Roof Maintenance: Repairing Damaged Shingles

roof maintenanceAsphalt roof shingles are the most common roofing materials used for residential roofing applications. They are affordable, easy to install, and can last from 20-50 years. But they can shrink, become loose, and even rot when exposed to extreme weather conditions. This exposes the nail heads under them, which causes leaks.

Replacing damaged shingles is an easy task, which you can do yourself. Schedule the repair on a sunny afternoon when the roof is completely dry, as wet surface is slippery and can cause accidents. Use safety ropes, and roof brackets and boards to provide extra footing support.

Observe ladder safety when using a ladder to reach steep roofs; secure it at the top and bottom before climbing. Wear rubber soled shoes for better traction and know the location of power lines. Be careful when working near conduits, power lines, and TV antennas; never touch them or allow a metal ladder to come in contact with them.

What You Need

The materials you’ll need include a hammer, flat pry bar, utility knife, galvanised roofing nails, roofing cement, caulking gun, screwdriver or nail puller, and some matching shingles. Take a damaged shingle to a home improvement store to find a match if you don’t have replacements.

Reattaching Curled-back Shingles

Before replacing the damaged ones, re-attach loose and curled-back shingles in place. Lift them carefully, apply roof cement generously underneath and press them firmly. Cover the nail heads with cement to prevent leaks.

Removing Damaged Materials

Lift the edges of surrounding shingles and remove the nails with a pry bar. Shingles are fastened using eight nails; you have to lift up all the covering tabs to remove them. Damaged shingles are usually brittle, making them harder to remove. To avoid cracking them, work the pry bar gently under both tabs as you push it up. Scrape old cement on the surface using a knife.

Installing New Tabs

Apply roofing cement to the back of the replacement tabs before putting them in place. Slide them up into the gaps and align their front and back edge with other shingles. Lift corners of overlapping tabs and nail them in place using galvanised nails. Cover the nail heads with roof cement and smooth down overlapping shingle edges.