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Community and Q&A

Gluing vs. Fastening Asphalt Shingles

pjpfeiff | Posted in General Questions on

Can asphalt shingles be reliably glued down without using any mechanical fasteners?  The context here is a secondhand cedar playhouse.

A secondary question is, is tar paper necessary when the shingles are purely aesthetic?

I’m pretty sure that trying to nail onto this roof would break it, and anyway the inner surface is within reach of little hands, so I don’t want sharp objects protruding.  I’m also trying to avoid making too much work out of this…

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  1. Expert Member


    There is no downside to trying it. Use a bituminous adhesive. The big problem will be keeping the shingles in place while it dries.

  2. gusfhb | | #2

    Playhouse I am assuming small, and short lived.
    Think I would measure the thickness of the roof and see if short roofing nails can be made to not penetrate. Remember that there are two thicknesses of shingle to go through when properly nailed.
    Be a pain to see the whole thing blow off in a strong wind.
    Also perhaps nails only where there are supports and glue elsewhere, thus no possible nail pokes
    Just thinking that the whole thing may peel in the wind otherwise glue is probably fine

    1. pjpfeiff | | #4

      Good thought to nail only where there are supports--that might actually work. I may try to use screws, though, as screwy as that sounds because I am not confident I can pound nails into it without cracking something.

  3. aaron_p | | #3

    Maybe some corrugated roofing held down with through bolts would be better?

    1. pjpfeiff | | #5

      Probably...we (i.e my wife) just wanted to use the shingles apparently leftover from the last roofing job on our house left by a previous owner. However now that I try figuring how many we need and how many we have, I think we're just shy of having enough to cover half the roof. So other options are on the table now.

  4. thegiz | | #6

    I would just use a colorful tarp, my kids swing set has it. If you look at most premade swing sets with a roof that’s what they use. It’s a thicker tarp however, I wouldn’t use a light one.

  5. user-723121 | | #7

    Way back in the day we used interlocking asphalt shingles as they were thought to hold better in the windy Red River Valley of the north. One of the helpers thought we could just nail the first and the last row, the rest held in place by the interlocking roofing.


  6. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #8

    I'm assuming you want to put this outside and actually keep the rain out? If not, and it's just for show, almost any glue will work. Or you could use strips of painted OSB or wood to simulate a shiplap look.

    A couple thoughts on this: If this were a real house with the problem, you'd just add another layer of sheathing and shingle to that. Also, you can get roofing nails as short as 3/4" if you're worried about poking through. If it's a small area you could attach the shingles to the new piece of sheathing and then attach it as a unit to the house.

    I agree with the general thought about just using a different roofing material. One thing I worry about with galvanized is that the edges aren't very child-friendly. The big box stores sell a peel-and-stick roofing (See ) that doesn't look quite as nice as shingles but would go on easy. You could even do peel and stick for waterproofing and then something else to dress it up.

    If you decide to go with galvanized, I'd run horizontal strips of 1x2 or 1x3, screw them to the framing, and then screw the galvanized to those strips.

    1. pjpfeiff | | #9

      It will be outside but it does not need to be weather tight. I just don't want to attach the shingles and have them blow off in the first stiff wind.

      The idea was to use leftover shingles from the house to make the playhouse look a bit like actual house. But I've discovered we don't actually have enough shingles to cover the roof, so I'm starting to think painting the roof the color of the shingles might be the easiest thing to do.

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