Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material used for residential roofing. Roofing and reroofing with asphalt shingles are normally done by specialty roofing contractors, but if a homeowner wants to try it they need to be sure to do it accurately and with adequate safety measures.

Some tips to follow are:

  • Work left to right and bottom to top – You’ll notice that most professional contractors use this method when installing shingles.
  • Carefully flash the valleys and seams – Flashed open valleys may be more durable and water-resistant than blind alleys, in which the shingles overlap from one plane to the other and cover the valley.
  • Complete one shingle bundle before moving to the next – sometimes color can vary among shingles and if you use one bundle at a time you’ll have the same color shades together. If you want to make sure you have all the same colors make sure you check to make sure it has the same manufacturing lot numbers.
  • Check the deck – roofing installation depends on a solid, firm deck of plywood sheathing or OSB (oriented strand board).
  • Use full tabs at valleys or rake edges – this can eliminate nailing too close to the centerline.
  • Attach ridge cap shingles correctly – Make sure each cap shingle is attached with two nails, one on each side of the peak. Usually, a 13/4 to two-inch-long nails are used on the ridge.
  • Use proper nails and nailing technique – The preferred attachment nails are galvanized steel or corrosion-resistant roofing nails. You should use a minimum of 4 nails per shingle.
  • Store shingles properly – keep covered or in a garage to protect them from the weather before applying them to your roof.
  • Double layers of roofing – Sometimes you can lay a second layer of roofing on if the old roofing is leaking or bad. You should check that it’s okay to do it before doing it. And never go more than two layers thick.
  • Use ice and water membrane where appropriate – It is a good idea to use this to line valleys and the first few feet of the roof deck along eaves.
  • High wind considerations – In areas where high winds are likely, it is a good idea to use shingles with a reinforced nailing strip area.

Before trying to install a new roof, you should make sure that you have all of the safety measures in place and that you do all the research needed. If you have any questions or worries about it, then it’s always better to hire a professional contractor. It’s not going to save you money if you end up getting hurt or do it wrong and have to have it replaced again shortly after it’s installed.