(954) 846-7663
roofer working on shingling a new roof
roofer working on shingling a new roof

How to Shingle a Roof (Explained in 6 Steps)

Shingling a roof may seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it can be a rewarding DIY project for homeowners. Whether you’re replacing old shingles or installing a new roof, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and help you achieve professional-looking results.

Inside this blog:

  • 6 actionable steps to shingle your home’s roof like a pro
  • Tips under each step to ensure a successful shingle installation

Keep reading to learn how to shingle a roof like the pros in true DIY fashion!

Step 1: Prepare Your Roof

roofer working on installing a new roof

Before you begin installing roof shingles, it’s essential to prepare your roof surface properly:

  • Clean the Roof: Remove any debris, dirt, or old shingles from the roof surface using a broom or leaf blower. A clean surface ensures proper adhesion and a smooth installation.
  • Inspect for Damage: Check for any damaged or rotten areas on the roof deck and repair them as needed. It’s crucial to start with a sound and stable substrate for your new shingles.

Step 2: Install Underlayment

The underlayment is a crucial layer that provides an extra barrier against moisture and helps protect your roofing materials from leaks. Follow these steps to install the underlayment:

  • Roll Out the Underlayment: Start at the bottom edge of the roof and roll out the underlayment horizontally, overlapping each row by a few inches.
  • Secure the Underlayment: Use roofing nails or staples to secure the underlayment to the roof deck, making sure it lays flat and smooth.

Step 3: Begin Shingling

Now it’s time to install roof shingles:

Start at the Bottom

When you start installing shingles, it’s crucial to kick things off on the right foot – or rather, the bottom edge of your roof. Starting at the bottom and working your way up is more than just a procedural step; it’s a fundamental aspect of ensuring the structural integrity and water-tightness of your roof. By commencing at the bottom edge, you establish a solid foundation upon which each subsequent row of shingles will be laid.

Use Roofing Cement

Roofing cement is an adhesive substance that serves as the glue that holds your shingles in place.

When applying roofing cement, it’s not just about sticking shingles to the roof surface; it’s about safeguarding your home against strong winds and ensuring the long-term stability of your roof. By applying roofing cement under the first row of shingles, you create a secure bond that prevents them from shifting or lifting, even in the face of strong winds or inclement weather.

roofer using a nail gun to install shingles

Step 4: Nail Down the Shingles

Secure each shingle with roofing nails, following these guidelines:

  • Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for nail placement and spacing. Typically, nails should be placed near the top edge of the shingle, just below the tar strip, to prevent exposure to the elements.
  • Avoid Overdriving: Be careful not to overdrive the nails, as this can damage the shingles and compromise their integrity.

Step 5: Cut and Trim

You may need to cut and trim shingles to fit around corners, vents, or other obstacles on your roof:

  • Use a Utility Knife: Carefully cut the shingles to the desired size and shape, ensuring a snug fit.
  • Stagger the Joints: As you install each row of shingles, stagger the joints to provide better stability and improve the overall appearance of your roof.

Step 6: Seal and Inspect

Once all the shingles are in place, it’s time to seal and inspect your work:

hammer laying on asphalt shingles

Seal Exposed Nail Heads

It’s essential to pay attention to the small details when shingling your roof, and one crucial step is sealing any exposed nail heads. These tiny metal protrusions can create potential entry points for water if left unprotected. To prevent leaks and ensure the long-term integrity of your roof, go back after nailing down your shingles and carefully inspect for any exposed nail heads.

  • Using roofing tar or cement, apply a small amount to each nail head, effectively sealing it against moisture intrusion.
  • This extra layer of protection adds an additional safeguard against water penetration, helping to prolong the lifespan of your roof and maintain its structural integrity for years to come.
  • Taking the time to seal exposed nail heads may seem like a small task, but it can make a significant difference in the overall performance and longevity of your roof, providing you with peace of mind and protection against costly repairs down the road.

Inspect Your Work

Once you’ve completed the shingling process, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough inspection of your work to ensure everything is in order. Even the best shingling job can have its flaws, so taking the time to inspect your roof can help catch any potential issues before they turn into bigger headaches, like a roof replacement in the furture. Start by visually examining the entire surface of your roof, paying close attention to areas where shingles overlap, roof edges, and roof penetrations such as vents and chimneys.

  • Look for any signs of missed spots, loose shingles, or damaged areas that may compromise the integrity of your roof.
  • If you notice any issues, such as lifted shingles or exposed nail heads, make the necessary touch-ups or repairs to address them promptly.
  • Additionally, check the attic or crawlspace below your roof for any signs of water infiltration, such as damp spots or water stains on the ceiling.

By conducting a thorough inspection of your roof, you can identify and resolve any potential problems early on, ensuring that your roof remains watertight and secure for years to come.

⚒️ Shingle Your Roof Like a Real Pro

Shingling a roof is a significant undertaking, but with the right tools, materials, and knowledge, it’s a task that many homeowners can tackle themselves. By following these six steps and taking your time to do the job right, you can achieve professional-quality results and enjoy a durable and attractive roof that protects your home for years to come.

Contact our expert team of roofing contractors at Distinctive Roofing to get a customer-focused experience for your next project. Our team is passionate about crafting roofs that our customers can depend on for years to come. So to get to know the Distinctive difference, get in touch with us today and we’ll answer any questions you have about the roof that protects your home!

Share This Article

Facebook Icon Linkedin Icon

Protecting Your biggest Investment The Distinctive Way

Get Started