Installing starter shingles is an important component of any roofing job. Starter shingles are the key to making sure shingles aren’t severely impacted by wind and storm damage.
A standard starter shingle begins at the bottom and edges of roofs, and should have five or six nails holding it down for added security.
What NOT to Do When Installing Starter Shingles
Take your time when installing starter shingles— don’t do what famous YouTuber “World’s Fastest Shingler” does.
He has amassed a following of over 20,000 subscribers and creates videos that show him swiftlyshingling a roof.
But his installation process is reprehensible.
The problem with his roofing technique is that he is sacrificing quality in the name of speed.
This compounds an already glaring problem in theroofing industry, one in which many roofers don’t add starter shingles to a roof. They often do this if starter shingles aren’t delivered to a job site or if their sole objective is to get a job done quickly and think the customer won’t notice.
This is why it is important for consumers to be educated on starter shingles.
Tips for Installing Starter Shingles the Right Way
Proper installation of an asphalt shingle roof needs to include a starter strip, drip edge, flashing, roof deck, etc. All of the elements of your roof ensure rain and wind protection, but none of it can work well if the starter strip and shingles are not installed correctly.
A few things to consider when a roofer installs starter shingles:
- Quality can’t be sacrificed
- Make sure the roofer installs the starter shingles, otherwise if there are problems later, thewarranty may be compromised because many manufacturers require starter shingles as part of their policy
- During installation, manufacturer protocols have to be followed. Their standards are much better than those of a YouTuber whose main objective is to generate clicks and traffic to his website
- Remember: 1 or 2nails is not enough for shingles. That number has to be more like 5 or 6.
How to Install Starter Shingles So Your Roof Is Protected
Step 1: Start with a full roof tear-off. Your best bet to installing proper shingles is to start fresh. The first course of this includes carefully prying up the old shingles using a roof rake to lift them up. Don’t go too rough— you may risk damaging the roof deck underneath.
Step 2: Inspect everything from the roof deck to the drip edge to gutters before laying down any new shingles. Older homes may require some light repairs before you start.
Step 3: Install the drip edge. Your drip edge goes along the entire edge of the roof and protects your eaves, soffits, fascia, and shingles from rainwater and other issues. It creates a tight seal on the edge and is vital before installing your shingles.
Step 4: Lay your felt paper. Felt paper is the underlayment that protects the roof decking and provides a layer between your shingles and the roof. It will create a last barrier if your shingles ever blow off or crack, causing water leaks.
Step 5: Install your starter strip. Some contractors back in the day would just flip a row of shingles around and layer another on top, creating a thicker edge. The problem with this method is that it’s much easier for wind uplift when that first row isn’t nailed down close enough to the edge.
So to do it right, you should installproper starter strips which will allow a much tighter seal when you place your first row of shingles on top, and the nails will be much closer to the edge which makes it much more sturdy.
Step 6: Install dedicated hip and ridge cap shingles. Be sure to install the correct flashing on both spots to create a tight seal against rain and snow. Continue installing your shingles row-by-row, starting at the starter shingles on the bottom and working your way up.
Starter Shingles Are Vital for Roofing Systems
Now you’vesuccessfully installed your starter shingles and you can live worry-free that it was done the right way— and not as fast as possible like some people.
As always, thank you for reading this article, and always hold your contractors accountable.
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