7 Tips For Safety & Success Installing Roof Shingles

shinglesWhether you are installing a new roof or just replacing a couple of shingles, no roofing job should ever commence without proper planning. Safety considerations are paramount. But also, a poorly planned job can cause the costs to skyrocket.

1. Be certain to lay the first shingle square – All of the other shingles will be aligned according to that first shingle. If it is not square, your entire roofing job will be amiss. Use chalk lines to ensure that our first row, and each additional row of shingles, are in proper alignment.

2. Never work on your roof alone – Roofing is incredibly dangerous. Things like setting chalk lines really cannot be done safely without help. Besides that, common sense would seem to dictate that nobody should go up on their roof without a spotter. No, they will not catch you if you fall. But using an assistant will greatly decrease your risk of being seriously injured. An assistant can keep your ladder steady, hand you tools, and help you with tasks that are too dangerous to do alone. And if something horrible should indeed happen, your assistant can get help to you much faster, possibly saving your life.

3. Wear rubber soled shoes and protective rubber coated gloves – While on the roof, you are going to need the grip that non-skid, rubber soled shoes provide. Rubber coated gloves will also give you a better grip and protect your hands, especially when working with metal shingles and flashings.

4. Do not overdrive your nails – Most people use a pneumatic nail gun during roofing projects. While this does make the job go faster, a nail gun with too much pressure will overdrive the nails. A nail is overdriven when it punches through the shingle mat. This not increases the likelihood that the shingle will fly off, but also voids the manufacturer’s warranty.

5. Place your nails properly – A properly placed nail will catch the top of the shingle beneath it. When a shingle is nailed too high, the nail misses the shingle below and the shingle has a tendency to rip out. If every shingle is improperly nailed, they will all have to be replaced.

6. Use zinc strips to keep your roof free of moss and black stains – Rolls of zinc strips are available at home improvement stores for this very purpose. Install the zinc strips along the ridge and hips. As it rains, the rain water will wash the zinc down the roof, protecting it from moss growth and staining.

7. Be extra careful with your ladder around power lines – If possible, avoid using a metal ladder. Whenever you have to use a metal ladder, NEVER let it come in contact with power lines. An accident including you, a metal ladder, and a power line is one that you will likely not survive.

For help with your shingle installation call Reiter Roofing 215-335-9999

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