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How to cap hip roof shingles on an asphalt shingle roof

A step-by-step guide to capping hip roof shingles on an asphalt shingle roof

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A hip roof has 4 roof segments angled along a central line. If all four sides are equal, the roof looks similar to a pyramid when viewed from overhead. When properly installed, shingle caps add a three-dimensional look to the roof, with the caps sitting along the sharp angles of the roof. Doing the job yourself might only take a few hours, but you need to know the steps you should follow. 

Capping a hip roofPreparing yourself is the most important step that you need to take when you install asphalt roofing shingles and caps. Roofing contractors use harnesses and other safety equipment to stop employees from falling off the roof. Whether you are installing shingle caps or 3-tab shingles, you need to secure yourself to the roof. A harness that fits around your body secured to a tether line is the best option. You affix the tether line to a secure point on the roof and attach the other end to your harness. You should cover your head with a proper hat and wear gloves that protect your hands. Many contractors also wear cleats or slip-proof shoes when working on the roof.

After climbing onto the roof you need to trim the shingles into smaller pieces to make the caps. A utility knife is sharp enough to cut through the shingle without leaving rough edges. You need to work your way up from the bottom of the ridge, placing the cap as close to the bottom edge of the hip roof as possible. You gently overlap the shingles ensuring that there are no gaps between them. A gap will allow water to pass between the shingles into the roof causing leaks and water damage. 

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Asphalt shingles prices vary depending on the type and manufacturer. When you determine the number of shingles needed for your residential roofing job, you need to look at the overall square-footage of the roof and the size of the caps. Some homeowners find that working with a contractor is better than doing the job alone, because the contractor can provide a roofing estimate before starting the job. Before you decide to approach the job as a weekend project, ask the manufacturer of your shingles about the roofing warranty, as some only cover work done by a professional.

No matter what type of home improvement project you want to do, you can get help from Reply! Get tips and ideas on projects that you can do yourself. Find help when it comes to tracking down a contractor who can offer you a roofing cost estimate before the project starts. Installing shingles on your roof is a complicated task that you shouldn't tackle unless you have some experience in roofing work. Adding shingle caps to a hip roof shouldn't take any more time than it takes to install shingles, but you want to ensure that you have the right tools to get the job done.

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Photo credit: certainteed.com

About the Author

Dale Eklund is a former construction manager with more than 20 years of experience building, remodeling and landscaping homes. To share home improvement ideas, find him on Google+.