Installing Tar Paper
Thank you for visiting the installing tar paper page. Tar paper also known as roofing felt is your first layer of protection against the elements and water damage.
It is often your only protection while you are installing your new roof. Tar paper comes in two different sizes known as weights. The two weights are 15lb felt and 30lb felt the difference is the thickness of the paper. The 15lb felt covers 4 squares per roll and the 30lbs felt cover 2 squares per roll.
We recommend using the 30lb felt on your home it is a more durable paper and does not rip nearly as easy you can often get away with 15lb felt on sheds or garages. Tar paper is applied directly to the sheeting the only material applied underneath the paper is ice and water granulate.
Installing tar paper can be done fairly easy depending on the roof it will require a little hard work and you will want a second set of hands.
Things you will need or want to have
• Tar paper
• Razor blade
• Tap measure
• Button caps, staples
• Slap tack stapler
• Optional tools pneumatic button cap nailer
• Air compressor, air hose
The first step is to installing tar paper is to calculate your roofs square footage if you have not done this please visit our roofing calculator page. Once you have calculated your square footage and purchased your materials we can now begin. We highly recommend using button caps when installing tar paper it offers a much safer surface to walk on as well you can use staples in conjunction with them.
You will start at yours roofs eave at one edge and work your way across securing the paper as you move along to the other. Run the bottom of your tar paper even with the bottom edge of your roof and only roll as much paper as you can handle. A very important note is that you will want to do your best to keep the paper straight and prevent bubbles in the paper.
We have found nailing down paper in a x pattern seems to work best placing a button cap about every three feet at the top and bottom and one in middle forming an X. Place three to four button cap at each end of the roof to prevent the wind from being able to take it. We recommend using button caps because it gives a better walking surface if you step on the caps verse on paper you are a lot less likely to have the paper rip.
You will then start your next row where you will overlap the existing row by about 6 inches there is usually a white line that you can follow. This line will help you keep your paper running straight as well. You will keep this process going until you have reached near the peak where the next layer will overlap the peak. Once you have reached this point simply overlap the peak and nail down both sides. You will do this on both sides giving yourself two layers of paper over the ridge. Do not worry if you are installing ridge vent and the sheeting is cut out at ridge it is easy enough to cut out the tar paper with a razor knife. This will prevent any water damage being done until the point you are able to close it in with shingles.
Additional notes and safety warnings
• If you have any valleys simply run the paper through the valley by about three feet.
• When you come to a point where you run out of paper simply over lap the paper from the new roll by about 12 inches.
• When cutting into a new roll of paper be careful to unroll it a bit so you do not cut into other layers.
• Installing tar paper can be dangerous you may want to install toe boards for safety.
• Be careful where you walk the tar paper can rip easily even more so if you choose 15lb felt.
• Never walk on wet tar paper even if it is only morning dew it can be very slippery
• Try to walk on button cap they are a lot less likely to rip
With these easy to follow guide installing tar paper should be a fairly easy task. You are now ready to move on to the next step which is installing drip edge. Thank you for visiting the installing tar paper page. As always good luck with your project and be safe.
Thank you for visiting the Installing Tar Paper page please click here to return to How To Roof home page!