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How to Replace Asphalt Shingles on Your Home

by Valerie Muscat on Oct 28, 2018

Replacing a roof is one of the biggest projects to do as a homeowner. It is a large undertaking and it is recommended that you hire a professional roofing contractor for the installation. If you decide to do it on your own, here are the steps that you will take to accomplish the job.

Get the Needed Tools

If you don’t have the proper tools, you will have a difficult time redoing your roof. You will need the following tools for your project.

  • Hammer
  • Shingle Remover
  • Tool Belt
  • Safety Harness
  • Coil Nail Gun
  • Air compressor and Hose
  • Utility Knife and Blades
  • Work Gloves
  • Knee Pads

You will also need the following materials:

  • Shingles
  • Rolled Underlayment
  • Ice & Water Shield
  • Coil Nails
  • Edge Metal, Pipe Flashings, Step Flashings

Once you have the necessary tools and supplies you will be ready for the next part of your job.

*Pro Tip: You may want to consider buying materials from a roofing supply store. They will usually offer delivery options and they will load the materials on your roof which will save you substantial labor. It will cost a more but it’s well worth it.

Verify Your State or Regional Codes

Before you start the project, you will want to understand what the state requirements are for your type of roof. This may differ depending on where you live so check with local inspectors or state officials. If the roof is only one layer, you should be ok to do an overlay. This means that you won’t have to remove the existing shingles but you’ll be able to go over the existing roof with the new shingles. In this case, you won’t have to buy any underlayment.

Remove Existing Layers

If you have two layers or more on the roof, you’ll have to remove the existing layers, pipe flashings, edge metal, and any other flashings on the roof. It’s also a good idea to remove any vents as well and replace them depending on the type. You will use the shingle remover to get under the shingles and remove them from the surface of the roof. You will want to remove all the paper and ice and water shield below to leave you with a nice clean surface.

The shingle remover you buy should have teeth that you can use to get under the nails and remove them. You will need to either remove all of the nails or pound them into the roof so you have a smooth surface. It is preferable to remove the existing nails before installing new materials. Also, you will most likely need to rent a large dumpster to dispose of the old roofing materials.

Install Base Layers

Once the shingles, nails, and old flashings are removed, you are ready to install the ice and water shield and rolled underlayment. You will put the ice and water shield on the bottom edge of the roof and in the valleys. It isn’t necessary to cover the entire roof. Again, check out with the local or state requirements to find out how many rows you need. This is an adhesive material so be careful when you apply it. Bring the bottom edge to the edge of the roof and stick it down to the roof deck. After you can put in some plastic capped nails to secure it.

Continue up the roof with the normal roof underlayment. You need the upper layer to overlap the row below by about four inches. Some brands of roofing paper have a line that indicates how far you should come. You’ll finish at the top with a piece that covers the ridge of the roof and paper below.

You will next install metal flashings or drip edge around the outer edge. It is required on the bottom edges but it’s not a bad idea to do all of the eves of the roof. Check with your state’s requirements. The metal should overlap by a few inches at least and have the higher pieces overlap the lower pieces of flashing. You always want higher pieces of roofing material to cover the lower pieces so water doesn’t flow under anything.

Install Shingles

Once the underlayment is installed, you’re ready for your shingles. You will start on the lower edges of the roof and move your way up. Shingles need to be offset by at least 4-6 inches and should look like a staircase as you go. The shingles have a line in the middle that you will align with the shingles above. You should put six nails in the black tar strip of each shingle. Here is a video that diagrams how to install your asphalt shingles.

Conclusion

A roofing project is a great way to enhance the look of your home and protect it for years to come. It is recommended to have a roofing contractor perform the labor, but if you are trying to save money, you may want to do the removal on your own and hire a professional roofer for the installation. Pricing on roofing projects will vary dramatically depending on the type of shingles you select and the size and pitch of your roof, and you will probably be spending several thousands of dollars. You may want to find a contractor who offers financing to help you pay for your project. Having a professional doing it will save you time and hassle, and it will give you peace of mind.

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