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I bought a house a year ago and the section above the mudroom started leaking, so I had to tarp it. I am looking to reroof / roof-over the entire thing later this year, and I've done some research and realized that it is a low-slope roof. Some of it is 4/12 and some of it is less (maybe 3/12). It is currently using asphalt 3-tab shingles.

I read online that you are not supposed to use asphalt shingles on a low-slope roof. Is this correct? What type of shingles should I use and can I use my pneumatic roof nailer for those? (I just bought one for this task)

Thanks!

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The minimum is typically 2/12 pitch for asphalt shingles, although for low pitch roofs (4/12 or less) there may be a different installation specification depending on the manufacturer. Just make sure you follow the recommended install procedure to maintain warranty coverage (and pick a manufacturer that will be around long enough to honor it). In any case, the underlayment should be doubled. Tabbed shingles would be OK, but my preference would be a high quality architectural shingle.

That said, if it's just a small section of the roof (maybe a square or less) and you're really worried about it, you could always go with a flat roof covering like EPDM. The only consideration with something like that is that it lacks any sort of "street appeal" if the roof deck is in any way visible from the ground.

If you do decide to go with asphalt, I don't see any reason not to use a roofing nailer.

  • what about rubber shingles? – swinefeaster Mar 11 '15 at 1:23
  • @swinefeaster - Never used them personally, but the material (asphalt v. rubber) isn't the important consideration with a low slope. What is important is the ability of the deck to quickly shed water and resist blown rain and damming. The slope requirements and installation method for rubber shingles would be similar if not the same as asphalt. One other option I've seen done in the past is glued down EPDM as the underlayment with shingles nailed over it. In theory the rubber is supposed to seal around the nail holes, but this seems like overkill compared to double lapped 30# felt. – Comintern Mar 11 '15 at 1:41
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Don't repeat the mistakes of the past - go with EDPM (one big rubber sheet that covers the whole area) or acrylic (a thick, paint-like coating, reinforcing fabric, more coating), not shingles.

The other workable but somewhat out there option would be standing seam or soldered seam metal.

Acrylic can be done in colors. EDPM is generally white or black, chosen by how much air conditioning .vs. heating you do, or the look you prefer.

  • but it is visible from the street, so this would not look very good – swinefeaster Mar 11 '15 at 1:23

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