The Roofing Resource Blog

Accessories Matter: Asphalt Shingle Accessories

Wed, Dec 31, 2014 @ 08:00 AM | Exterior Pro Roofing

Your roof is comprised of much more than you see from a street view. The shingles on your roof are the top layer of protection. The components, or roof shingle accessories, make a major difference in your shingles lasting and resisting water penetration. These accessories make up the entire roofing system.


Protecting the deck of your roof is an important part of the roofing process. Any water condensation under the shingles can damage the wood sheathing. This protection is often created with the use of roofing felt. Felt is available in #15 and #30 thicknesses, with synthetic materials also available. #15 is a lesser grade, #30 offers more durability and is recommended for architectural shingle applications.

In addition to providing protection and improving the appearance, #30 felt provides a safer installation surface for workers by reducing slippage. Synthetics include fiberglass, which reduces unevenness, and specialty materials that include fire-resistant protection.

In extremely cold climates, an ice and water shield is recommended. This shield provides the additional protection needed to reduce damage from ice dam formations. Water forced up under the roof edge will not penetrate through to the sheathing.

Shingle Starter

shingle_pro_startStarter strips for shingles improve the installation speed by allowing a neat line for workers to start from. This roofing piece also reduces the chances for shingles to lift in high winds. The starter strip includes adhesive sections to hold the pieces firmly in place. This gives extra protection along the roof edge. You benefit with a straighter edge appearance and no need to have messy adhesives added.


Your roof requires ventilation to breathe properly and reduce heat build up. Airflow can be drawn through the soffits and eaves and released at the ridge, or through box vents located near the top of the roof.


Ridge vents or exhaust systems improve the efficiency of the insulation of your home. The systems reduce the moisture that will form from condensation inside your home. This helps prevent mold growth and damage to walls and ceilings. Ventilation will reduce the heat on the shingles, allowing them to last longer.

Proper ventilation can also reduce the possibility of ice dam formation. Dams form when snow at the top of the roof melts from extra heat and then refreezes as it reaches the outer edge of the roof.


Hip and Ridge Caps

Ridge cap shingles are run along the very top of your roof. They provide a clean, finished appearance as they are pre-formed to evenly cover both sides of the ridge. Caps are also thicker and offer extra protection from blow off than individual shingles placed along the top. Additional adhesive seals are often included with quality ridge cap shingles.

ridge_cap_shinglesThe minimum recommended amount of ventilation is one square foot for every 300 square feet of total attic space. For homes that do not have sufficient ridge area for ventilation, hip vents can be installed under the cap shingles along the hips. The ventilation systems have filters or screens that will prevent animals or debris from entering the attic space.

Do look at your roofing project as being made up of a system of components that work together to provide you with the most protection. Your professional roofing contractor will be able to give you in depth information on the shingle accessories that best meet your unique needs.