For years the only way to start a roofing job was to buy some cheap 3 tab roofing shingles, cut off the tabs, and lay the strip as the starter course. This was time consuming and wasteful. As with most corners of the market, someone who had to do this everyday for their living decided to create something better. The answer is the starter shingle course roll (made by Corning). This product speeds installation so much that I can’t believe I ever worked without it. The steps to installing a composition roof are outlined below and the inclusion of the starter shingle roll is a welcome addition in my books.
1. Prepare the deck. Be sure to have all nails set well with the heads flush to the surface of the roof decking. Joints of plywood or OSB should be spaced 1/8″ to allow for minimal expansion without popping joints.
2. Install metal drip edge around the base of the roof line eaves. Extend the drip edge slightly past the side of the roof (rake) to insure water does not drip in behind the metal at the corners.
3. Lay roofing felt from the bottom up. Start at the bottom of the roof and lay the felt across the roof in full runs. Overlap any breaks in the horizontal run by at least two feet. Use a hammer tacker (stapler) to attach the paper to the roof deck. Use only as many staples as needed as each hole is a hole in your waterproofing membrane.
4. Attach metal drip edge to the side rakes over the top of the roofing felt. Extend the drip edge over and beyond the eave drip edge to insure proper drainage.
5. Use roof paper nails on roofing felt that will be exposed for more than a couple days to help hold it in place against winds.
6. Apply the self adhesive starter shingle roll material to the eave of the roof.
7. Apply the self adhesive starter shingle roll material to the rakes of the roof and overlap the material placed at the bottom. Be sure to install the material in items 6 and 7 straight (use a chalk line) because it will be seen from the ground. Overhang the material just slightly per manufacturer recommendations.
8. Attach the first course of shingles in a full piece. Directly above the first piece, attach a second piece with the desired overlap. The second piece will be cut per manufacturer’s recommendations to create the desired offset. Continue to the ridge in the same manner being sure that no two joints line up in the roofing material.
9. Install any roof penetrations and flash them properly with adhesive flashing and roofing shingles.
10. Install a ridge cap and/or ridge vent per manufacturer’s instructions.
11. Have a topping out party! Your roof is on, time to relax a bit!