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How to Install Roofing Felt

When it comes to a roofing installation, roofing felt is an important step in the process. This material forms a barrier between your shingles and your roof deck to protect your deck from water. Installing the felt is an easy process as long as you have the right materials. Here, our experts explain how to install roofing felt:

  1. Before you begin your installation, place your ladder against your home and climb up to your roof.
  2. Make sure your roof is clean of debris and is completely dry.
  3. Next, make sure there is no rotten decking. If there is, replace it.
  4. After that, bend your metal drip-edge flashing over the edges of your roof.
  5. Use your hammer to drive galvanized nails into the flashing every 12 inches.
  6. Starting at the bottom of your roof, unroll a few feet of felt lengthwise.
  7. Begin by using your staple gun to staple down the first part of your felt to the corner of your roof.
  8. Unroll your felt and secure it to your roof with a staple every 8 inches.
  9. As you install your first layer of roofing felt, make sure it hangs over your eave by about 6 inches.
  10. Continue to lay your roofing felt onto your roof and secure it without any bubbles or wrinkles.
    1. If you get to the end of a roll and need to begin a new roll, make sure the edge of your new roll overlaps the edge of the old roll around 4 inches.
    2. If you reach the end of your roof and have extra roofing felt, use a utility knife to carefully cut the felt to the edge of your roof.
  11. To lay your felt over obstacles like vent pipes, cut a slit in the felt and place the slit over the pipe.
  12. Next, continue to lay your felt in strips moving up your roof, making sure it lays flat. Make sure the horizontal edges of your felt overlap each other by about 3 inches.
  13. Once you reach the top, leave the last piece of felt in place – don’t fold it over your roof peak.
  14. Repeat steps 6-14 for the other side of your roof.
  15. Finally, cut a piece of roofing felt that fits over your roof peak and overlaps both of your installed felt pieces by 3-4 inches.
  16. After that, you’re ready to install your roofing shingles!

Tools & Materials

  • Ladder
  • Metal drip-edge flashing
  • Hammer, galvanized nails
  • Roofing felt
  • Staple gun, staples
  • Utility knife

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