Installing a New Asphalt Shingle Roof
What to Expect During the Process
No doubt about it—roofing is hard work, especially if you’re a red head in the middle of July. You need to stand on your feet, or be on your knees, in awkward sloping and often hazardous conditions.
You can’t be afraid of heights either. A little sawdust on a cedar shake shingle and you’ll be sliding to the nearest gutter. Carrying asphalt shingle bundle to the top of the ladder for a handoff and you misstep – big problem.
Measuring Your Roof
First things first, estimating the amount of roofing materials and determining whether new sheathing is necessary – the plywood under most roofs. This by done by measuring and understanding the coverage of each shingle and/or plywood if sheathing is needed.
Ordering Shingles, Sheathing, and Starting the Job
Next is ordering materials. Suppliers will deliver to the location.
After a permit has been obtained (if needed) and the roof has been safely stripped clean, the nail drip edge flashing is installed flush along the eave along with the sheathing if needed.
Heavy rain or snow can force water under shingles. In the worst-case scenario, ice damming can occur. This is frozen water or snow that builds up, usually closer to the lower roof line, and eventually saturates the sheathing underneath causing leaks into your attic and shingles to rise up off the roof surface.
To protect against this type of water transfer, a waterproof underlayment is attached tightly to the bare roof sheathing.
Next up is the application of the asphalt-saturated felt underlayment. This is layered to accommodate any water flowing down a roof’s surface under the shingles. Next is the installation of the drip edge that gets nailed into place along the sides of the roof.
Adding the Shingles
The next part of the process involves applying the shingles. The roofers snap a few chalk lines for alignment then either work left and right towards the edge of the roof or from one end to another.
The first row of shingles, the starter strip is an important one. It needs to hang beyond the drip edge by 1/4-3/8”. The starter row protects the roof by filling in spaces under the joints of the next row, which is the first course of shingles.
The first course is then nailed directly on top of and flush with the starter row. After this course, horizontal chalk lines are snapped to ensure straight rows.
The shingles get placed to the roof peak where the caps get placed. The roof also runs to the valleys where a special procedure is done to ensure the proper overlap.
This is the overview of the roof installation process. Depending on the size of the crew, it can be done in just a few days start to finish. Asphalt shingle roofs normally last 15 – 25 years.