How do I Cap a Felt Roof?

Written by mona culberson
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How do I Cap a Felt Roof?
Two people can lay felt faster and easier. (roofers working together image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com)

Installing or "capping" roofing felt is an important step in preparing your roof for shingles. Felt gives the roof added protection against rain and protects your home's attic from water damage. Roofing felt is critical if you want to ensure that your roof lasts a long time and keeps moisture out. Felt is inexpensive and can be installed by the homeowner at a substantial savings from what a professional would charge.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Roofing felt
  • Hammer
  • Plastic capped 1-inch nails
  • Roofing knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Set the ladder up on the side of the house. Climb up the ladder and onto the roof with a roll of roofing felt.

  2. 2

    Lay the roll of roofing felt on the edge of the roof. Line up one of the corners of the felt with the bottom corner of the roof. Roll the felt out slightly in a straight line. Hammer one capped nail into one corner of the felt to hold it in place. Roll the felt out 10 feet and pull tight to prevent creases. Hammer the capped nails every six inches along both sides of the felt. Continue working this way all the way across the roof until you reach the edge.

  3. 3

    Cut the felt with the roofing knife when you reach the edge. Stay between the guidelines on the felt. Hammer one capped nail into one corner of the felt to hold it in place.

  4. 4

    Turn the roll of felt around and begin rolling it in the opposite direction. Overlap the first felt line by 2 inches. Roll the felt out 10 feet and pull tight to prevent creases in the felt. Hammer capped nails every 6 inches along both sides of the felt. Continue rolling out the felt and nailing it across and up one side of the roof until you reach the ridge. The ridge is the peak of the roof where the two sides meet.

  5. 5

    Walk to the other side of the roof. Do not place roofing felt on the ridge---leave it open. Lay the roll of roofing felt along the edge of the bottom of the roof. Line up one of the corners of the felt with the bottom corner of the roof. Roll the felt out slightly in a straight line. Hammer one capped nail into one corner of the felt to hold it in place. Roll the felt out 10 feet and pull tight. Hammer capped nails every 6 inches along both sides of the felt. Continue working this way all the way across the roof until you reach the edge.

  6. 6

    Cut the felt with the roofing knife when you reach the edge. Stay between the guidelines on the felt. Hammer one capped nail into one corner of the felt to hold it in place.

  7. 7

    Turn the roll of felt around and begin rolling it in the opposite direction. Overlap the first felt line 2 inches. Roll the felt out 10 feet and pull tight to prevent creases in the felt. Hammer capped nails every 6 inches along both sides of the felt. Continue rolling out the felt and nailing it across and up the side of the roof until you reach the ridge.

  8. 8

    Fold the felt over both sides of the ridge. Overlap the sides 2 inches. Roll the felt out 10 feet and pull tight to prevent creases in the felt. Hammer capped nails every 6 inches along both sides of the felt. Roll the felt out and nail it across the ridge until you reach the end.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the lines straight.
  • Do not step on the felt.
  • Be sure to overlap the layers of felt.
  • Use capped roofing nails to prevent leaks.
  • Trim the felt close to the base of all vents.

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