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Silver Spring Roofing: Article About Improper Shingle Installations

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A rooftop has an intricate shingle design based on a single goal: moisture control. All shingles are laid in a formation that forces water to move off the roof in an efficient manner. When homeowners need a roof replacement, Silver Spring roofing professionals will quote and install shingles using proper techniques. Homeowners should be aware of some improper shingle installation tactics that indicate poor contractor workmanship.

Before shingles are even brought up to the rooftop, underlayment is rolled out. This roofing felt is normally a dark color, covering the roof sheathing completely. Underlayment serves as another protective layer against water infiltration. It must be smoothed out across the roof before shingles are installed. If homeowners see underlayment that's wrinkled or folded, shingles won't lay correctly on it. Watch for smooth underlayment for a shingle installation that lays flush against the roof for many years.

The first shingle row is applied right at the roof's eave or bottom edge. Homeowners should only see up to 3/4 inches of shingle material hanging off the roof edge. If shingles seem to flap in the wind with too much overlap, they'll be prone to wind damage.

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Shingles will literally lift up in the wind, providing a perfect opening for water infiltration. The entire first row should have an even, but short, hanging edge to protect the eave.

As contractors lay the second shingle row, each tab should overlap the first row by about 6 inches. This measurement is roughly located at the top of each tab cutout. The second row should also be staggered. Roofers will literally start the second row with a half shingle on the left roof edge instead of a whole one. Along with improving aesthetics, this staggering method protects the roof from high wind or driving rain damage.

Experienced contractors know shingle strength is only as good as the fasteners holding them. Questionable roofers may try to cut installation costs by reducing nail quantities. In fact, each shingle requires between four to six nails. Any fewer than this quantity makes the roof vulnerable to damage. Shingles may lift, loosen or even break off as weathering damage sets in.

It takes intense effort and talent to install a shingled roof correctly, so contractors will need about a week or more to complete the project. If weather issues arise, installations can take even more time. Be patient with the installation process to see a roof that lasts for several decades.

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