How to Shingle Your Roof

If you are a homeowner, then chances are that you need to repair your shingles now and again after a storm. If you are building your own home then you certainly need to have shingling done. Some people prefer to call professional roofing contractors for this kind of job. However, you do not need any special skills or education to put up and repair shingles by yourself.

Before you get started with your shingling project you must estimate the number of shingles you need for the job. Measure the area you will be shingling in square feet. If you are repairing a damaged roof, this is the area of the damage. If you are shingling a whole roof, then this is the area of the roof. Divide this area by 33, rounding up. This is the number of bundles of shingles of shingles you will need for your job. You may want to buy an extra bundle to replace mistakenly damaged shingles. If you have a lot of peaks and angles to shingle then you are going to need to buy additional shingles.

If you are shingling your whole roof then the first row of shingles is going to be different than the rest. For this 'starter row' you need 'starter shingles'. To make starter shingles, just cut the tabs off of ordinary shingles. The solid section you have left is a starter shingle.

Start your starter row at one of the bottom corners of your roof. Square the first shingle up with the corner and nail it in place using four roofing nails. If you live in a high wind area, use six roofing nails. Drive the nails only into the solid areas of the shingles, never into the tabs. After nailing the shingle in place cover the heads of the nails with a little tar or asphalt cement to help prevent leaks. Continue laying the starter shingles along the bottom edge of the roof, on right next to the other.

After finishing a row, it is time to start the next row above it. Offset the shingles of this row so that the middles of the shingles of this row sit just above the joints between the shingles of the row below it. Place the shingles of the new row so that their tabs overlap the solid portions of the shingles in the row just beneath it. This keeps rain from working its way into the joints and beneath the shingles. If you have a space at the end of a row that is not as large as a shingle, then cut a piece to fit out of an existing shingle.

If you are shingling a peaked roof then cut your shingles into halves if they have two tabs and into thirds if they have three tabs. Lay these roofing shingles over the peak so that they overlap the shingles below them on both sides.

Once you are finished shingling your roof, keep the shingles, tar, and other tools handy. You will have to wait until the first serious rain to determine how good your repairs actually were, and whether or not they need further touching up.

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