For this article, we decided to show what it takes to install asphalt shingles in 2021! In the last ten years, the roofing industry has evolved a lot. Many things have changed. There still seem to be many outdated books circulating in libraries and even selling on Amazon. Therefore, the goal of this article is to discuss what a good quality roof looks like in 2021!

First, you always want to start with a complete tear-off of all old roofing materials. This doesn’t just apply to shingles and underlayment, this also applies to old metal flashings and roof components. We do see many roofers go over the existing shingles. In some instances, this can be done if shingles are flat and not brittle, however, in most cases, the best way to replace a roof is by removing all old roofing materials.

Many shingle manufacturers do not recommend installing shingles over existing shingles because the wood underneath can not be inspected or fixed. We also recommend that you check your local building code requirements. Here in Toronto, Ontario to date, a maximum of two layers of roofing asphalt shingles are permitted. 

Once you remove all roofing materials you want to make sure all building and roofing components are in good shape. You want to make sure that the wood decking is solid and that all nails can firmly fasten the shingle to the wood deck underneath. Once you know your decking is in great shape you can then go on to installing all the following roofing accessories.

Now it’s time for all the fun to begin with installing all the roofing accessories and materials. The first accessory that you may want to install is a drip edge. It is not always necessary, but it is highly recommended, especially if you have active squirrels or raccoons in your area. Whether you’re aware of it or not, wildlife tries to get into your attic by trying to get in near your roof edges in between the fascia and starter shingles. 

When it comes to roof underlayment. We usually start with an ice-and-water protector for the first three to six feet of your roof. This product is especially important to be installed on your roof especially in the colder climates to prevent any potential ice-damming and any wind-driven rain. 

The next important component is the installation of a synthetic underlayment. Years ago we used black tar paper and now there are hundreds of different brands of synthetic underlayment. There are many benefits to the synthetic underlayment that we discussed in a previous blog post. 

The following component to be installed is the starter strip. The great thing about the starter strip is that it has a sealant strip bond at the bottom edges so that it may adhere to the first course of shingles. This is important because it protects your first row of shingles at the rakes and eaves from wind uplift at the edges of your roof.

Finally, the last step is to install your traditional or architectural asphalt shingles. Both types of shingles will have their advantages and disadvantages. In general, traditional shingles have less wind resistance and are not as pretty as an architectural shingles. However, the advantage to them is that if you ever need a roof repair or shingle retrofit because of wild-life damage the repair will be a lot easier to make and in better quality in most cases. The architectural shingle has higher wind resistance, lasts longer, and looks great! However, the problem is if they need to be repaired and retrofitted! The shingle bonds stick too well to one another and the asphalt material tears off the nailing area which can lead to future issues to your roof in those specific areas. 

Yes, there are a lot of accessories and components that go into your roofing system. It is a lot of work, however, at the end of the day you will have a premium roofing system and a premium roofing warranty. Here you go! This is how you install a premium asphalt shingle roofing system in 2021! A lot of things have changed and some things are still the same. We hope that this information was helpful to you and that you and your roofing contractor are staying safe!