: Install the Remaining Shingles

When it comes to installing the remaining shingles on your roof, a particularly challenging step is cutting them to achieve the best horizontal placement. There are two options for approaching this task: either pre-cutting all the shingles before beginning or cutting them as you go along. Consider which method would be most effective for you.

When attaching the shingles to the roof, it is important to follow the instructions on the packaging and use roofing nails. While some recommend using six nails per shingle, four is often suggested. In areas with strong winds, using more nails may be beneficial. Whatever number of nails you choose, ensure that the next row of shingles overlaps with the nail heads by at least one inch.

A light grey Charlotte home with asphalt shingle roofing.

Step 9: Installing Shingles around Objects

During shingle installation, there are various structures such as chimneys, skylights, vents, and others that you will need to navigate. It may not be an easy task, but it is crucial to cut the shingles accordingly and use roofing cement to secure them onto challenging edges.

Be mindful of any gaps when installing, especially around the ridge vents. It’s best to have some extra shingles on hand in case you make any mistakes while cutting tricky areas.

Step 10: Installing the Ridge Cap Shingles

It is important to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines when installing ridge cap shingles. These instructions will outline the necessary steps for proper installation. Typically, this involves cutting shingle pieces to create a five-inch overlap on each side of the roof’s top course.

Position the integrated tar strip along the ridge in a perpendicular orientation to the adjacent shingles.

Step 11: Cleaning Up

To make the cleanup process easier after completing the job, we recommend considering renting a dumpster and laying out tarps. Doing so will eliminate the need to haul everything away afterwards.

Have more questions about installing your asphalt shingles? Ask Canopy Roof And Solar today, and we’ll be thrilled to provide further insights.

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