Roof Asphalt Shingling

Instructions on how
to asphalt shingle a

Asphalt Shingling
a Roof

How to Asphalt Shingle
a Roof

In order to repair or shingle
an asphalt roof, a person
needs to be physically fit,
and able to safely work
off ladders, and at roof
top heights.

One needs to be able to
have good balance.

One needs to be strong
enough to move, and
carry heavy shingles,
rolls of felt paper, and
tools up a ladder.

Safe work practices are
the biggest part of the

Anyone who does not feel
comfortable working at
heights, or working with
ladders, should not attempt

Use extreme caution around
power, TV, and telephone
wires, they can cause you
to trip and fall.

Be extremely careful when
throwing the old existing
shingles off the roof, a nail
could snag your clothes
and take you off the roof
with the shingles.

If the roof is greatly
sloped, safety ropes may
be required, or it may
better to hire a

Asphalt Shingle Roof

The roof is the most
important part of the
structure, it must be
kept in good shape to
protect the interior.

The roof sheds the rain,
snow and weather.
Gravity causes the water
to run off.

Any damaged shingles
will allow water to enter
the interior, causing
mold, fungus, and rot.

When shingling a roof,
remove all the old shingles,
do one half of the roof at
a time.

Inspect for any damage
under the shingles.
The wood on the roof
lower edges is the first
place to start to rot.

Go over the entire roof
and drive in any popped
nails and add nails where

If you add new shingles
over old ones, this will
add twice the weight
of the shingles to the

New shingles do not lay
over old ones as well,
and they do not bond
well to the old shingles

Strong wind has a better
chance to lift them, and
blow them away.

When working on a roof,
make up a piece of
plywood about 2 feet
by 3 feet that will lay
flat on the roof, built up
the lower end to level

This provides a flat place
to keep tools on, to
keeps them from
rolling down the roof.

Standard Asphalt Shingle

A standard asphalt shingle
is made from different
varieties of papers bathed
in asphalt, which is then,
while hot, imbedded
with small ceramic granules.

The granules are pressed
firmly into the surface of
the shingle surface.

The ceramic granules help
reflect the suns ray,
helping to cool the
shingles, which adds
years to the shingles

A cooler roof keeps the
inside of the home cooler.

The brighter the color
of the shingle, the greater
the reflection of heat
away from the shingle.

Shingles come in different
colors and weights.

Some shingles will last
twenty years, while heavier
weights can last
twenty-five to thirty

The heavier the weight
of the shingle, the greater
the expense.

Standard asphalt shingles
have 40% more asphalt
than fiberglass shingles.

The standard asphalt
shingle comes in a three
foot section, consisting
of three tabs, each a
foot long.

On the backside a strip
of black bonding agent
is placed just above the
two slots of the shingle.

When the shingle is
overlapped over another
shingle, over time, will
bond with the shingle
below making a water
tight bond between
the two.

The bond stops water
from wicking upward and
also prevents strong wind
from lifting the shingles.

Fiberglass Shingle

Fiberglass shingles are
made with a fiberglass
material instead of the
paper material.

Less asphalt is used to
make the fiberglass type
of shingles.

Fiberglass shingles are
lighter and resist tearing
better than the standard
asphalt type.

There is less expansion
with the fiberglass shingle,
and shingles requires no

For the more windy areas
there is a type of shingle
which goes through a
lamination process to
make two layers on each

They are heavier than the
average shingle and can
stand winds up to ninety
miles per hour. br />
Fiberglass shingles lay out
better, because there is
less joints, and no slots
to consider when laying

Each shingle is one
complete unit.

Asphalt Shingling Tips

When a ladder is placed
up against the roof, and
there is a rain gutter in
place, there is the
possibility of crushing the
rain gutter, as workers
carry shingles up the ladder.

A piece of board about the
width of the ladder and just
wide enough to fit inside
the gutter will prevent the
gutter from collapsing.

To place the board into the
gutter, place the ladder at
a steeper angle than normal
so less weight is applied
against the trough.

Once the board is in place,
decrease the steepness of
the ladder to a safe working

If the ladder is aluminum,
it is a good idea to tie the
ladder to the support board
in the gutter, so the wind
cannot blow the ladder
down off the house.

Consider the time of the
year to shingle.

if the roof is too hot,
walking on very hot
shingles causes the edges
of the shingles to crumble

Bundles placed up on the
roof in direct sun can
cause the shingles to stick

Cover the shingle bundles
on the roof, with a tarp.

If the shingles do get stuck
together, you can un-stick
them by first cooling them
in the shade.
After cooling, pick the bundle
of shingles to waist height
and drop them horizontally
onto a hard surface and
they will un-stick.
Some roofers drop them
off the roof unto the
ground below to un-stick
Check the weather report
and pick a few days
where you are free of rain.

Wear running shoes with
soft rubber soles to help
prevent shingle damage,
and foot slippage.

Use ropes to secure
yourself as you move
around the roof.
Do not tie off the end
of the ropes to moveable
objects, like the bumper
of parked

Use substantial stable
objects, like trees, iron
work, and secure fence
posts as anchors, or stays
securely fixed to the roof.

Start by stripping off the
old shingles on one side
of the roof.

Use a pitch fork or a flat
shovel to pry the shingles

Start working at one end of
the roof, work your way
across the roof, doing a
row at a time, place shingles
as you go, in piles of about
five shingles.

Be careful, as you work to
not back off the roof edge.

Each pile is carried to the
edge of the roof and thrown
into a trailer, bin below, or
dropped directly onto the

If you are throwing them
onto the ground, place a
large tarp on the ground.
Any nails and small pieces
will be easier to cleanup.

When you throw the shingles
off the roof, make sure the
shingles are clear of your
body as you swing them
away from the roof, lest
a nail in the old shingle
catch your clothing and try
to take you along with
the shingles.

Try to throw the old shingles
off the roof in an organized
fashion, this reduces the
size of the pile.

After every three or four rows,
clean off the roof with a push
The grit that comes loose
from the old shingles is like
a thousand tiny ball bearings
that can cause you to slip
and fall off the roof.

Pull up all the shingle nails
that are left in the boards;
they also can cause you
to trip.

When the roof is cleared off,
inspect the boards for missing
and loose nails, hammer in any
loose roof nails, and add nails
that are missing.

Drive in all the nails that have
popped up due to the shrinkage
of the boards over time.

Sweep the roof clean again!

On the bottom row, roll out
the heavy roofing (90 weight
felt) paper and nail/staple
into place.

Some people only place the
felt paper a row or two at
the edge while others like
to do the entire roof.

Most roofers use a heavier
paper on the first row and
then a lightweight paper
on the rest of the roof.
Measure and cut the felt
paper to length on the
ground, roll it up and carry
onto the roof.

Some roofing papers have
lines printed on them, and
if you paper the whole roof,
you then have guide lines
to help keep shingle in
straight lines.

If you do not use this type
of roofing paper, take
measurements and snap
caulk lines as needed.

There are new types of
roofing underlay available,
so check them out before

At the roof edge, place a
plastic or metal drip edge
over the felt paper, along
the entire length of the
roof edges, overhanging
the rain gutter about three
quarters of a inch.

Then nail into place.

The shingle hangs over
another 3/4 inch for a
total of 1 1/2 inch of over
hang, above the inside
gutter edge.

Use a chalk line to get
the drip edge perfectly

Working off the ladder

start your first row of
standard shingles, by placing
the shingle with the grit side
up and spun around so the
solid edge lines up with the
drip edge.

Extend the shingle 3/4 of
an inch past the edge of
the drip edge for a total
overlap of 1-1/2 inch.

Outer roof peak edges are
also extended 3/4 of an
inch past the roof edge.

Use a chalk line to get your
first row perfectly straight
as all the other rows
will follow.

To cut the shingle, turn it
over and score through
about halfway from the
underside with a utility

Use a 2 ft. framing square
to run the knife along.

Bend the shingle and snap
Do not cut the shingle
directly over in placed
new shingles, you could
cut through both shingles.

Do your cutting on a
piece of plywood or on
the roof, where there are
no shingles.

Secure each shingle into
place with four well placed
shingle nails (large round

Four nails should be placed
in each shingle, about an
inch above the shingle slots
and one near each end of
the shingle.

The next row of shingles
will cover the head of the
As you nail you also
double nail the shingle
below causing the
shingles to be more
wind proof.

Start the second row with
half a length of shingle,
place directly on top of the
first row with the
shingles spaced so that the
grooves of this row are
off set to the shingle below.

The first row will be two
shingles thick.

Nail in place with four nails
to a shingle.

Start the next row with a
full shingle.
Alternate the start of each
row with a full shingle
and then a half shingle.

The half shingles can either
be used to start a new row
or to finish a row.

If the roofing paper has
lines printed onto them;
use these lines as a guide
to keep the shingle lines
straight as you lay them.

With the first row complete,
start the second row by off
setting the grooves once

The bottom edge of the top
shingle should line up with
the top edge of the grooves
of the lower shingle.

Note there is a small tab
(short cut) on the bottom
edge of some shingle that
will help you get the proper
height of each shingle.

Complete the first side of
the roof.

When you need to cut
around irregular objects;
use tin snips.

When you remove the old
shingle around objects, pay
attention to the way the
shingles were laid down in
the first place, as this will
help when it comes time to
place the new ones.

Complete both sides of
the roof and finish by
capping the ridge.

To make shingles to cap
the ridge, cut each full
shingle into three equal
pieces at the groove of
the shingles.

When you cap the ridge,
take note of the direction
of the average direction of
the wind and start placing
the capping from the
opposite end of the roof
that the wind comes from,
and work across the roof
to the other side.

This will shed the rain better.

Basically just fold the single
shingle sections of the cut
shingle over the ridge.

Place two nails, one on
each side of the shingle
near the bottom and that
is all that is needed to hold
them in place.

Overlap by half shingle,
each of the following cut

Place the nails near the
bottom, so the next shingle
will cover the nail of the
previous roof cap.

Finish up the last shingle
with two exposed nails.

Cover the head of these
two nails with silicone to
prevent water from getting
under the nail head,
freezing and prying the
nails out.

When using fiber-glass
laminate shingles, most
roofers use regular
unlamented asphalt
shingles to cap a roof,
as they are more flexible
and easy to work with.

Square Footage

To get the sq. footage of
a roof, measure from the
bottom of the roof to the
ridge and length of one
side of the roof.
Multiple the height times
the length and multiple by
this figure by two.

On complex roofs, measure
the roof in sections, and
add the figures together.

It is good to have extra
bundles to cover for errors
and capping,

It is also good to have
some shingles left over
for replacement in case
of wind damage.

When it comes time to
replace some damaged
shingles, it may not be
possible to find the same
type of shingle, and color
at a later date.

Additional Shingling

Three bundles make up
a square, which covers
100 sq. ft.

Shingles last longer in cooler

Changes in temperature
over a short period of time
(thermal shock), causes
cracks and split to the

Proper attic ventilation
extends the life of the

Approximately 2-1/2 lbs of
roofing nails are used for
each bundle of shingles

1 to -1/1/4 inch nails in
length is standard.

If you are nailing manually,
the longer nail is best.
With the shorter shingle nail,
there is not enough space,
and your finger nail will
rub against the shingle
below each time you drive
in a nail, and this will wear
away your finger nail.
This becomes painful.


Place tarps on the ground,
below where
you are working to catch
nails and pieces of
shingles, for easy clean

Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is the length
of roof that raises in feet
vertically, over 12 feet
of horizontal distance.

To determine roof pitch
use a 2 ft. level, mark it
with a felt marker pen at
1 ft.
Place the level on the
high side of the roof
and raise the level until
the level bubble is
centered in the glass

Measure down vertically
at the 1 ft. mark to the
If the measurement is
4 inches, the pitch ratio
is 4:12.

Various Roof Pitches

Flat Roof ----- 2:12
Low Slope ---- 2.5:12 --- 4:12
Standard ----- 4.5:12 --- 9.5:12
Steep --------- Over 9.5:12

Shingle Information

20 year shingles ---- 69 lbs.
per bundle.
25 tear shingles ---- 77 lbs.
per bundle
30 year shingles --- 82 lbs.
per bundle

Nail Information

1 - 1/4 inch nails, approx.
250 per lb.
1 - 1/2 inch nails, approx.
200 per lb.
1 - 1/4 inch coil roofing
nails, approx. 7,200
per box.

Felt Paper

RM 447 30# weight,
58 ft. long, 44 inches wide

Ridge Capping

One shingle cut into three
sections, and over-lapped,
will cover approx. 18 inches.


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