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What Are Starter Shingles & Is It Necessary To Use Them?

Posted on April 6, 2024

What Are Starter Shingles & Is It Necessary To Use Them?

Your roof is a complex system composed of various components that work to create a durable and functional structure. Of these, you might be most familiar with the shingles, or the outer layer of the roof that is visible on your home. There are two main types of shingles that are used to create a weathertight roofing system: regular shingles and starter shingles. 

While you may already know about regular roofing shingles, starter shingles also play a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and integrity of your roofing system. 

As the first line of defense against the elements, starter shingles are an essential part of any professional roofing installation. Today, we will talk about what they are and why they are important for your roof. 

What Are Starter Shingles?

Starter shingles, also known as starter strips or strip shingles, are specialized shingles used at the edges of a roof to provide a secure foundation for the subsequent layers of regular shingles. 

They are “starter” shingles because they form the initial row upon which the rest of the shingles are installed.

These highly durable shingles are carefully manufactured with a reinforced fiberglass base and a specially engineered self-sealing adhesive strip. This ensures a particularly tight bond with the roof deck and the overlapping regular asphalt shingles that will go above them. 

The innovative design of these strips effectively helps prevent wind uplift, water infiltration, and other potential damage that could otherwise occur if regular shingles were used at the roof’s edges. 

As a homeowner, you can have peace of mind knowing that these strip shingles provide an extra layer of protection for your most valuable investment – your home.

Starter vs. Regular Shingles: What’s The Difference?

If you are a homeowner thinking of replacing your roof, you may be wondering how starter strips are different from other shingles that will be installed on your roof.

Starter shingles are distinct from regular shingles in several ways. Regular shingles are designed to overlap and interlock with one another, forming a uniform and watertight surface across the entire roof. These shingles are typically wider and longer than starter shingles, and they are meant to cover the majority of the roof’s surface.

On the other hand, starter shingles are specifically designed for the eaves and edges of the roof. They are narrower and shorter than regular shingles, allowing them to create a secure and watertight seal along the roof’s edges. This initial layer of protection is essential for preventing water infiltration, wind uplift, and other potential damage that could compromise the integrity of the entire roofing system.

Regular Shingles
Regular Shingles

Why Are Starter Shingles Necessary?

Starter strips are an essential component of a well-designed and properly installed roofing system for many reasons, including: 

Improved Wind Resistance: 

As a homeowner in Wisconsin, you know that strong winds can be a big problem for your asphalt shingle roof. This is where starter shingles come in handy. They are installed near the eaves and the rake of your roof and provide an anchor point for the other layers of shingles. This added reinforcement helps prevent wind uplift, which can lead to potential roof damage during storms or high-wind events.

Enhanced Water Resistance:

The self-sealing adhesive strip on starter shingles creates a tight seal along the eaves and rake edges, effectively blocking water from seeping underneath the shingles and causing leaks or moisture damage. This added protection is crucial, as the roof’s edges are particularly vulnerable to water infiltration.

Increased Durability: 

The reinforced base and specialized design of starter shingles make them more durable and long-lasting than regular shingles when used along the roof’s edges. This added toughness helps extend the overall lifespan of your roofing system.

Improved Aesthetics:

Starter shingles create a clean and uniform appearance along the roof’s edges, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of your home or building. They provide a neat, finished look that complements the rest of the roofing system.

Code Compliance: 

Many building codes and manufacturer warranties require the use of starter shingles to ensure proper roof installation. Failure to use them could potentially void your warranty or violate local building regulations, leading to potential legal and financial consequences.

After understanding the importance of starter shingles and the numerous advantages they offer, it becomes clear that incorporating them into your roofing system is an essential step in ensuring its longevity, performance, and overall integrity.

Best Starter Shingle Brands

When it comes to choosing the best starter shingles for your roofing project, there are several factors to consider, such as compatibility with your regular shingles, durability, and ease of installation. Some reputable brands that offer high-quality starter shingles include Atlas, GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning. Let us take a look at some of them: 

Pro-Cut® HP42® Starter Shingles by Atlas

This premium product from prominent manufacturer Atlas is one of the best strip shingles available on the market. With a self-sealing adhesive that sticks the shingles to the roof deck, these starter strips prevent moisture from entering the roofing system. Plus, these shingles come pre-cut, making installation easier and quicker. 

Note: At Prestige Roofing, we are the certified installers of Atlas roofing products. Our team is ​​Atlas PRO+ Diamond Level certified contractors.   

WeatherBlocker™ Premium Starter Strip Shingles by GAF

This premier strip shingle option comes from the trusted manufacturer GAF. These shingles come with a factory-applied Dura Grip™ Adhesive, the same adhesive that is used in the manufacturing of the popular architectural shingle, Timberline HDZ®. This helps the shingles to better attach at the eaves and rakes of the roof and makes them less likely to blow away during extremely windy days. 

According to GAF, the WeatherBlocker strip shingles provide about 42% more coverage per bundle compared to their 3-tab shingles. They are compatible with all of their shingle products, too. 

All these brands offer high-quality products, however it’s crucial to consult with a reliable roofing company that can recommend the most suitable starter shingles for your specific roof type, climate conditions, and project requirements. 

Want To Install New Starter Shingles In De Pere, WI? 

Starter shingles are really important for a strong and long-lasting roof. They create a sturdy base for the rest of the shingles, making your roof better equipped to stand up to wind and water. 

However, you should know that apart from choosing good quality starter shingles, another factor that is extremely important is effective installation. Selecting the right roofing contractor in Wisconsin can help protect your home and make your roof last longer. 

If you’re also looking to install or replace your existing roof, our team of experts at Prestige Roofing is here to assist you. With our extensive knowledge and experience in the roofing industry, we offer the best roof replacement services in De Pere and the surrounding areas of Wisconsin. 

Our experts use the best starter shingles manufactured by leading brands such as Atlas. We ensure a flawless installation that meets all building codes and manufacturer warranties. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to schedule a consultation and experience the peace of mind that comes with a durable roofing system.