Roofing Q&A with GC3

February 06, 2018Roofing

Q. Cellophane Strip on the back of the shingle, does it stay on or come off?

A. It stays on. The strip is installed by the manufacturers to prevent the shingles from sticking to each other during shipment and storage. Many manufacturers print on the strip “Do not remove.”

As you can see below, the cellophane strip is no where near the self-sealing area located to the right. (The self-sealing adhesive was actually installed on the top of the shingle that was under the shingle shown below and partially transferred to this shingle).

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Q. What is the proper placement of the fasteners (staples/nails) on composition shingles?

A. Installers should always follow the manufacturers’ printed instructions, which are printed on every bundle of shingles. Now that we’ve stated the obvious, a good rule of thumb is to place the fasteners just below the self-sealing strip. Fasteners should not be seen below the overlying shingle.

Q. What is the primary cause of shingle blow-offs…besides wind?

A. According to GAF (the largest shingle manufacturer in the America), it’s the improper location of fasteners, most commonly “high nailing” — or fastening too far above the designated nailing area.

When shingles are installed with the proper number of fasteners, in the correct locations, there will be at least eight (8) fasteners per shingle: four (4) in the underlying shingle as it’s installed and four (4) more just below the top of this shingle when the overlying course of shingles are installed.

As shown in the photos below, what may appear to be a wind-related issue is really nothing more than improper installation. Over a long period of time, the shingles have melted away from the nails, as evidenced by the 3.5” slit below the nail. This can be seen on individual shingles or with groups of shingles.

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Once the shingles begin to slip down-slope, this will cause the sealant to fail. At this point, the shingles are far more susceptible to wind displacement, which may result in actual wind damage. Prior to that occurring, it’s simply a case of improper installation.
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