Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Roofing Questions

We get a lot of roofing questions so I wanted to answer some here.

1) Should I use nails or roofing staples to install shingles?

That is up to you. We prefer nails and they are the industry standard. You can rent a nail gun for $20 a day if you have a compressor. Nails are also much easier to remove when it comes time to replace the roof.

2) How many layers of shingles can I have on my roof?

You can install one additional layer of new shingles over your old one if your local code permits. What you have to keep in mind is the top layer will be floating over the bottom and will be more prone to hail damage and high winds as a result. Make sure you use longer 1.5″ nails or more.

3) How much do I run my past the roof edge with my singles? We recommend 3/4″ past the drip edge of your roof. We usually use the first joint of our index or middle finger as a  reference sliding the shingle in place up to that joint while touching the drip edge.

4) Do I really need tar paper on my roof?

Absolutely, tar paper is the last stop gap against driving rains that will cause leaks. We recommend the heavier 30lb felt version since it is less likely to tear. You will only end up spending an extra $50-$100 a job.

5) Can I use different nails to install shingles?

No. Large heads on roofing nails are designed to hold the shingles into place. If you have hard winds you will be glad those large heads are there holding everything down.

6) How long should my roofing nails be?

For a new or newly striped down install you want a nail that is long enough to go though the shingle, tar paper and wood decking. We recommend 1″  to 1.5″for that purpose. If you are installing part of your roof on an area where you can see the nails protruding on the other side then go shorter to make sure they aren’t visible. Of course if you are using a roofing gun, then get what ever is in that range.

7) Is there a special hammer I need?

There are roofing hammers, and we recommend them. But, they are not necessary. They do have a larger head for hitting and an axe on back which is great for cutting shingles.