Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles: 3 Tips Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles: 3 Tips

Installing asphalt roof shingles is a professional skill that takes practice to perfect. If you are planning on roofing your home, garage or other structure and it is your first time doing it, you'll want a few tips to help you do the job right. In addition to the right way of installing the shingles and the other necessary components, there are some mistakes you'll want to avoid. An improperly shingled roof will not only look bad from the ground, it may also be ineffective at preventing the roof from leaking. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the proper procedure of shingling a roof. Having a helper or two is also a good idea. After the tar paper is down, you are ready to install the shingles. 

3 Tips for Installing Asphalt Shingles

The following tips are intended to make the installation process easier to do correctly the first time. The next best thing to professional experience is knowledge of professional methods. The first time you do anything it is a challenge. With roofing, there is also the effectiveness of your roof at stake. 

1. Pre-Mark the Roof Face

Start by finding the center of the roof face along the eave edge. Mark it and extend a chalk line up to the ridge and, once centered there as well, mark a line in chalk indicating the center line of the roof. After the starter strip is in place, make a series of chalk lines perpendicular to the center line every 5 inches up to the ridge, using the starter strip as your beginning point. These lines will guide you when laying out each successive row of shingles.

2. Place Starter Strip from Center Out

The starter strip is a single row of shingles with their tabs cut off placed along the bottom edge of the gable or roof face. Cut off the tabs at the top of the cutouts. Be sure to hang the strip about ½ inch over the edge of the eaves. Place one edge of the starter strip against the center line and install the starter strips to the side edge of the roof in both directions. Always coat the bottom of each shingle with a strip of roofing cement at top edge before nailing in place. 

3. Lay First Full Row of Shingles from Center Out - Straddle Center Line

The first row of full shingles is placed directly on top of the starter row. Start again from the center line. Position the first shingle with the top lined up with the first chalk line off the starter row. Place the center of the shingle's middle tab over the center chalk line and fasten. When nailing, use 4 galvanized roofing nails per shingle. Place one at both ends and one over each of the cutouts. Nail straight down for maximum leak protection. Work your way to the outside edge on both sides. You may have to cut shingles in half at the side edges to fit. Each successive row of shingles will be offset from the former, so cutouts never align. 

Proceed with each row from the center out, always following the chalk-marked guidelines for even roofing. Complete both sides of the roof before shingling the ridge. 

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