How To Install Fiberglass Shingles

Repairing roof

Just about every homeowner will have to replace or repair his roof. The life expectancy of your roof is going to depend on where you live and the weather conditions in your area. Most city building codes will only allow you to have 3 layers of shingles on your roof, meaning that when it comes time to do a fourth layer you will need a complete tear off before installing new shingles. Fiberglass shingles are basically asphalt shingling with fiberglass matting. They are easier to install than the old style and are coated to extend the life of the shingle.

  • The first step when installing fiberglass shingles is to inspect your roof. Check for any damaged sheathing, such as warping, gaps, or splitting. Repair or replace any sheathing that needs to fixed.
  • Inspect any metal edge drips, or install them if you don't have them already.
  • Next, if your home does not have a ridge vent, now is the time to install it. Adding a ridge vent will help with ventilation which is important for keeping cooling costs down, and to extend the life of your shingles.
  • Before you shingle, you will want to lay out the 15-30 pound roofing felt. Roofing felt will act as a waterproof barrier, protecting your sheathing and shingles.
  • You want your roof to be completely clean of any debris prior to rolling the felt. Starting at the lower edge and corner of your roof, lay the felt over the top of the metal edge drip, stapling the felt as you roll it across the roof.  For the next layer, place these shingles 4 inches over the first layer, and roll out the felt in the same manner as the first row. Secure the felt with a staple gun.
  • For the fiberglass shingle installation, you are going to install the first row of shingles upside down. Place one shingle upside down with the flat edge hanging over the bottom of the roof approximately one inch, and secure in place with roofing nails. This row of shingles is called a starter strip.
  • Next you will need to snap chalk lines across the roof to ensure you will have a straight line to follow as a guide. The first chalk line will be made horizontally, across your starter strip of shingles.
  • Once the first row of shingles are secured in place, you are to snap a vertical line from the bottom of the roof to the top, this will mark the inside edge of your first shingle. Use this mark as a guideline for the first shingle in the alternating rows numbered 3, 5, and so on, all the way to the top.
  • After you have laid out the second row of fiberglass shingles you'll want to snap a second vertical chalk line to mark off the inside edge of the second row, to use as a guideline for the rows numbered 2, 4 and so on up to the top.
  • After you have installed several rows of shingles, it is time to think safety. You should secure some roofing jacks. Roofing jacks are made of thick gauge steel which holds a 2 x 6 plank of wood securely for you to stand on across your roof. To secure the roofing jack you will lift up a completed secure shingle, tack a nail into your roof, hook the jack onto this nail and hammer the nail completely into your roof, hammer a second nail in the lower hook slot, and finish hammering the second nail completely into your roof. Secure the second jack the same way. Once both jacks are completely secure, you can place a sturdy 2 x 6 plank of wood into place on the jack stands.
  • When you have reached the top of your roof, you should trim the top of the last row of shingles even with the ridge. Once both sides of the roof are finished, nail your ridge shingles across the top.
  • Now you can go back and trim off any shingles that hang over the edge of your roof. Remember when using fiberglass shingles that they already have a glue strip adhered to the shingle; to seal them to your roof, simply peel off the paper prior to laying your shingle. With the sun's heat this adhesive will melt and your shingles will be tacked.


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