install Asphalt Shingles

How to Install Asphalt Shingles

The difference in how you install (replace) a roof in the present compared to the past is like night and day. Thanks to a gazillion “how-to” blogs and instructional videos on YouTube, anyone with the confidence, tools, and the right physical condition can do it.

But here’s the thing: installing a roof is still not a project you should undertake if you’re not confident in your DIY skills. It’s a physically demanding job that requires safety precautions, including working from heights. One misstep could mean serious injury.

So, while we won’t try to dissuade you from taking on the challenge as we’re advocates of DIY, we’ll provide you with valuable tips before you start swinging those hammers.

Step 1 – Focus on safety above all things

The inexperienced homeowner is more likely to fall off the roof while attempting to install asphalt shingles than a qualified roofer. The difference between the former and the latter is that the roofer has presumably been properly trained and knows how to work on a roof safely.

That’s not to say that you can’t install asphalt shingles – you absolutely can, but be sure to take all necessary precautions, including using a ladder or scaffold when working from height, wearing a hard hat, and using safety ropes.

Pro Tip: Not many DIYers realize the value of wearing the right shoes when working on a roof. Many roofing accidents occur because people are wearing the wrong type of footwear, which can cause them to slip and fall. When installing asphalt shingles, wear shoes with soft rubber soles and good tread. That’ll help you maintain traction on the roof and prevent slips and falls.

Step 2 – Study how sloped roofing systems work

It’s not all about you getting up there and hammering away. You need to understand the roofing system you’re working with to install the asphalt shingles properly.

Asphalt shingles are most commonly used on pitched roofs with a sloped surface. The slope of the roof is necessary so that water can run off the roof and away from the building. If you’re not sure how to determine the slope of your roof, there are a few ways to do it. You can use a level to find the pitch of the roof or, if you have access to the attic, measure the rise and run of the roof rafters.

Once you’ve determined the slope of your roof, you need to purchase asphalt shingles designed for that slope. Asphalt shingles come in various grades, each of which is designed for a specific sloped roof.

Pro Tip: If you install asphalt shingles that aren’t designed for the slope of your roof, they won’t perform as well and may even come loose and fall off. So, be sure to purchase the right shingles for your roof.

Step 3 – Gather your tools and materials

You’ll need a few essential tools to install asphalt shingles, including a chalk line, utility knife, hammer, pry bar, and nails. In terms of materials, you’ll need asphalt shingles and felt and cement designed for roofs.

Pro Tip: Be sure to use galvanized or stainless-steel nails when installing asphalt shingles as they won’t rust like regular nails.

Step 4 – Prepare the roof surface

Before installing the newly purchased asphalt shingles, you need to prepare the roof surface. This means getting rid of any existing roofing material and making sure the roof is clean and debris-free. If you’re replacing an existing roof, you’ll need to remove all of the old shingles and the felt paper and any nails left behind. Once that’s done, you can sweep or blow off the roof surface to remove any small debris.

Pro Tip: Be sure to inspect the roof deck for any signs of damage, such as rot or water damage. Any damage must be fixed before proceeding with the installation of the new shingles.

Step 5 – Begin working from the bottom up

Once the roof surface is prepared, you now begin with the drip edge. It’s important to work from the bottom up so that water runs off the shingles and doesn’t seep underneath.

The drip edge serves as the first line of defence against water infiltration and should be installed at the roof’s eaves. It’s a metal or vinyl strip placed along the edge of the roof, extending over the gutter.

Pro Tip: The drip edge should overhang the gutter by at least an inch.

Step 6 – Install the felt paper

The next step is to install the felt paper. Felt paper is a water-resistant material placed between the roof deck and the asphalt shingles. It helps protect the roof deck from moisture and extends the life of the shingles.

You only need to nail the felt paper down with galvanized or stainless-steel nails to install the felt paper. Be sure to overlap each row of felt paper by at least two inches.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to install a strip of felt paper along the rake edge, the edge of the roof extending over the gutter.

Step 7 – Install an ice and water protector

If you live in a region with harsh winter, installing an ice and water protector is a good idea. An ice and water protector are a synthetic underlayment that helps prevent ice dams and water damage.

The ice and water protector should be installed before the final row of shingles. This will help keep your roof protected from the elements.

Pro Tip: Consult with a professional roofer to see if an ice and water protector is necessary for your region.

Step 8 – Add the roof underlayment

Before installing the roofing cement, you’ll need to install the roof underlayment. The roof underlayment is a layer of asphalt-saturated felt that helps keep the roof deck dry. If your area isn’t prone to harsh winter, you’re better off starting the underlayment at the eave rather than the whole length of the roof.

Installing the underlayment is a simple process. Just unroll it and nail it in place. As in the previous step, you need to overlap each piece by two inches.

Pro Tip: You must also use galvanized or stainless-steel nails to avoid premature rusting when installing the roof underlayment.

Step 9 – Cover the joints and valleys

Some areas or components of the roof need flashing, the purpose of which is to divert water and moisture. The flashing needs to be covered in roofing cement to create a waterproof seal.

The flashing is found at the joints and valleys of the roof. The joints are where two pieces of the roof meet, while the intersection of two sloping roofs forms the valleys.

Simply cut it to size and nail it in place to install the flashing. Then, apply a generous amount of roofing cement over the seams and allow them to dry.

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure how to install the flashing, consult with a professional roofer. You can’t “redo” this step, so it’s better to learn everything about it before proceeding.

Step 10 – It’s time to shingle

Starting at the bottom of the roof, install the first row of shingles. Align the shingles and nail them in place. Be sure to stagger the joints of the shingles as you install them. This will help keep water from seeping underneath the shingles.

Pro Tip: It’s good to use a chalk line to help you keep the first row of shingles straight.

Step 11 – Proceed with the installation of the rest of the shingles.

Once you’ve installed the first row of shingles, continue working your way up the roof, installing one row at a time. Like the previous step, don’t forget to stagger the joints of each row of shingles and use a chalk line to keep the rows straight.

Pro Tip: Use a utility knife to trim any shingles that hang over the roof’s edge.

Step 12 – Don’t forget the hip and ridge caps

If your roof has a hip or ridge, you’ll need to install hip and ridge caps. The hip and ridge caps are pieces of metal or asphalt that cap off the hips and ridges of the roof.

Installing the hip and ridge caps is a simple process. Just measure the length and width of each hip and ridge, then cut the caps to size. Once you’ve cut the caps to size, nail them in place.

Pro Tip: It’s best to use longer nails for ridge cap shingles for them to penetrate the roof deck.

At this point, you already have a clearer picture of how to set up and install asphalt shingles. That’ll help you acknowledge the cost as you purchase the necessary materials for the project and the intricacies that often go into roofing. There’s no shame in consulting a professional if you don’t feel confident.

best roofing material

What to Do If You Can’t Afford a New Roof

Nothing lasts forever – not even the most expensive roofing material. Regardless of what your roof is made of, it’ll eventually age or give in to severe damage caused by extreme weather or another fortuitous event.

When that happens, you’re left with no choice but to have it replaced. But like many property owners before you, the problem is not having the money to afford a new roof. You’re in a mess, left in a corner with no solution in sight.

If you can’t afford a new roof, know that there are other options to consider. It’s not like you sit idle and wait for nothing. Keep reading this article and learn about the potential ways to smartly solve your predicament.

Do You Actually Need a New Roof?

Some property owners are overwhelmed by the prospect of replacing a roof.  They and you are right: The cost associated with it is a big deal. But before you stress yourself out, think about the possibility of having it repaired instead.

Just because a local roofer told you that you need a new roof doesn’t mean that he’s accurate or telling the truth. Talk to other roofing contractors and tell them about your situation. Some roofers can salvage a roof for less money than it’ll cost to replace the structure.

Some old and severely damaged roofs can be remedied with the necessary repairs and the best roofing material. That will last you for at least a year. That should be enough time to save money for the inevitable replacement. Instead of relying on the sole assessment, you must get at least three independent assessments and repair estimates to fix your roof.

Property owners spend an average of $900 for roof repair, although minor fixes typically cost around $200. If you’re facing a major roof repair project, you’ll have to shell out at least $500 and upwards to $1500.

As much as you want to replace your severely damaged or aged roof, you may have to contact a roofing professional first to inspect the structure. Roof repair costs less than a total roof replacement, but even that is a hard pill to swallow when you’re low on funds.

Financing Options that Include Best Roofing Materials

If you can’t afford to pay cash for roof repairs, there’s a handful of financing options available to ease your burden. Use your credit card to get the repairs done and have enough time to pay off the charges.

If you’re uneasy about the credit card option, getting a personal loan is the next best thing. It gives you the option to pay on a monthly scheme while the needed repairs are addressed right away. Keep in mind that this is a short-term investment for your property, so please be sure to use the best roofing material. Use money wisely.

Improvement and Renovation Grants with Best Roofing Material

Applying for a home improvement or renovation grant is a popular option for roof repairs. They’re available from the local and national governments, and they usually include the best roofing material.

In North America, these home improvement or renovation grants are meant to provide financial assistance to property owners who can’t afford to have their homes fixed after weather devastation or natural disaster.

Another type of grant focuses on low-income homeowners who need help in improving their houses. Home improvement and renovation grants are meant to give property owners relief as they come with low-interest rates compared to standard loans.

Consider DIY

If you have tried roof work before, then you should explore fixing the structure one more time. On the other hand, DIY roofing projects are only meant for minor repairs. Unless you’re a roofing professional, you’ll have to tap the services of a licensed contractor for major repairs and replacements. But because you’re short on cash, there’s nothing wrong in pondering a DIY solution.

Refinance the Property

Refinancing your home make sense, too. Home improvement loans include refinancing the property, where there’s an explicit set of guidelines to be followed. In most scenarios, the loan is exclusively intended for the needed repairs and cannot be used for other purposes. Since the roof is part of the property, this option is viable for major roof repair jobs.

See to it that you talk to a financial expert before taking this path. You need professional advice since refinancing your home is a long-term responsibility that affects you and your family’s future. Aside from getting a reasonable interest rate and favourable loan term, the financial expert helps you understand the legal consequences in the failure to pay the loan.

Why Not Save Some Cash?

Investing in a new roof is out of the question, but with the help of a professional roof inspector, you could wait it out for several months to afford a repair project.

Call a local roofer to examine the structure. If the inspection report says that you can live with the damage for a year or so, you can go through your budget and save the necessary funds for a major repair. There’s always the option of cutting costs on stuff like food, vacations, and entertainment.

Instead of getting a loan and paying for the interest rates, you’ll save cash and end up fixing your roof with no long-term financial responsibilities to cover.

Home Renovations and Insurance in Vancouver

Home Renovations and Insurances in Vancouver

Getting tailored-made home renovations and insurances in Vancouver is possible if you contact professionals. Design a insurance policy with added features just for you.
Any insurance professional will tell you that having insurance does not provide protection against everything during a renovation. However, while accidents can happen, a person’s disaster preparedness will affect outcomes at least as much as their insurance policies.
Now, is it possible to be ready for home renovations, and having bullet-proof insurances in Vancouver? Sure it is! Of course, the first thing you need to do is activating your accident barometer, and tweak over it.

Alarm System Monitoring

For many years, companies have offered discounts for alarm systems, but not all alarm systems are the same. In order to qualify for this home renovation discount on your insurance policy, your alarm system must be centrally monitored by an approved company

Fire Monitoring System

Smoke and CO2 dioxide alarms are an inexpensive investment even if there were no insurance discounts associated with them. Luckily, there is sometimes an insurance reward, but for just a few dollars per unit, don’t skimp out on these lifesaving devices.
If it’s centrally monitored, meaning that if you’re out of town and the fire alarm goes off, a third party company can send a fire truck to help, you can expect to receive a better discount on your home insurance quotes.

Home Renovations To Your Plumbing System

Houses built in the 1970s and 1980s may still be using lead piping. This type of plumbing is susceptible to increased corrosion and can crack under extreme temperatures and can be hazardous to your health. It is highly recommended to substitute these with more modern copper supply lines and updated drains.
This would positively impact both your health and your insurance premiums.

Home Renovations To Your Electrical Wiring

If your house still has aluminum or knob and tube wiring, you should look at upgrading it to modern copper wiring. If you don’t, you might have to get your policy from high-risk insurance providers. Some companies may offer you coverage, but they will likely require an inspection through a certified electrician.
A lot of old wiring resulted in fires, upgrading to the new, safer standards will reduce the chance of a fire destroying your valuables and save you money on your home insurance premium.

Use Seismic Technology

British Columbia home insurance quotes are significantly higher than in other provinces since they are prone to earthquakes as we are located in a seismically unstable region.
Almost all homes are seismically resistant these days, but if you have a newly built house with updated seismic technology often you are rewarded with extra discounts. You might want to consider adding extra earthquake insurance to your home insurance policy if you haven’t already.

Home Renovations To Your Roof

It costs more to insure homes with older roofs and some providers may not offer you coverage at all if your roof is too old. Water damage to the inside of your home and costly repairs to your roof are claims an insurer wants to avoid and they will charge you extra for an old roof. Investing in a new roof will reduce your home insurance premium.
Also, know that home insurance is not a maintenance plan. If there is damage to your roof you’re ignoring, your claim may be denied altogether.  If you can afford it, opt for more than asphalt shingles and look for something that may cost more, but has a much longer life.
A lot of things can happen during a home renovation – your contractor falls off the ladder while fixing your roof, a hammer goes through your window, or a subcontractor is injured on your property. Despite all precautions, if there’s an accident on your property that leads to a liability issue, you, as the homeowner, can be in trouble.

Home Renovations and Insurances in Vancouver: The Rules

The general rule is that owners are not vicariously liable for the wrongful act of their independent contractors. But, there are a number of exceptions to this general rule. You should be aware of them for these reasons:
First, a fully awared homeowner understands the nature and extent of liability risk. Like this, they mitigate risk through carefully drafted contract documents or assign the risk to a third-party insurer.
Second, having an accurate understanding of the liability risks helps to assessing the feasibility of the project.
Finally, being fully aware of the potential liability for the acts of independent contractors may inform the choice of contractor. The owner may decide to choose a more competent and reliable contractor, rather than the one with the lowest price.
The time to find out risk and liability is before an accident happens:

Step 1:

Check the personal liability section of your homeowner’s policy. Talk to your insurance agent before beginning a renovation project. Like this, you can update your policy and extend coverage to the new space, if needed.
You may also want to ask your agent about whether you may benefit from an add-on protection called theft of building supply coverage, which may protect the construction materials while your project is in the works.

Step 2:

Check your contractor’s liability insurance. Do the same with the worker’s compensation (WCB) insurance, and ask your contractor to provide you with a policy certificate before you begin the project.
If a contractor is unwilling to verify his coverage, consider hiring someone else. This applies to subcontractors as well.

Step 3:

Minimize risks – remove fallen branches, wet leaves, and kids’ toys from your driveway before the workers even show up.

Conclusion

We hope these tips help you with home insurance and renovations. Although home renovations and insurances can be time-consuming or annoying, they provide a extended lifespan of your property.
If you’d like to have someone come out and inspect your roof for you, give the experts at Cambie Roofing a call. We’ll let you know how your roof weathered this winter, and fix any issues. For more information, or to request a free repair estimate.