If you have never worked with asphalt roofing shingles before but need to replace your home's roof this summer, then you will be pleased to learn that installing them is fairly easy and straightforward as long as you use the proper technique. Once installed, your home's new asphalt shingle roof will last for many decades and provide a water-tight seal from the elements for your home.
Here are some time-tested tips for working with asphalt shingles for the first time:
Tip: Have Your Roof's New Asphalt Shingles Delivered Onto the Roof
While you can always carry or hoist the packages of your roof's new asphalt shingles up onto the roof, you should consider having them delivered and placed on the roof using a mechanical boom. Since each package of shingles will be very bulky and heavy, having them delivered directly onto the roof is a safer option and will save your back for the bigger job at hand.
Tip: Work from the Bottom Edge of the Roof When Installing New Shingles
Once your roof's new plywood sheathing and felt paper have been installed, then you should start installing the asphalt shingles starting from the bottom edges of your roof and working upward. The first layer of shingles needs to be installed completely level, so you will need to use both a level tool and a chalk line to accomplish this. Additionally, the first layer of shingles needs to hang over the edge of the roof by at least half of an inch. This allows rain water to properly drain off of the roof and into the rain gutters.
Tip: Only Nail the Shingles Along the Top Strip
When you nail the strips of asphalt shingles on your roof, you should only nail them along the top strip and never down on the shingle tabs. This is very important for two reasons. The first reason is that it prevents the nailheads from being seen on your finished roof. The second is that nailing only on the attachment strip helps to keep the roof watertight because there are no exposed nails for water to run down and into the roof's underlayment.
Tip: Shingle as Close to Vents and Obstructions as Possible
Finally, as you install the new asphalt shingles on your roof this summer, you will invariably need to work around vents, chimneys, and other obstructions. Make sure that you install the shingles as close to the obstructions as possible, and then install flashing over the top to prevent leaks.