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Starter Strip Shingles


Starter Course Shingles are Essential for Preventing Roof from Leaks


By Mark J. Donovan



When installing asphalt roofing shingles starter strip shingles are necessary along the roof eaves. Starter strip shingles sit at the roof eave edges and under the first course of shingles. Starter course shingles are required to prevent water from working in between the tab notches and shingle edges on the first course of shingles. You can create your own starter strip roof shingles by cutting away the tabs on 3-tab asphalt roofing shingles or by simply inverting the 3-tab shingles when installing them.


Alternatively you can purchase pre-fabricated starter course shingles from a variety of asphalt shingle manufacturers. Roofing material manufacturers also offer starter shingle roll and “starter strip plus shingle” products that reduce starter strip shingle installation time and reduce shingle waste.


Extend the outside edge of the starter strip shingles approximately ¼ to ¾ inch out beyond the drip edge and roof eave. This is necessary to prevent the rain water from dripping onto the fascia board, which can lead to rot. To fasten the starter strip shingles to the roof apply roof cement on the underside of the starter strip shingles so that they are glued down to the drip edge. Then nail the starter strip shingles higher up near the sealant strip.


The tabs on the first course of asphalt shingles will lock down to the exposed sealant strips with this technique.


After installing the starter strip shingle course you can then install the first row of full sized asphalt roofing shingles. When installing asphalt roofing shingles install them left to right (or right to left), and from bottom to top, effectively in a stair like pattern. Fasten each shingle down with 4 to 6 hot dip galvanized nails with 3/8 inch heads and 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in length.

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Make sure the first course of full sized asphalt roofing shingles extend beyond the starter strip course by approximately 1/8 of an inch.

For help on Shingling Your Home's Roof, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won't end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

Ice and Water shield and felt paper must be installed first prior to installing the starter strip shingles.

Photo by Mark Donovan


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