What Is The Best Adhesive For Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofing material in residential buildings.

They provide an effective barrier against the elements, but a crucial component to their success is the use of a strong and durable adhesive.

Gray asphalt shingle roofing

The adhesive helps hold the shingles in place, preventing them from becoming dislodged during extreme weather conditions.

In your search for the best adhesive for asphalt shingles, it's important to consider factors such as durability, weather resistance, and ease of application.

Certain types of adhesives may be more suitable for specific climates or installation methods, so understanding your needs will help you make an informed decision.

Let's explore some of the top options available to ensure your roof remains secure and in good shape for years to come.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material due to their affordability, durability, and ease of installation.

They are made from a combination of asphalt, fiberglass or organic materials, and granules that provide protection from UV rays and other elements.

Worker installing asphalt shingle roofing

When you're looking to install or repair asphalt shingles, choosing the right adhesive is essential to ensure a secure and long-lasting roof.

There are several factors that you should consider, such as the type of shingle, environmental conditions, and the intended application.

Why Is Adhesive Important?

It's crucial to understand why adhesive is an essential part of the roofing process.

Protection Against Elements

Proper adhesive ensures that shingles remain in place during high winds, heavy rainfall, or other extreme weather conditions.

Extended Lifespan

It prevents premature wear and tear, ensuring that the shingles last their intended lifespan.

Improved Aesthetics

A correctly bonded shingle roof looks neat, uniform, and professionally done.

Best Adhesive for Asphalt Shingles

Generally, any type of high-quality, branded adhesive can be used to bond shingles. Here are some considerations:

Types of Adhesives for Asphalt Shingles

1. Roofing Tar or Asphalt Cement

This is a traditional adhesive, often used because of its durable bonding strength.

Roofing tar is waterproof and weather-resistant, making it perfect for asphalt shingles.

2. Plastic Roof Cement

A bit more flexible than roofing tar, this adhesive provides a strong bond.

It is especially useful in colder climates, where shingles may contract and expand due to temperature changes.

You can also try this roof cement on Amazon.

3. Roofing Nails

While not an adhesive per se, roofing nails are a traditional method for securing shingles.

They are often used in conjunction with adhesive for added strength and security.

Check out this Liquid Nails roof repair adhesive on Amazon.

4. Self-Adhering Shingles

Some modern shingles come with a self-adhesive strip on the back, which can be exposed and pressed onto the roof for a firm bond. This method is simple and requires no additional adhesive.

Essential Elements To Look For In Adhesives

Here are some essential elements to look for when selecting an adhesive.


Make sure the adhesive you choose is compatible with asphalt shingles.

Some adhesives may not work well with certain materials, leading to a weaker bond or even damage to the shingles.

If you're unsure, check the manufacturer's recommendations or consult with a professional.

Weather Resistance

Your shingles will face various weather conditions, so it's important to choose an adhesive that can withstand the elements.

Look for adhesives that are waterproof, and can resist extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.

Ease of Application

Some adhesives are easier to apply than others. The ease of application is important in making sure the job is done efficiently and without errors.

Trowel-applied adhesives or adhesive tapes may be more user-friendly than certain liquid adhesives, but consider your specific project needs and skill level when making your decision.

Curing Time

The adhesive's curing time can impact your project timeline. Some adhesives cure quickly, while others take longer. Make sure you're aware of the curing time and plan accordingly.


The adhesive's strength is crucial to ensure a sturdy bond between your shingles and the roof surface. Opt for an adhesive that boasts a strong bond and high tensile strength.

The Role Of External Factors

As you may be aware, the performance and effectiveness of adhesives can be greatly affected by the surrounding environment. Here's how:

Temperature And Weather

Adhesives typically have a recommended application temperature range, so be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

For instance, if you're applying an adhesive in colder temperatures, your adhesive might require additional time to cure or may require a specific heating to achieve optimal bond strength.

On the other hand, extremely hot temperatures can cause the adhesive to become too runny, which may lead to issues with shingle placement and bonding.

Weather conditions such as rain, snow, and high humidity can also impact your adhesive's performance.

It's best to avoid installing shingles during wet or humid conditions, as moisture can compromise the bond between shingles and affect the adhesive's curing process.

Surface Conditions

Before applying any adhesive, you must ensure that the roof surface is clean, dry, and free of dust, debris, or any contaminants that could interfere with the adhesive bond.

In addition to cleanliness, you should also consider the existing roof materials and any potential compatibility issues with the adhesive.

For example, certain adhesives may not work well with specific substrates or roofing materials, which may require the use of a different type of adhesive or primer.

Lastly, consider any potential future exposure to chemicals or environmental factors that may affect the longevity of your adhesive.

If your roof is expected to endure more challenging conditions, choosing a high-quality adhesive designed for these scenarios will help to ensure long-lasting performance and durability for your asphalt shingles.

The Right Adhesive Depends On Environmental Factors

Choosing the right adhesive for your asphalt shingles is a combination of understanding the demands of your specific project, the climate of your region, and the product's attributes.

By making an informed decision, you can ensure that your roof will withstand the tests of time and nature.

For more tips on dealing with asphalt shingles, read here:

Composite vs Asphalt Shingles: A Friendly Guide to Their Pros, Cons & Differences

Pros And Cons Of Painting Asphalt Shingles

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