The Purpose & Application Of Roofing Starter Shingles
Roofing Is Intended To Be Installed As A Complete System
Roofing systems achieve the best waterproofing results when installed correctly as a complete system. When having a new roof installed on your home you will need to verify that your roofing contractor has included all of the critical components of the roofing system in your contract price. Some contractors will offer you a very appealing price but in the end they have removed some of the most critical components of the system in order to provide you with a low price.
Always remember that when it comes to selecting a roofing system that if you cut corners to save a few dollars now you will end up paying for it later as the system begins to fail or needs repair. For more information on what components make up a complete roofing system check out this article I provided for Marcus Anthony Construction, a roofing company in CT.
The Purpose Of Starter Strips
Starter shingles (also known as starter strips) are a key component to your new roofing system. A starter strip is an asphalt based shingle utilized to waterproof the eave and rake edges of your home during a re-roof.
Take a look at your roof and you’ll see how the field roofing shingles are overlapped to create seamless flow of water without penetration. But along the eave line, roofing shingles come to an edge and can’t be overlapped.
To prevent water penetration, we install starter strips. Where the shingles on the eaves butt up against each other, these starter strips provide the overlap function. Some designer shingles, like GAF Grand Sequoia are key cut, which leaves gaps along the eave if no starter is used.
Starter shingles provide multiple purposes along rakes:
- Adhesive tar strips help prevent shingle blow-off from harsh winds (along eaves as well).
- A straight line to properly orient each new row of shingles.
- Thicken the shingle layers sticking over the rake edge to help prevent drooping.
Without starter strips, water will likely penetrate your roof edge. A good underlayment, like GAF Tiger Paw synthetic hybrid underlayment goes a long way to reducing damage. But it is only a secondary layer of protection that functions robustly when the water that reaches it is a low enough quantity. If a lack of starter strips have caused a real problem of water penetrating your top shingle layer, underlayment or even the more robust WeatherWatch leak barrier will not prevent water penetration forever.
Check out the short video below by Juff’s Roofing Toronto, which illustrates this principal in an easy to understand way.
- Make sure the factory adhesive is facing up so it can adhere to the field shingles.
- The edge of the starter strip should hang over the eave and rake edge 3/4″ in order to create a drip edge. This is required on all Golden Pledge system warranties.
- Utilize 4 nails per shingle for proper wind rating.
Technical Information About GAF Pro-Start Shingles
As a GAF Master Elite contractor we prefer to use their factory starter strips, like GAF Pro-Start. They save us time on the install and provide a cleaner appearance than cutting up 3 tab shingles. Factory starter is also a part of the GAF complete roofing system and required to qualify the roof for an upgraded warranty. Here are a few technical points for Pro-Start starter strips (from GAF website):
Product Specifications (Nominal)
- ICC-ES 1475
- Dade County Approved
- Meets ASTM D3462 , D3018
- UL 790 Class A fire rating
- Florida Building Code approved
- (full sheet) 13″ x 38″
- (half sheet) 6.5″ x 38″
Bundle Count: 19 full sheets (38 individual pieces)
Coverage Per Bundle: Approx. 120.33 linear ft (when split in half)
We’ve installed thousands of complete roofing systems that include these essential starter strips. But don’t take our word for it, check out what our many enthusiastic customers say! Call us today (253.445.8950) or complete our online estimate form for your free roofing estimate. We want you to have the peace of mind that comes with one of our beautiful new roofs!