Replacing Asphalt Shingles
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2018)
Asphalt shingles are perhaps one of the most popular choices for roofing materials among many homeowners. A large part of the reason for this is that replacing asphalt shingles is surprisingly easy to do. If you are thinking of doing your own work, all you need to do is follow these simple directions. Keep in mind that while the task is still surprisingly easy, it is still rather time consuming and labor intensive. Keep in mind that you will be getting dirty while you are doing this job, so do not wear clothes that you will be wanting to wear again in the future.
- Gather materials. The very first step in replacing asphalt shingles is to get the proper materials and tools you will need to use. Typically all of these materials can be purchased at your local home improvement store. You will need to get a sturdy ladder, a roofing hammer, flat pry bar, a roofing scraper, asphalt shingles (enough to cover your roof plus 10%), roofing nails, roofing cement, and roofing paper. You may also want to rent a dumpster to place all of your used materials in, and place it as close to your house as possible. This way you can simply drop the materials in, and save yourself some serious work later on.
- Get help. Once you have the materials and tools you will need to see about getting help. This is a rather time consuming project, so you will want to have help otherwise it will take even longer. Get as many people to help you out as you can, ideally you will want to have at least two or three other people helping you out. Choose a few days that are supposed to have good weather so that you don't have any unnecessary problems.
- Remove old shingles. Starting at the bottom of the roof, and near one edge, begin removing your shingles. You will want to remove all of the old shingles and any nails that you come across. Be careful as you do this so that you don't unnecessarily damage the underlying roofing paper. You want to make sure that you remove the old nails and shingles since if you leave them there it can easily end up damaging the new shingles.
- Inspect and replace under paper. Once you have the shingles and nails removed, go back over the paper and inspect everything again. Inspect the paper to ensure that you have removed all of the nails and the shingles, as well as the paper itself being in good condition. If you find any paper that has damage, then you will want to remove and replace that section.
- Lay starter row. When you have the under paper ready to go, you can begin laying the starter row of the shingles. Begin laying the shingles near the lower edge of the roof, probably in the same location that you started off removing the old shingles. Once you have the shingles laid in the proper location, go ahead and nail them into place. Each of the shingles can be held in place with as few as three roofing nails, though you probably want to use four nails to be sure.
- Offset, and repeat. After you have laid down about eight shingles, go ahead and start the next row. Be sure that you off set the next row, so that it is placed starting about halfway down the length of the previous shingle. This will allow you to have a proper overlap between each shingle, and each row, so that there are no seams which can trap and funnel water into the roof. Repeat the process until you have reached the peak of the roof. Be sure that you dab a bit of roofing cement to help hold the nails and shingles in place.
- Cap it off. Once you have reached the peak of the roof, you can begin capping things off. You will need to cut several of the remaining shingles so that the top third (the glue portion) is removed. Bend the remaining portions over the peak and nail them into place. Make sure that you overlay each section by about half so that there is a bit of overlap to help protect the roof itself.
Once you have finished replacing the last of your asphalt shingles, you really only have one step left. That final step is to clean everything up. If you were smart, you had at least one person doing a bit of cleanup while you were laying down the new shingles. It is all too easy for the materials you have removed and dropped to kill off your lawn, so you will want to clean up the mess as quickly as possible.
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