3 Shingle Installation Mistakes to Watch Out For

If thinking of installing some shingles on your roof, take a moment and evaluate your skills for the job. Some shingle installation mistakes can easily lead to roof problems or premature roof damage. Here are three examples of such mistakes:

Improper Nailing

The shingles on your roof will only remain there if they are nailed properly and firmly on the roof. If the shingles aren't properly nailed, they will be weak and prone to falling off the roof. In fact, in some cases, a strong wind can even blow off huge chunks of the roof if the shingles weren't firmly held.

There are specific ways of nailing shingles; here are some nailing specifications to have in mind:

  • Drive the nails into the areas designated by shingle manufacturers.
  • Use the correct number of nails; for example, use four nails for three-tab shingles if your area doesn't experience strong winds.
  • Drive the nails straight downwards; nails driven at an angle are weak.

Improper Application of the Starter Strip

The starter strip is the first layer of shingles on the roof covering the underlayment. The strength of the starter strip determines whether the roof can withstand strong winds. This is because wind damage usually starts at the edge of the roof before cascading to other parts of the roof. Apart from that, this first layer of shingles also protects the roof from water damage, so it needs to be waterproof.

The starter strip will not perform any of these functions if it's improperly installed. For example, you should apply the starter strip in such a way that about ¼ or ¾ inches of it hang over the edge. The wind can easily blow off the roof if the overhang is too much; at the same time, an extremely short (or no overhang) allows water to seep under the shingles and damage the roof.

Inadequate Valley Protection

Most roof water problems begin in the valley; these joints are where debris and water collect. Therefore, it's important to cover the valley properly to reduce the risk of water damage; a mistake here can easily lead to moisture problems. For example, driving shingle nails too near the valleys (specifically within 6 inches of the valley) can lead to water problems.

As you can see, shingle installation isn't such an ideal DIY project. There are easy-to-make "little" mistakes that can lead to significant problems. Unless you are confident of your roofing skills, leave it up to companies like Allen Roofing & Construction Inc.