What Is a Shingle Starter Strip?

By Karen L Edwards 08-09-2022
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A shingle starter strip is an important part of a residential roofing system. It plays a critical role in reducing the risk of shingle blow-off along the eaves and rakes of the roof. It provides a base under the shingle at the eaves, helping the roof shed water efficiently. As its name implies, every asphalt shingle roof will start with this shingle.

Your Shingle Starter Strip Matters

Some roofing contractors may think that cutting three-tab shingles will work as a roofing system's starter strip, but that could risk the adhesive being improperly placed without a tight seal. Having a strong seal along the eaves and rakes is key to helping reduce the risk of shingle blow-offs.

In addition to risking improperly placed adhesive, cutting your own starter from a three-tab shingle is laborious and may result in an uneven, messy look on the roof edges.

GAF offers several options for your starter strip including Pro-Start® starter strip shingles which provide a cost-effective alternative to cut-up 3-tab shingles — and WeatherBlocker™ premium starter strips. The advanced Dura Grip™ adhesive on the starter is precisely placed to help keep the shingles in place. Because the starter strip shingles are manufactured in a controlled environment, they are uniform and result in an aesthetically pleasing finished roof edge.

GAF Lifetime* Designer Shingles, like Grand Sequoia® or Grand Canyon®, benefit from the StarterMatch® starter strip that provides a complementary color match for the designer shingle. Installed with WeatherBlocker Premium starter strips, the StarterMatch ensures that this important part of the roofing system won't detract from the overall finished appearance of the roof.

Proper Installation Affects Performance

As with any roofing system, a quality installation matters. Starter strip shingles won't help if they are improperly installed. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer's instructions so you're correctly aligning the starter shingles along the eaves and rakes and using proper nail placement for a secure attachment.

Fast and Easy Starter Installation Option

With the overall roofing industry's labor challenges, many contractors are seeking solutions that can boost efficiency and allow them to do more with the same size crew, without risking quality. One solution to consider is GAF's QuickStart® Peel and Stick Starter Roll to help you get your roof installation underway quickly and conveniently. When you choose this starter roll, there is no need for nailing or for cutting a starter strip while on the roof. It features the same factory-applied Dura Grip adhesive as the starter strip shingle that's designed to help lock the shingles in place. Crews appreciate the ease of installation that allows them to quickly install the starter and move on to the rest of the shingles.

Enhanced Warranties

Starter strip shingles may also help qualify the roofing system for enhanced warranties. While the details will vary by manufacturer, GAF starter strip shingles are one category of qualifying accessory products for GAF enhanced warranties such as the Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty**. This provides a fifty year non-prorated period against manufacturing defects (versus the 10 years offered by the standard warranty). It also offers homeowners up to 30 years of coverage against the roofing contractor's misapplication of GAF products and covered flashings (which are defined as flashings installed at valleys, dormers, chimneys, and plumbing vents) even if the roofing contractor is no longer in business. The Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty** also provides coverage for tear-off and disposal if necessary to repair the roof in the event of a covered claim.

Contact your GAF Territory Manager if you have any questions about how the use of a starter strip shingle can help save your crew time on the roof, while potentially helping your customers obtain a more comprehensive warranty on their roofing system.


*Definition of Lifetime: The word "Lifetime" means as long as you, the original owner(s) [or the second owner(s) if coverage was properly transferred during the Smart Choice Protection Period], own the property where the shingles and/or accessories are installed. The Lifetime warranty is applicable only to shingles and accessories installed on a single-family detached residence owned by individuals. For any other type of owner or building, such as a corporation, governmental entity, religious entity, condominium or homeowner association, school, apartment building, office building, or multi-use structure, the length of the warranty is 40 years. See the GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty, GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty and GAF Golden Pledge Limited Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions.

**See Golden Pledge Limited Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions. See gaf.com/lrs for a complete list of qualifying products.

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