Asphalt Shingles: 5 Mistakes You Should Avoid

Asphalt shingles are a tried and tested roofing material that continues to be the most popular type of roofing material in the residential arena today. They are simple to install and can offer 20 to 25 years of reliable service in most climates. Roofing shingles are a common way of protecting your home from the ravages of summer heat and winter cold, and they repel water regardless of the season. When the time comes to replace your roof, there’s no denying that 3-tab asphalt shingles in Atlanta make an excellent choice that is cost-effective and resilient.


The beneficial qualities of asphalt shingles can be reduced, however, by improper installation and maintenance. Like most types of roofing materials, their effectiveness in repelling extreme temperatures and moisture depends on their installation and upkeep. While installing asphalt shingles can be simple enough for an enterprising homeowner to do alone, there are some common mistakes that can derail a successful roofing project and render your hard work null. Read on to learn more about five of the most common mistakes that are made when using asphalt shingles to roof a home.


Reusing Old Flashing

While it may be tempting in this age of recycling to reuse the old flashings on your roof when installing new shingles, that can end up being a mistake. Flashings are the thin pieces of metal that are used around vents, chimneys, eaves, and other rooftop devices that prevent water from leaking around them. They are an important component in any roofing system, and it’s a mistake to reuse flashings that are as old as the shingles you’re replacing. Make sure to use only new flashings when you replace your shingles to ensure you have a quality roof when you’re finished.


Improper Fasteners

The fasteners are the nails that hold your shingles in place and prevent them from shifting or moving even in high winds. Because of the vital purpose they fulfill in keeping your roof in place, it’s critical to make sure that you have the right kind of nails for shingles in Atlanta and that they are the proper size for the shingles you’re using. For example, if the nails you use are too short, that could allow your shingles to flap around and become detached in high winds.


Bad Fastener Placement

Even if you have the right fasteners for the job, you can still make the mistake of putting them in the wrong place. Incorrect placement of your fasteners can also result in loose shingles that undermine the integrity of your overall roof. For example, make sure all nail heads are placed beneath the overlapping flap of asphalt shingles so that they aren’t exposed to the elements. If they aren’t covered, they can become corroded prematurely, which will lead to shingle movement and failure.


Inadequate Overhang

The term overhang refers to the amount of shingle on the edge of the roof that must hang over to prevent wind from peeling the shingles back, which can allow moisture between the shingle and decking. Different roofing types have different overhang requirements, so make sure that you know the requirements for the roofing material you’re using.


Improper Moisture Barrier

The moisture barrier is the element of your roof underlayment that ensures that moisture doesn’t seep through the decking and become trapped there. Wet decking leads to rotting, which undermines your roof as a whole. It can cause shingles to ripple and cut their lifespan short. Therefore, it’s important to use a moisture barrier such as tar paper between the shingles and decking to ensure that no moisture leaks through.


When replacing a roof with asphalt shingles, make sure to avoid these common mistakes that can ruin your roofing job and cost you a great deal of time and effort. For more information on common mistakes to avoid when working with asphalt shingles, visit Preferred Roofing at