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How to fit roof shingles

How to fit roof shingles

Posted on 22 December, 2021

What are roof shingles?

Roof shingles overlapping square tiles which are durable pitched roof coverings that are typically used for sheds, extensions, or other outdoor buildings. Roof shingles can be made from bitumen, wood, plastic, or meta and are used because they’re cost-effective, widely available, simple to install, timeless in appearance, and long-lasting.

In this guide, you’ll be walked through how to install roofing shingles onto your building in a safe step-by-step guide following British Standards and Codes of Practice. Take a look at our popular Onduline roofing shingles.

Preparations Preliminary roof inspection and measurements

Before you start making plans to install your roof shingles, check the existing roof to see if it needs any structural repairs, maintenance, or strengthening, after checking this you should also make a note of your roof’s construction as you need to have a decked roof fixed to rafters or supported on a trussed roof structure.

You will also need to measure the slope and thickness of the roof to make sure that your roof deck complies with the British Standards. Your roofing deck needs to have a minimum slope of 12.5 degrees and a minimum thickness of 12 mm.

You must use roofing felt underlay/membrane if your roof slope is below 20 degrees to stop the ingress of water in your roof. If you do need to install some underlay, make sure it’s cut to size and laid out on a flat surface 30 minutes before you start working, as this will adjust any kinks.

The roofing shingles must be laid on flat surfaces as any irregularity in the decking will be visible through the strips once they are laid.

Equipment and safety precautions

It’s important to make sure that you have the right equipment for the job, otherwise, you may not be able to install the roofing shingles correctly, which will lead to problems down the line. Although the manufacturer’s instructions will come with a specific list of tools and kit you’ll need, it’s good practice to have the following to hand:

●     An adhesive sealant

●     20mm and 30mm clout nails

●     10 mm large-headed galvanized clout nails

●     A Stanley knife

●     A hammer

●     A heat gun

●     A tape measure

●     Gloves

●     Suitable detailing strips

After you’ve prepared your kit, you should make sure that you take safety precautions such as:

●     Using a suitable length ladder or a stable platform

●     Reading the manufacturer’s instructions

●     Having a second pair of hands if you’re struggling to carry out the work

Now you’ve taken your measurements, prepared your equipment, and made sure you’re safe; it’s time to get to work!

How to fit the roof shingles:

1.  Preparing the deck

Make sure the roof deck is clear from any debris and unevenness so you have a flat surface to work on, as detailed in the ‘preparations’ section if it’s not flat any irregularities will affect the final product.

2.  Lay your underlay membrane (if required)

As explained in the ‘preparations’ section, if you need to lay your underlay membrane now is the time to do it. Lay the underlay strip on the roof deck,  underlay/membrane should be laid with 150mm end overlaps and fixed by 10 mm large-headed galvanized clout nails at 100mm intervals.

3.  Attaching detail strips

Unroll your purchased detail strips on the deck and create a 50mm eaves edge, and nail to the roof deck at 50mm, then lay the remaining strip at the verge, nailing at 150mm centres with 50mm centres on the face of the verge.

4.  Fixing the roof shingles

Start fixing your roof shingles at the edge of the eaves and work towards the verge of the roof, keeping the shingles square to the eaves and verge at all times to give yourself a clean finish.

You will need to lay each shingle into position to create a ‘broken bond’ and nail them into place using the 20mm clout nails, you should aim to use 5 fixing per strip for security.

Bond the eaves course tile and detail strip using your adhesive and use your heat gun to bond the other tiles to the lower courses.

5.  Final steps

Now that all your shingles are square to the verge line, nail the 20mm clout nails and bind them to the details strip using your adhesive, once you’re happy the shingles are fitted to the ridgeline; place the detail strip centrally over the ridge and secure with adhesive, finally nail into place with 30mm clout nails.

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