Asphalt shingles can last multiple decades, even in challenging weather conditions, but only when they're installed properly in the first place. Whether you're trying to replace a few missing shingles yourself or just want to check that your roof was installed correctly by the professionals, it pays to know the correct nailing position for durable performance. Find out what to look for when installing either 3-tab or architectual asphalt shingles.

Following the Dashed Line

All of the commonly available asphalt shingle products, regardless of manufacturer or style, include some kind of dashed line printed a few inches below the top of the shingle. This line indicates where to nail the shingles, and every fastener needs to fit as close to the line as possible. Sticking to the line also ensures the nails are all located just underneath the edge of the shingles above them, resulting in reduced chances for leaks.

Avoiding Low and High Nailing

Nailing the shingle too high above the dashed line is one of the most common mistakes made during roof installation, and it can shorten the lifespan of the roof by allowing wind to lift the shingles more easily than usual. Low nailing secures the shingle against lifting, but it increases the chances of leaks developing at the fasteners because the nail heads will be exposed to the elements, rather than covered by the upper run of shingles. Focusing on nailing as accurately as possible along the manufacturer's installation line prevents both kinds of problems. The location of the line is determined by lift testing and the exact design of the shingles, so it can vary from one type of shingle to the next.

Skipping Extra Nailing

Some roofing companies offer extra nailing services that add fasteners at the bottom of the tabs on 3-tab shingles. This extra nailing pattern doesn't meet the latest building codes in most areas, which usually specify that all fasteners must be located under a layer of shingles rather than in an exposed part of the roof. Avoid wind nailing or extra nailing services since asphalt shingles perform best when only nailed along the manufacturer's marked line.

Spacing the Nails Per Shingle Type

There is a high wind nailing pattern that follows the right placement but adds six nails to the standard shingle rather than just four. The six nails are clustered on both sides of each tab opening on 3-shingle tabs and spaced evenly across architectural shingles. Since all the nails are still under the upper asphalt edges, there's little chance of leaks while you gain a lot of extra wind lift resistance just by adding two extra nails per shingle.

For more information, talk to a home roofing service today.