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How to felt a shed roof

Updated February 21, 2017

Although sheds are typically used only to store tools and other seasonal items, they require a watertight roofing material to prevent damage to the stored items. One inexpensive and yet effective way to roof a shed is by using roof felt. Roof felt is a paper-like material that is infused with tar or asphalt and comes in a roll. Installing it is a basic process that requires nothing more than standard tools.

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  1. Place a ladder next to the shed, positioning it in a location where you can easily reach the roof. If the shed is large or tall, you must climb up on it but be careful since shed roofs are not as sturdy as home roofs.

  2. Examine the roof to see if there is debris on it, such as pine straw or leaves. If debris is present, remove it with a leaf blower or a long-handled push broom.

  3. Carry the roll of roof felt up to the roof and place the end of the felt at the lower-left side of the roof with the roll pointing upward. Pull over the felt edge so it overhangs the side by at least 3 inches and overhangs the bottom edge by 2 inches.

  4. Place a roofing nail at the lower edge of the roof 1 inch from the bottom of the roof edge, not the felt. Insert it with a hammer. Insert additional nails along the lower edge of the paper at 12-inch intervals.

  5. Roll the paper up over the shed roof and down the other side. Cut off the excess felt on the other side using a utility knife, making sure to leave 2 inches of overhang.

  6. Insert more roofing nails on the opposite edge every 12 inches. Then insert more nails along the length of each side of the felt that extends over the roof, spacing them every 36 inches.

  7. Go back to the starting location and place the roll of felt directly next to the first row. Slide it to the side so it overlaps the first row by at least 4 inches. Install the second row of felt in the same manner as the first.

  8. Continue this process until you have covered the entire shed roof in felt. Then open a tub of roofing tar and use a putty knife to apply the substance on top of each nail head to waterproof them.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Leaf blower or a long-handled push broom
  • Roll of roof felt
  • Utility knife
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Roof tar
  • Putty knife

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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