A Quick Look at How Asphalt Shingle Roof Installations Are Done

Summer is a good time to have your new asphalt shingle roof installed because the days are long and the weather is good. However, roofers can be busy during the summer, so you'll want to get your supplies ordered and schedule the installation date as soon as you can. Here's a quick look at how asphalt shingle roof installations are done so you can better understand the process.

Start with a Bare Deck

Removing the old shingles and underlayment is the first step. This allows the roofer to check the plywood deck for signs of moisture damage. If the deck is still good, underlayment (which is waterproof sheeting) is attached to the roof. It's common to use self-adhering underlayment so nails can be avoided. Once the underlayment is in place, the new shingles can be added.

Shingles Are Attached with Nails and Adhesive

Asphalt shingle roof installations usually begin at the bottom left and the contractor works from the bottom up to the top of your roof. Asphalt shingles come with a strip of adhesive attached to the back. When the roofer installs an individual shingle, they drive a few nails in the top portion of the shingle that will be covered by the shingles that are applied above.

The nails will probably be driven in with a nail gun, and they need to be driven to the proper depth so they don't damage the shingles and so they are deep enough that they won't let rain drip in around them. It's also important to use roofing nails on shingles. These nails have larger heads so the heads won't harm the shingles or underlayment when the nails are applied properly.

The number of nails required may be determined by the shingle manufacturer or by local building codes. When your roof is inspected after installation, the code office checks to make sure the right number of nails were used. When installing a row of shingles, the roofer makes sure the rows are staggered so the seams don't line up exactly. This improves the appearance of your roof while helping prevent roof leaks.

The adhesive strip on the back of the shingles will gradually warm up and bond to the roof when it's exposed to the sun. This is one reason shingles aren't usually installed in very cold weather. The adhesive may not bond well when the weather is too cold.

Asphalt shingle roof installations usually go fast when a small crew applies the shingles with a nail gun. You might have your new roof in just a few days if the roofer finds no problems on your roof and there are no weather delays.