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How To Nail Shingles On Roof

The Contractor Cant Inspect Your Asphalt Roofs Decking

How to Nail Roof Shingles | Mastering the Roof by GAF

When you get a full roof replacement, your roof is taken down to its decking. This gives your contractor a chance to inspect the deckings integrity to see if it can handle your new roof.;

When you get a nail-over, theres no opportunity to inspect the decking before installing your new roof. If one of the boards break during installation, the contractor will have to take off the old shingles, replace the piece of broken decking, put the old shingles back on, and start installing again.;

This adds to the time it takes to replace your roof and can even add to the final cost of the job.;

Things To Know About Nailing

Now you know what nail-over reroofing is and what the right situation for one is. But there are still some things you need to know about getting a nail-over.;

You need to be aware of the cost, warranty options, and the aesthetics that come with upgrading your shingles when you nail-over your current roof.;;

Remove Old Roofing Shingles

Removing the old shingles is best done with a pitchfork or roof removal tool. They sell specialized tools designed to make things easy on your back and prevent damage while removing your shingles.

Usually, the shingles come off pretty easily. Youll have to spend time removing any old nails or pounding them down. Failing to do so will almost guarantee tears in your new shingles. So take the extra time to ensure to get old nails out of the way.

Also, spend time making sure that any of the loose roof sheathings get nailed back down to the rafters beneath.

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Can You Reuse Roofing Nails

If you take off a shingle for repairs or take off the whole roof in preparation for a reroofing job, youll have a ton of roofing nails on hand. You may be tempted to reuse these to save on costs. Thats a bad idea. Not only is it tedious to yank these nails out, but their zinc coating will also be worn. Plus, they may have been otherwise damaged. Its not wise to attempt to reuse them, as they may cause problems on the new roof.

How To Nail Asphalt Roof Shingles To Resist Wind Damage

How to Install Roof Shingles

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Roof damage to asphalt shingles caused by high winds from hurricanes, tornados, and other storms can be reduced by:

  • Apply six nails to each shingle, rather than the standard four.
  • Drive nails flush with the shingle, but not deep enough to damage the shingle.

Watch this video to find out more.

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Joint And Valley Flashing

If water penetrates the shingle layer of the roof, you’ll need to add flashing to the points where water could potentially leak into your home. If your roof has open valleys, you can line them with corrosion-resistant metal at this time. Closed valleys can be addressed during the shingle application process.

When you’re installing metal flashing, remember that each piece should overlap the one below it by roughly 3 inches. Using asphaltic plastic cement, secure the flashing in place and nail it.

Tear Off The Old Shingles

Its impossible to properly install new flashing and underlayment if you dont tear off the old roof beforehand. When tearing off the existing shingles, be sure to remove all the old nails or pound them flat. Protruding nails will tear holes in your new shingles. If you have movable items near your house and youre worried they might get damaged, relocate them. Invest in a few large tarps to protect your plants and landscaping and to catch the thousands of nails that will rain down off the roof. It can be downright impossible to remove old self-stick ice-and-water underlayment, but its OK if you have to leave it in place. And if at all possible, have the rented trash bin parked close to the house so you can toss in the old shingles right from the roof.

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Finishing Touches And Considerations

Do you have adequate ventilation? Consider using a circular saw to install vent holes for increased air movement.

You may have to install flashing around pipes, vents, stacks, or dormers.

Always use an asphalt sealant product to leak-proof nail holes around vents and pipes, where water may penetrate your home.

Cap the roofs ridge with appropriate ridge shingles. They may be thicker than standard shingles, so adjust your nail gun and compressor.

Sweep any debris off the roof or youll risk having loose nails and other materials fall.

As you can see, replacing roof shingles is a big undertaking. If any part of the process seems too far above your skill level, its probably a good idea to bring in a professional.

Even if youre good on a ladder and handy around your home, your roof is an essential barrier to the elements and subject to pretty strict building codes. So, while DIY roofing is doable, its not something for everyone. If thats the case, make sure to call Northface Construction. We can tackle your roofing job, big or small, while you sit back, relax, and let us handle the tough work.


Use The Right Air Compressor

How to Install Roof Shingles | Ask This Old House

Roofing nailers can fire up to ten nails per second in some cases. That takes a lot of air. You may not need the best air compressor, but those smaller pancake models wont likely keep up. Make sure you have a compressor that at least matches the manufacturers air consumption specs.

If you plan on running two guns at once, then having a large enough compressor ensures you dont misfire when two guns fire at the same time. When running a crew, this goes double.

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Installing Roof Shingles In 11 Steps:

  • To start installing shingles, line up aluminum drip edge flush with the edge of the roof and make a pencil line at the top on each end of the house.
  • Using the chalk line, snap a line between the two marks to get a straight edge.
  • Pull the drip edge down about a half-inch from that line to create a gap between the drip edge and the fascia board.
  • Nail the drip edge in place using 1¼-inch galvanized roofing nails and a hammer.
  • Repeat steps for gabled ends, installing the drip edge up the roof along the gable.
  • Lay out 30-lb. asphalt roofing felt paper and nail it in place using 1¼-inch galvanized roofing nails.
  • To lay out the design for the shingles, begin at the bottom of the roof and place a tape measure ½ inch from the edge of the roof to ensure the shingles overhang the drip edge.
  • Using the chalk line, snap a straight line on each 5-inch increment.
  • Use the chalk line to snap a straight line vertically every 6 inches.
  • Install a starter course by cutting off the three tabs on a shingle, leaving only the top tar section.
  • Related

    Its Cheaper Than An Asphalt Roof Replacement

    The main drive for people to try to reroof is the cost. When you nail-over your old shingles, most of the typical roof replacement process is left out.;

    Nailing-over doesnt require a tear-off, dump fees, underlayment installation, new flashing, or new decking. This allows for the labor and material costs to come down, making it cheaper than a full roof replacement.;

    I understand everyone has a budget and a full roof replacement is an investment some people cant make. But its crucial to the life of your roof that you invest in quality over picking the cheapest estimate out there.

    To learn more about how investing in quality affects your roof, read this article on the 3 ways cheap roofs cost more in the long run.;

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    Lay The Starter Strip

    A starter strip is an extra layer of shingles at the edge of the roof. Purchase this in the same color as what you’re choosing for your main field shingles. You can also buy 3-tab shingles and use several of them to create the strip.

    Take the starter strip and turn it upside down so that the shingles are facing up or what you would see as the wrong direction. Place this over the underlayment. When you start installing the rest of the shingles, this strip will provide a perfect double layer of protection on the edge.

    Once the starter strip is installed, it should hang roughly 1/4 inch past the drip edge. Using your chalk line, mark the location in a straight line across the underlayment where you want the top of the starter strip to sit to achieve the correct overhang. Lay the strip and nail it down. Your nails should go into the tar strip. Add the second layer of shingles on top.

    Lay The Subsequent Rows

    How To Build A Shed: Install Roof Shingles
    • 6.1;-;Start off the first row with a whole shingle.
    • 6.2;-;Place the shingle in the starting corner in such a way that the last shingle will overhang the fascia board by 3/8″.
    • 6.3;-;Drive in 4 straight nails only until the nail heads make contact with the asphalt. Avoid tearing.
    • 6.4;-;Stagger each new row by a half-tab.
    • 6.5;-;Align the lower edge of the shingle with the top of the notches on the preceding row.
    • 6.6;-;Repeat for every row.

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    Short Nails In Shingles

    Have you ever noticed roofs with shingles popping up all over the place? ;A common reason for this is the use of nails that are too short. ;When there are popped nails all over the roof, it might be the sign of a defective roof installation; specifically, short nails.

    The minimum fastener length for an asphalt shingle roof in Minnesota is 1-1/4. ;This requirement comes from section R905.2.5 of the 2006 International Residential Code, which is part of the Minnesota State Building Code. ;I underlined the part of this section that specifies the minimum fastener length.

    R905.2.5 Fasteners. Fasteners for asphalt shingles shall begalvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or copper roofingnails, minimum 12 gage shank witha minimum 3/8-inch diameter head, ASTM F 1667,of a length to penetrate through the roofing materials and aminimum of 3/4 inch into the roof sheathing. Wherethe roof sheathing is less than 3/4 inch thick, the fastenersshall penetrate through the sheathing. Fasteners shallcomply with ASTM F 1667.

    In southern parts of the country where they dont need to deal with snow loads, its acceptable to use 3/8 roof sheathing, which means its also acceptable to use 1 roofing nails on asphalt shingles. ;A 1 nail will fully penetrate through 3/8 roof sheathing, but it wont;fully penetrate 1/2 sheathing. ;The diagram below helps to illustrate this.

    Stick The Bottom Part Of The Underlayment To The Roof Of The House

    Install the second course just like the first, using the guidelines on the underlayment to get the correct overlap.;When an ice dam forms on a roof , ice and water can work their way up under the shingles and leak back into the house. Also, strong winds can blow rainwater under shingles. Self-stick roofing underlayment can prevent this because it sticks to the roof decking to seal out water. It also seals around nails, which keeps water from leaking through nail holes.

    Rolls of self-stick underlayment have a plastic backing so the material won’t stick to itself. The backing is separated down the middle. Line up the lower edge of the roll with the outside of the drip edge. Peel back part of the uppermost backing on the roll, and nail the top corner of the underlayment to the decking. Start pulling the roll across the decking using the backing, making sure the material is lying as flat and as straight as possible as you pull.

    You’ll be able to roll out long sections at a time if you have a low-pitched roof, but the underlayment may slip off the eaves on steeper roofs, so roll out no more than 10 ft. there . It’s important to make sure all your underlayment lies flat before you fasten it to the decking. Ripples and lumps can telegraph through the shingles and may be noticeable from the ground.

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    How To Seal Exposed Nails

    Exposed nails are those with visible nail heads. Sometimes homeowners put in new nails when trying to attach something on the roof. However, this is a detriment to the roofs performance.

    Ideally, your roof will not have any exposed nails, with the exception of the last cap shingle Otherwise, all new nails should be inserted so that they are covered by the shingle above them.

    Proper Nail Application For Asphalt Shingles

    How to Shingle a Roof – How to Install Timberline HDZ Roof Shingles | GAF Roofing

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    Required by the International Building Code, proper nailing is essential to the optimum performance of roofing shingles. Accurate nailing requires the use of approved nails, nail-driving methods and placement .

    Atlas has installation guidelines in place to ensure proper, uniform installation of Atlas shingles on every roof, whether that roof is new or recovered. Nails should have a minimum, nominal shank diameter of 11- or 12-gauge, and a minimum head diameter of three-eighths of an inch. The length of each nail must be a minimum of 1¼ inches long, and for roof-overs, Atlas recommends a nail length of at least 2 inches.;

    Nails of the proper length should penetrate three-fourths of an inch into the roof deck. However, where the roof deck is less than three-fourths of an inch thick, the nail should be long enough to penetrate fully and extend at least one-eighth of an inch through the roof deck.

    Each shingle model has specific requirements for nails printed on each shingle wrapper. These guidelines must be followed to comply with building codes and ensure intended performance levels

    All nails need to be driven either by hand or with a properly adjusted pneumatic nailer. Improper adjustment of a pneumatic nailer can result in overdriven or underdriven nails, which can cause nail corrosion, sealing failures, raised tabs, buckling and blow offs.

    For more information about proper nail placement, visit

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    Lay Out The Starter Shingles

    • 5.1;-;Start in the lower left corner and work towards the valley. Read the manufacturer’s instructions specific to the type of shingle.
    • 5.2;-;Snap a horizontal chalk line 5-10″ from the lower edge of the roof. Adjust the measurement according to the type of shingle.
    • 5.3;-;Snap a vertical chalk line every 6 and horizontal lines at regular intervals to ensure the rows of shingles will be straight.
    • 5.4;-;Use a starter strip or cut the tabs off the shingles to be used.
    • 5.5;-;Cut 3-5″ from the left side of the shingle to stagger joins.
    • 5.6;-;Install the starter shingle with the adhesive strip on the edge of the roof. Overlap the fascia boards by approximately 3/8″.
    • 5.7;-;Align with the chalk line. If necessary, move and snap another line according to the width of the starter strip
    • 5.8;-;Secure the starter strip with 4 nails equally spaced. Do not nail closer than 6″ from the fascia board, 1″ from the lateral edges, and ½” above each notch. Do not nail into the self-adhesive strip. Nails must be perfectly straight and flush with the surface of the shingles.
    • 5.9;-;Install starter rows the entire length of the eaves.
    • 5.10;-;When you come to a valley, place the starter strip on top of the flashing and cut along the chalk line.
    • 5.11;-;Nail 2″ from the chalk line.
    • 5.12;-;Make a 2″ bevel cut in the upper corner of the strip and coat the valley side with asphalt sealant.

    What Happens When Roof Shingles Blown Off

    Wind can blow shingles right off your roof, leaving it vulnerable to water intrusion. Water can seep into damaged underlayment and begin to rot the decking below. Even a small number of fallen shingles can lead to extensive water damage. Simply nailing shingles back down on damaged decking will not solve the problem.

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    How Big Is A Square Of Shingles

    If you are just starting out in roofing and construction, or youre undertaking a DIY roofing project on your home, then youll need to get to grips with the jargon and specialist units of measurement used in this industry.;

    One term you may have come across already is the common measurement of squares. This is a widely used term to describe how big a roof is and calculate how many shingles you will need to cover the roof. A roofer might refer to this as a roofing square, a square of shingles, or simply a square. Here, we explain the basics of roofing squares, why they are used, and how to calculate a square.

    In This Article

    Youll Have A Lumpy Roof If You Upgrade Your Asphalt Shingles

    Install Asphalt Shingles

    When getting a new roof in general, you need to consider if you want to keep your current type of shingle or if you want to upgrade. For example, if you have 3-tab shingles and you want to upgrade to dimensional shingles.

    If you try to upgrade your 3-tab shingle to a dimensional shingle when nailing over, it causes an aesthetic issue. The issue happens because 3-tab asphalt shingles run on a 5-inch exposure while dimensional shingles run on 5 inch exposure.;

    This difference in size creates a hump on your roof every 8 shingles. Thats why I recommend going over your old roof with the same type of shingles when nailing-over.;

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    How To Properly Install Roll Roofing

    • Written by Sarah Coghlan on Apr 21, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by

    Installing roll roofing is always an appealing option for homeowners because it is easy to install and much less expensive than other roofing. However, roll roofing does not look nearly as good as shingle or tile, so it is typically only used on roofs that are not readily visible.

    It is a great option for flat or nearly flat roofs since they arent visible from the ground, and is a project you can do in a day. It is durable and will last about the same length of time as a typical shingle roof, if not longer — about six to 12 years. Here you will find the basic information needed to properly install roll roofing.

    Step 1 – Prepare the Roofing

    Roll roofing is not very pliant or flexible in cold weather of fewer than 45 degrees Fahrenheit and it can crack and break if it is manipulated while cold. If it does have to be installed in cold weather, cut it into 12 to 18-foot sheets and lay them flat inside a garage to warm up and flatten out. It can take up to a day for the sheets to flatten out. If it is warm outside, this should not be an issue.

    Step 2 – Install Underlay

    Step 3 – Install Roll Roofing

    Step 4 – Trim Excess Overhang

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