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San Antonio Roofing: Article About Understanding Shingle Starter Courses

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A finished shingle project on a rooftop's structure has an intricate arrangement of layered materials. These layers are precisely aligned by qualified San Antonio roofing professionals. Homeowners should understand the basics of shingle layout, including the all important foundation level, or starter course. This primary shingle layer is unlike any other row along the rooftop.

Starter courses are best installed when shingle tabs are trimmed off. Contractors will actually cut tabs off entirely to create the material they need for the perfect installation. Roofers want a basic rectangle of around seven inches wide to form a strong starter course. Without the tab cutouts along this course, there's no possibility of leaks into the roof decking. Simply adding standard shingles along this first layer will only create moisture damage.

Homeowners will notice that these modified shingles will be placed flush along the roof eave. There should be no overhang with the starter course, as it acts as a base layer to the upper courses. Contractors nail down the starter course during a procedure that resembles a standard shingle installation. Four to six nails must be driven perpendicularly to the surface, forming a stable starter row.

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Any fasteners added at an angle will only allow moisture to penetrate below, as water seeps into tiny nail hole crevices.

With the starter course covering the entire roof edge, the first course must be added directly above it. This row should start with full shingles nailed down across the horizontal span. Materials must overhang the eave by three quarters of an inch, effectively covering the starter course with another shingle layer. This shingle layout gives considerable protection to the eaves and prevents any water from flowing into decking edges. Ideally, the starter course should be hidden under the first course for the best appearance and functionality.

A major benefit to adding starter courses without any tabs attached is the exposed self sealing adhesive. The starter course has this adhesive ready to receive the first course's tabs. Sunlight radiation and installation pressure fuses these two sections together, preventing future blow off in moderate conditions.

Residents should know that some roofers have slightly different strategies when it comes to starter course installation. Many companies don't trim the tabs and simply reverse the shingle so that it's upside down on the rooftop. Material manufacturers don't necessarily approve of this practice, but contractors still use it in some areas. Homeowners are welcome to ask questions about shingle orientation to understand their unique installation.

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