How to Shingle a Roof
If you’re in the market for a new roof but don’t know how to go about it, this blog post is for you. Check out our step by step guide on how to shingle a roof and get that leaky problem fixed pronto! We’ll show you what tools are needed, give an overview of the process, and offer some helpful tips along the way. Don’t let your home’s most important feature let water in – start repairing your roof today!
How to Know You Need to Repair or Replace Your Roof
Noticing a missing shingle or dealing with a water leak are both signs that your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Get up on your roof (or hire someone to come out and take a look at it for you) to see how bad the damage is to decide how to proceed.
A roof generally lasts about 20 years. If you’re not sure how long your current roof has been on your home, it might be time to do an inspection to see what shape your current roof is in.
What You Need to Shingle Your Roof
Shingling your roof is going to require you to purchase materials. Here’s a short list of this materials you’ll need:
- asphalt shingles
- roofing nails
- felt underlayment
- waterproof underlayment
- flashing (step, dormer, valley, and vent)
You’re also going to need some tools and equipment:
- scaffolding to help reach the roof and get supplies up and down
- ladder to get on and off your roof
- circular saw to cut wood to make repairs as needed
- roofing nailer with air compressor and air hose
- chalk line to help make lines on your roof
- utility knife to cut shingles as needed
- work gloves to protect your hands
What Prep Work Do You Need to Do
Before you can start your home repair project, you’ll need to do a little bit of prep work and planning:
- Permits – check with your local officials to see if you’ll need any permits for this project.
- Determine the size of the roof – you’ll need to measure your roof to determine how many shingles you are going to need to order.
- Dumpster – call your local trash company and order a dumpster to put all the old shingles in as you remove them from your roof.
- Remove the old roof – before you can put the new shingles on, you’ve got to remove the ones already on your roof.
- Inspect your roof – once everything is off your roof, take some time to inspect the framing and make repairs as needed.
- Look for leaks – while you’re doing your roof inspection, look for any leaks or gaps that might be present and fix those. (Need help with your chimney cap? Check out this guide.)
- Nails – if there are nails sticking out of the roof, be sure to pull them out or pound them down flat before putting the new asphalt shingles down on top of them to prevent future leaks.
Once you’ve got everything prepped, you’re ready to start re-shingling your roof.
How to Shingle Your Roof Yourself
Coordinate the delivery of your materials with the permitting and delivery of your dumpster so you don’t have supplies sitting around waiting for you to use them.
If the existing shingles are already off your roof, you can have the new shingles put on to your roof when they’re delivered. This will save you from having to get them up onto the roof yourself. Just be sure to space the bundles across your roof to help distribute the weight.
Here are the basic steps to reshingle your roof yourself:
- Put down your self-stick waterproof underlayment. This will help protect your roof from windblown rain or pooling water. Lay this out before removing the peel and stick backing to make sure you have it correctly lined up. Keep in mind that if it’s hot outside, this will become much stickier than if you’re working on a cooler day. Work in sections to make it more manageable.
- Put down felt underlayment. Secure this on your roof with the staples after you’ve laid it out on your roof. Be sure you have it properly installed before securing it to your roof.
- Add flashing to valleys and peak. Any underlayment needs to be pushed up under the flashings. Make sure everything is straight and flush before you nail it down.
- Mark chalk lines to keep your shingles straight across your roof. You don’t want to come down off the roof to see that your singles were placed diagonally after spending hours up there putting them down.
- Lay down shingles. Start out with your start row overlapping the drip edge and secure the asphalt shingles two to three inches up. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to properly secure the shingles you’ve chosen for your roof. Trim the shingles that overhang with a hook blade for your utility knife.
- Add step, dormer, and vent flashing. If the flashing that was already on your roof is still good, it’s possible to reuse that. You can also purchase new flashing to use as part of the installation.
- Cap and seal. Once all of the new shingles have been installed, you’ll need to cap the peak of your roof. Seal any exposed nails and clean up the roof before you get down.
Keep your work area clean while laying shingles. As you’re removing things from the roof while you’re working, be sure there isn’t anyone on the ground below where you’re working.
If you’re reshingling your roof during the warmer months, make sure you’re taking breaks to get out of the sun and hydrate. Have plenty of water and electrolyte drinks on hand so you don’t get dehydrated.
Can I Hire Someone to Reshingle My Roof?
If this all sounds like too much for you to handle on your own, consult a professional to come out and inspect your roof. Find a reputable company who will come to your home and give you a project estimate. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about the process, cost, and timeline so you can make an informed decision.
The contractor you choose should be licensed and insured to do the repairs on your home. You can look online for reviews, ask family and friends, and check the Better Business Bureau website before deciding who to hire.