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Whether you are looking for a new roof or had an inspection recently, there’s a good chance that the term “starter shingles” has come up in your conversation. As a crucial part of any roofing system, starter shingles are often considered your initial defense from rain and water damage. Unfortunately, many roofing companies cut corners and argue that starter strip shingles may not be necessary to decrease the cost and give you the illusion of a “good deal.”

In this blog, we will explore what starter shingles are, the unique role they play in your overall roofing system, and the impacts that poorly installed or unused starter shingles might have. By the end of this blog, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether you want to include it in your new roofing system. To get started, let’s take a look at what starter shingles are.

Starter Shingles: An Overview

Starter shingles, or starter strips, are the first layer of shingles installed before the main asphalt shingles. They act as a barrier, protecting the roof from elements and ensuring the longevity of the top shingles. When installed with a proper drip edge, this can help protect your decking and sidewalls by ensuring that water drains directly into your gutters instead of seeping beneath the shingles.

Once starter shingles are installed, they are then covered with asphalt shingles, so the aesthetics and look of the start shingles used typically won’t matter due to their low visibility. Often, start shingles are covered with natural-looking, darker granules. It is important to know that starter shingles are made from the same material as common asphalt shingles; however, their unique purpose makes them essential to a roof system that will provide long-term support.

The Role of Starter Shingles

Now that you have an idea of what start shingles are, it’s important to understand how they work. While not visible, these pieces are fundamental to an effective roofing system that will stand the test of time. Starter shingles are placed at the edges of your roof before the finishing shingles are installed. Their primary job is to create an overlap to allow water to flow seamlessly over your underlayment and decking.
Without these starter strips, you won’t have the protection needed to keep leaks under control or the necessary protection from uplifting that might be caused by Oklahoma’s high winds. The eaves and rake edges of a roofing system will always be the most vulnerable points. Starter shingles add an extra layer of protection over the ice and water shield and underlayment with a tar adhesive to add durability during harsh weather conditions.

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The Benefits of Starter Shingles

As previously mentioned, the primary benefit of starter shingles is that they provide enhanced protection from water leaks, wind uplift, and other potential storm damage. This can help decrease the need for costly repairs in the future and ensures that your roofing system lasts as long as possible. Since Oklahoma is subject to high wind regularly, it is recommended that every homeowner consider this when determining what to include in their new roofing system.

While extra waterproofing is also a major benefit of starter shingles, it is important to understand that applying a starter shingle along the roof eaves allows the installer a straight line to follow to complete the installation properly and ensure you achieve the aesthetics you are hoping for when the installation is completed.

Common Starter Shingle Mistakes

Proper installation of starter shingles is crucial for the overall effectiveness and longevity of your roofing system. However, there are several common mistakes that can compromise the integrity of your roof. Avoiding these errors is essential to ensure that your starter shingles provide the necessary protection against water infiltration and wind uplift.

Perhaps the most common mistake with starter shingles is improper nail placement. The roof installer needs to nail down the starter shingles, so they are flush with the decking. This will eliminate the potential for them to blow off or be cut by the nail head. Similarly misaligned starter shingles will allow water to seep between the layers and degrade your seal strength. Installers should always follow a stepped or staircase pattern.

RainTech is a Trusted Tulsa Roofing Company!

Finding a reputable partner for your upcoming roofing projects shouldn’t be a struggle. RainTech Roofing has over 20 years of experience serving the roofing needs of Northeast Oklahoma. We work hard to ensure that you get the full lifespan of your roofing system by providing high-quality products with expert installation. You deserve the best, and that is what we strive to deliver!

Our installers understand the unique role that starter shingles play in a roofing system, and we will always take the time to ensure that you have a roofing system that is built to last long-term. We maintain certifications for GAF Master Elite and CertainTeed Master Shingle Applicator – meaning we have the training and experience needed to ensure proper installation with every project.

We know that Tulsa’s homeowners have a ton of options when it comes to roofing services, and we want to personally thank you for considering us for your upcoming repair or replacement. By working with our team, you can join countless other homeowners that enjoy the longevity and protection that our roofing systems provide.

If you are ready to take the next step, we would love to schedule a complimentary inspection for you. All it takes to get started is a quick phone call with one of our friendly Customer Success Representatives. We can’t wait to learn more about your home!

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