Learn About the Starter Shingles on Your Roof and How They Can Be Damaged and Replaced

Posted on: 8 June 2021


When you have a new roof put on, the roofer often starts at the bottom of your roof and works toward the top. The very first layer of shingles is placed along the edge, these are called the starter shingles. Here's a look at how the starter shingles differ from the rest, how these shingles can be damaged, and the roof repairs that could be needed.

How Starter Shingles Differ

Some roofers may use regular three-tab shingles and adapt them for use as starter shingles. However, roofers can buy starter shingles to use along the bottom of the roof and even along the side edges. Starter shingles protect against wind lift and help rain roll off the roof.

Starter shingles provide an added layer of protection since they are covered with regular shingles. They also help the edge of the roof have a clean, straight edge.

They differ from regular shingles because they have a strip of adhesive along the bottom and nails are used in different areas than when they're used on regular shingles. A starter strip may even be a different size than regular shingles.

How Starter Shingles Can Be Damaged

Although the shingles are shaped a little differently from regular ones, they are made of the same material, so they can be damaged by impacts and water. However, since the shingles are covered up, they have more protection than the rest of the shingles on the roof.

Because starter shingles are along the edge of the roof, they can be damaged by strong winds, objects hitting the roof such as tree branches, and ice dams. Plus, if the shingles that cover them start leaking or are damaged, the risk of damage to the starter strip is even greater.

How Roof Repairs Might Be Done

When starter shingles are damaged, they have to be taken off and replaced with new ones. It may be necessary to take the shingles on top of the starters off too, especially if they are leaking.

Once the shingles are off, the roofer can check the deck for water damage. The extent of water damage determines the type of roof repairs that are needed. If the roofing deck has rotted, it will have to be replaced. If the deck and underlayment are fine, the roofer may only have to put down new shingles.

Putting on starter shingles is similar to putting regular shingles on upside down. The long flat edge at the bottom hangs over the edge of the roof a bit. The adhesive strip goes near the bottom and the top is secured with nails. It's also important to stagger the starter strip and the regular shingles that go on top of them so the seams don't line up and make it easy for a roof leak to develop.

To learn more, contact aroof repair company near you.