Replace old roof shingles

Replace old roof shingles

Asphalt shingles are commonly used on sheds and outbuildings, as well as house roofs. They are inexpensive, light and easy to handle. Laying shingles is a task that an experienced DIYer can take on; alternatively, we’d be happy to quote for the work.

If you choose to lay shingles yourself, remember that the roofing work is only half of the story. Make sure you’re dressed for the weather, and use a good quality clothing. Never do roofing work in poor weather and steer clear of any cables, wires or pipes. Finally, be sure to wear suitable shoes.

What You Will Need

There are two methods that are commonly used to lay shingles: staggering (or laddering), and stair-stepping.

Staggered shingles are fitted in a vertical line, which makes the job faster and more efficient, as there’s less need to move the stack of shingles or cross the roof horizontally. Stair-stepping involves fitting the shingles in rows, horizontally, which is slower. Manufacturers often recommend that you do not stagger shingles because the result is less watertight, but there are pros and cons to both methods.

Also, when you buy your shingles, always over-estimate the amount you need for the job so that you have plenty of spares in the same packs. This helps you to avoid ending up with two different batches of shingles, which can result in different colour variations as you work across the roof.

You’ll also need plenty of roofing nails, plus a chalk line, cement and felt. You may also need vent pipe boots and flashing. Also, if you’re removing old shingles, you’ll need a claw hammer to pull the nails out, and a knife to free up stubborn nails that are too deeply embedded to grab.

Shingle Techniques

Fit your roof on a dry day and start as early as you can, to avoid leaving an unfinished roof overnight. Install a starter strip that will act as a backing layer for your first row of shingles. Start at the corner of the roof, and work diagonally up the roof, and across.

Make sure that any notches in the shingles are completely hidden by the shingle on top, to ensure they are completely watertight. Pin the first shingle with four nails, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Placement is also important, since placing the shingle too high or too low will allow water to seep through. Refer to the instructions to figure out the ideal tolerances.

Professional Help

Like any roofing technique, laying shingles requires a certain amount of competency in DIY, as well as experience working at height and good quality equipment. There are always risks involved in any roofing project, which is why we recommend you hire the professionals where possible.

When you’re in need of advice, or a hassle-free quote, get in touch with South Thames Roofing. We can provide a brand new shingle roof without any of the risks of the self-install option, and we cover the majority of the south east of England.