Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements, shielding your home and loved ones from rain, wind, snow, and harsh weather conditions. However, missing or damaged roofing shingles can compromise the integrity of your roof. In this article, we will explore the risks of neglected roofing shingles and highlight the importance of addressing these issues quickly to protect your home.
Understanding the Role of Roofing Shingles
An asphalt roof is made up of three distinct layers: sheathing, underlayment, and shingles. Shingles are arguably the most important component of an asphalt roof as they provide the outermost and most durable layer of protection for your roof against water, wind, and sunshine.
Shingles are designed to efficiently pass water from one shingle to the next, preventing rain from seeping into the interior of your home. Shingles are designed to expand and contract together to prevent damage during drastic changes in temperature.
Under your shingles is a thin layer of roofing underlayment. Underlayment is generally made of synthetic felt paper that is designed to catch any water that seeps in beneath shingles and direct it off your roof. Synthetic underlayment is not meant to seal off your roof completely. Instead, it redirects any water that sneaks in beneath your primary line of defense, the shingles.
Sheathing is the structural component of the roof, made of plywood or particle board, to which the rest of the layers are secured.
When it comes to roofing, getting off to the right start is crucial for a successful project. Properly starting your shingles not only ensures a uniform and attractive looking roof, but also plays a significant role in your roof's overall durability and lifespan. In this article, we'll guide you through the essential steps on how to begin shingling your roof.
Step 1: Prepare the Roof Surface
Remove any existing roofing materials you’re planning to replace, including old shingles or roofing felt.
Repair and replace any damaged or rotting roof decking.
Check for protruding nails, staples, or other debris on the roof's surface and remove them as needed.
Sweep or blow off any dirt or loose particles to create a clean, smooth surface.
Step 2: Install the Starter Strip
The starter strip is the foundation for your shingles, and it should be installed along the eaves of your roof (the bottom edge). Here's how to do it:
Cut shingles to create starter strips: You can either purchase pre-cut starter strips or make your own by trimming the tabs off regular shingles.
Align the starter strip: Position the starter strip along the eaves, ensuring it overhangs the edge by about 1/4 to 3/4 inch. The overhang helps direct water away from the fascia.
Secure the starter strip: Nail or staple the starter strip in place, ensuring it lays flat and doesn't curl.
Step 3: Choose Your Shingle Placement Method
There are two common methods for placing the first row of shingles:
Staggered Alignment: This method involves staggering the first shingle's cutout (the section with the tabs removed) with the second shingle's full section. The staggered alignment provides better wind resistance and water shedding.
Straight Alignment: Alternatively, you can align the first row of shingles straight across, using a chalk line as a guide. While this method is simpler, it may be less wind-resistant.
Step 4: Start Nailing the First Row
Begin nailing the first row of shingles, ensuring that you follow these guidelines:
Space the nails about 1 inch from each edge of the shingle.
Place nails about 1-1/2 inches above the cutout (the part with tabs removed).
Use roofing nails or staples recommended by the shingle manufacturer.
Be cautious not to overdrive or underdrive the nails. The shingle should be snug but not overly tight.
Step 5: Continue Shingling
After successfully starting the first row, continue laying shingles, following the manufacturer's instructions for overlap and nailing patterns. Remember to maintain proper alignment and spacing throughout the project.
Starting your shingles correctly sets the stage for a successful roofing project. A well-prepared roof surface, a properly installed starter strip, and attention to detail when placing the first row of shingles are all essential elements for a durable, attractive, and long-lasting roof. If you're not confident in your roofing skills, consider consulting with a professional roofing contractor for guidance and assistance.
There are dozens of signs that your roof may be reaching the end of its life: water damage, leaking, discoloration, brittle shingles, cracked tiles, and rusted metal, to name a few. The best way to know for sure whether or not it’s time to replace your roof is to have a professional come and conduct a roof inspection. If you suspect that it might be time to get your roof replaced, give us a call, and we’ll come out for a free inspection! Trust The Roof Guys for your roof replacement needs.
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