Roof shingles can easily be dislodged by heavy winds and stormy conditions, and losing a few shingles might not sound like much of a problem, yet it can result in water entering the internal structure of the roof, which can cause serious damage to the rafters and joists, not to mention the brickwork and plaster. If you are about to replace a few shingles on your roof, here are some useful tips to help ensure a good installation.
- Start Bottom Left – If you are installing shingles on a single elevation start at the very bottom left, working right and up, which is the best way to install shingles. There are slate roofing experts based in Sydney who will confirm this, and if you watch a team at work, you will have one installing shingles on the eaves, while another starts at the left side of the bottom row.
- Careful Flashing – The flashing is very often the cause of a leak, as it covers a seam or joins, where water tends to gather. If you are using lead, make sure that it is hammered into place well. For asphalt shingles, aluminium is recommended for flashing, while lead or aluminium can be used with slate. Installing flashing can be a bit challenging, and it might be better to call in a roofing contractor, who can be found with an online search.
- Finish One Shingle Bundle Before Using a New One – There could be slight colour differences in bundles of shingles, and by using them one at a time, you are eliminating the risk of having a two-tone roof. In the event you have trouble sourcing shingles of the same colour, your local roofing contractor would likely be able to find some identical shingles. There are great articles on how to install asphalt roof shingles, complete with step by step pictures.
- Use the Correct Nails – Special nails are required when installing shingles, which should be made from galvanised steel that is corrosion resistant. If you are hiring a local roofing contractor to install roof shingles, make sure they are using the correct type of nails. If you are not comfortable working at height, call in a local roofing contractor who can carry out the installation for a reasonable price.
- Correct Nailing Technique – You should use at least four nails per shingle, and 6 will ensure a firm hold, while the nailing line should be just below the sealant line, and not above it. It is important to hammer the fasteners straight into the timber, rather than at an angle, as knocking the nails in at an angle can rupture the sealant.
Of course, one must be comfortable working at heights, and with a little knowledge and the right equipment, installing roof shingles is not beyond the average person. Should you wish to ask a local company to quote, a simple Google search will put you in touch with a local roofer. Most people are fine with replacing the odd shingle, however, a roof restoration would require professional help.
The Internet is a great source of information, and if you would like to watch a few tutorials on how to install roof shingles, all it takes is an online search.