While it’s always best to leave roof repairs up to the professionals, there are some things the handy homeowner can do on their own, such as roof shingles repair.
Repairing a few damaged roof shingles is considered an intermediate-level job, which means you’ll need to have some experience — at least with a hammer and a ladder. It’s an especially good skill to have under your belt in the event that a bad storm blows through town, and you need to take care of any storm damage issues.
Below we’ll cover the 6 simple steps to repairing asphalt roof shingles to get you started.
What You’ll Need to Repair Roof Shingles on Your Home
To get started, you’ll need to have the right tools and supplies handy. You likely have most of the tools on hand, which will save you time and money. However, it may take some doing to get your hands on the right new roof shingles that match your existing ones.
Here’s your shopping list:
- Flat pry bar
- Hook blade
- Safety gear — long pants and shirt, gloves, goggles, safety harness, etc.
- New roof shingles
- 1 ¼ inch roofing nails
- Roof sealant
It’s also a good idea to use the buddy system so you have someone there to help you out with the project and to make sure you stay safe if there’s an emergency situation. So, add friends to your list of supplies.
Roof Shingles Repair in 6 Steps
1. Inspect the Damage
The first thing you’ll need to do is take a look at your shingle situation before climbing up onto your roof with a pry bar. This will allow you to determine the actual number of new shingles you’ll need to order and whether or not you’ll be able to tackle the job.
You’ll know you’ll need new shingles if:
- There are missing shingles
- Balding shingles (from granule loss)
- Cracked or fractured shingles
- Tree branches and other debris lying on the roof
- There’s a leak inside your home
- There are curling shingles or loose shingles that are hanging on by a thread
It’s best to use a pair of binoculars to get a closer look rather than climbing up on your roof and walking around, as foot traffic can cause even more damage.
Additionally, if you do notice a leak, it’s best to call in the professionals to determine the source of the leak. The last thing you want is to spend time and money repairing an asphalt shingle roof just to have it torn off again for a major repair.
2. Order the Replacement Shingles
Once you’ve identified the condition of your shingles, how many you’ll be needing, and whether or not this is a job for you, you’ll want to gather their replacements.
Before ordering, check to see if you already have extra shingles lying around. More often than not, roofers will leave behind a few extra shingles after installing asphalt shingle roofs for this very reason. So, check your storage, garage, basement, etc. to see if you already have some.
If not, check with your local home improvement stores and lumber centers for matching shingles. They typically cost between $15 and $35 per bundle.
3. Remove the Damaged Shingles
Once you have everything you need you can get started. Taking the proper safety precautions, climb up to your roof. Working from your ladder (with your friend holding it steady) using your pry bar to remove the damaged shingles.
- Start by sliding the pry bar underneath each shingle
- Run it along the edges to gently break the glue seal that’s holding it down
- Once the seal is broken, carefully locate the nail underneath
- Use the pry bar to pull the nail up and out
- Carefully remove the damaged shingle
If the shingle still won’t budge, you may have to remove the nail from the shingle that’s directly above it — but be careful not to damage any of the surrounding shingles. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace those too.
Repeat this process for each damaged shingle.
4. Install the New Shingle
Once you’ve removed the damaged shingles, you can start installing the new shingles.
- Set each old, damaged shingle aside (or toss them to your friend if it’s safe enough to do so)
- Starting with one at a time, slide the new shingle into place (exactly where the old one was)
- Hammer in four roofing nails an inch inward from the edges to secure the new shingle
You want to make sure the nails in your new shingles are covered by the above shingles as your asphalt shingles are typically installed in a layered fashion. This means you don’t want to hammer any nails into the bottom edge of your replacement shingles.
5. Nail in Your Surrounding Shingles
If you had to remove any nails from undamaged shingles to get the old shingles free, you’ll need to replace those nails before moving forward.
Simply hammer new nails in their place, ensuring they’re secure and hidden from the elements. If you make a mistake and hammer a nail into an area where it’s exposed to the elements, you can remedy this by putting sealant over the exposed nail head for protection.
6. Apply a Fresh Coat of Roof Sealant
Once all of your new shingles are situated and properly nailed, you can go ahead and apply the roof sealant.
- Apply a bead of the roof sealant along the glue strip at the base of each new shingle
- Firmly press the newly glued shingle onto the shingle just below it to create the necessary seal
- Be sure to apply sealant to any areas where an existing seal was broken as well (the old sealant won’t have the adhesive strength to reseal on its own)
Leave the Roof Repairs to Us
The repair process for a few damaged or missing shingles is no big deal. However, when it comes to further damage, it’s always best to call in a roofing professional. The expert roofers at Roof Troopers are standing by for all of your minor roof repairs and major roof repairs. Get in touch with us today to schedule an inspection and get a free estimate!