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How To Patch A Shingle Roof

How To Fix Damaged Roof Shingles

How to Patch a Leaking Rubber Roof | This Old House

We share step-by-step instructions for the three most common asphalt-shingle repairs.

Maintaining a sound roof literally tops the list of crucial home repairs: It keeps you and your family warm and dry, along with everything in your house. A new roof is a pricey proposition. These simple repairs can keep your existing roof sound for years to come.

Curling Or Mildly Damaged Shingles

Repairing a curling or mildly damaged shingle can also be a DIY project. Follow these simple steps and youll have your roof restored in no time.

  • Spread asphalt roofing cement beneath the curling or broken part of the shingle with a putty knife .
  • Nail the edges into place with a roofing nail, or two if youre sealing a tear.
  • Seal over the top of the nail holes and any other open areas with roofing cement.
  • Roofing sealant, which costs about $4 per tube, can also repair curling and mildly damaged shingles.

    How To Replace Damaged Shingles

  • With the area prepared , slide the new shingle into place. Line up the bottom of the shingle with adjacent shingles to each side. The new shingle will not quite fill the gap between the shingles on either side equalize the gaps between shingles side to side. You may find that the shingle needs to be lifted slightly to slide over staples, nails or the next shingle slide a hand up under it and carefully lift slightly.
  • Very carefully roll up the shingle just above the replacement until the tar line is well exposed as this is where the nails should be driven in.
  • Drive two nails on each tab, or six nails per shingle. The nails, if driven through that tar line, will hold both the new shingle and the one beneath it.
  • Allow the upper, rolled up shingle to relax back into place, helping with a little hand pressure. As shown in the photo, it is a good idea if possible to apply a little heat to help melt the tar and seal the new shingle to the older existing one underneath it.
  • The job shown needed replacement of four shingles, plus one that was damaged in the process of “unsticking” it from the broken one, for a total of five. It took about an hour to do the task a small amount of effort to protect the investment of your home.
  • The upper shingle is curled up, revealing the nailing area. The nail is placed on the tar line and driven through both the new shingle and the older shingle underneath it.

    Read Also: What Is An Asphalt Shingle Roof

    First Things First: Your Safety

    Before beginning any roof repair, make sure you are well-prepared and confident in your abilities. Keep these tips in mind when attempting to do any roofing work on your own:

    • Repair your roof on a sunny, moderately warm day when the roof is entirely dry. Wet roofs are slippery and dangerous. If you have leaves on your roof, it may be moist underneath them, so make sure your roof has been cleared of debris and left to dry before you walk on it. Never climb onto a roof that is icy or covered in morning dew.
    • Wear rubber-soled shoes or boots for traction when you are on a roof. Also wear leather gloves.
    • If your roof is steep, be sure to use a ladder framework to hold onto when moving around on the roof. Consider safety ropes as well.
    • Make sure you are aware of any power lines that hang close to your house so you dont accidentally run into one.
    • Generally speaking, if you are unsure of how to safely climb onto your roof or are uncomfortable with heights, the safest thing to do is call a professional instead. Its not worth saving the money if you are putting yourself in danger.

    How To Repair An Asphalt Shingle Roof

    Cheap Roofers. Are they worth the savings?

    How to repair an asphalt shingle roof yourself, including repairing torn or curled asphalt shingles and replacing a badly damaged shingle.

    Roofing problems make themselves known in the form of leaks and drips. Repair leaky roofs before ceilings and walls are damaged better yet, check your roof at least once a year before the storm season . If your roof is leaking but youre not sure where the leak is occurring, please see How to Find & Fix a Roof Leak.

    To test an asphalt shingle roofs condition, bend over a corner of one or two shingles on the sunniest side of the roof if they break rather than flex, or if they appear gray and bloated, the material is nearing the end of its serviceable life.

    Wear is another factora collection of mineral granules in gutters or at the base of downspouts indicates that the protective mineral surface of asphalt shingles is wearing away.

    Also check for bald spots, cracks, or curled shingles. Small tears, cracks, and holes can be repaired, but missing or severely damaged shingles must be replaced.

    If you suspect that your asphalt roof has aged before its time, check out the new book by our friend, Tim Carter of Ask The Builder, Roofing Ripoff: Why Your Asphalt Shingles Are Falling Apart and What You Can Do About It.

    When your roof has multiple leaks or many damaged shingles, it usually means its time to replace the roofing entirely.

    Recommended Reading: How Often To Get Roof Replaced

    Fitting Shingle Ridge Tile To Roof

    Step 1

    The ridge tiles are positioned on the roof and nailed through the lapped section using 20mm large headed galvanised clout nails.

    Step 2

    The bitumen strip is then heated and the joint consolidated with pressure from a batten. On exposed locations reinforce the tile lap bonding with felt lap adhesive applied in a continuous bead as required 2.5cm from edge of tile.

    Roof Vent Repair Cost

    A roof vent boot repair costs $75 to $150 on a standard slope roof. A complete roof vent replacement costs $150 to $750 or between $2 and $15 per linear foot, depending on the size, type , and if it’s exposed or covered by shingles.

    Roof vent repair cost
    Open valley with metal flashing $200 $850

    *Costs based on an average 10 to 12 square foot valley. Prices increase for more expensive roofing materials or two layers of underlayment.

    • Roof valleys are angled intersections that channel water down to the gutters, which are prone to leaks.
    • Closed valleys have a continuous layer of shingles with an ice and water shield lining below.
    • Open valleys have a stronger, metal strip lining that requires additional sealant.

    Don’t Miss: What’s The Cost To Replace A Roof

    Remove Damaged Roof Vent

    From the top of the roof, remove the damaged roof vent. First, use the pry bar to pull out nails holding the shingles to the vent. Next, use the pry bar to pull back the shingles covering the base of the vent. It helps to have an assistant hold the shingles. Do not remove the shingles. Remove nails that hold the vent to the roof deck. Finally, remove the vent.

    Should Old Shingles Be Removed

    DIY roof repair

    With severely damaged roofing areas or aged shingles shingle roof repair should incorporate removal of old shingles before starting again from scratch with new shingles. Make sure to check your sheathing of any water damages before applying new materials. If youre reroofing applying a new roof deck can ensure new roof shingles will be secured and will lay flat. For new layers of roof on top of old ones remove loose shingles and add a new layer of 30 pound roofing felt before laying on new shingles.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Install Roof Vents

    How To Repair A Wooden Shake Roof

    Repairing a wooden shake roof is similar to repairing a

    shingle roof, although it can be a little more difficult. Use the same type of shakes or shingles to replace the damaged ones. If a ridge shingle is damaged, use a new specially cut ridge shingle instead of trying to make do with regular shingles.

    To repair a wooden shake roof:

    Step 1: Use hammer and sharp chisel to split damaged shake. Slant chisel up into shake at same angle as pitch of roof. Be careful not to gouge surrounding shakes. Pull out pieces of damaged shake.

    Since shakes aren’t flexible like shingles, it isn’t possible to pry out nails. Use hacksaw to cut off nail heads as far down nail shaft as you can. You may want to wrap electrical tape around one end of hacksaw blade to protect your fingers. If

    you can’t reach nails without damaging other shakes, you’ll have to work around them.

    Step 2: Measure gap left by old shake, and cut new one

    about 3/8 inch smaller than this measurement, using fine-tooth hacksaw. You must allow this 3/8-inch clearance because shake will swell the first time it rains.

    Step 3: Install new shake. If you were able to cut off nails that held old shake, just slide new one up into place, with its top edge under overlapping shingles. Nail shake down with two galvanized roofing nails, one at each side of exposed top edge. If you weren’t able to cut off nails, you’ll have to notch new shake to fit around them.

    • Hammer

    Replacing Damaged Asphalt Shingles

    The best long-term asphalt roof repair is always to replace rather than repair damaged shingles. Heres what youll need and how to do it. Hopefully, youve got a bundle of leftover shingles from when the roof was installed.

    If not, take a piece of a damaged one with you to the home improvement or builder supply store to match as closely as possible.

    Some lines of shingles from Owens Corning, GAF, and CertainTeed and other top brands are sold for a decade or more, so you might locate your shingles.

    • Shingles are sold in bundles of approximately 33 square feet of coverage and about 28 shingles: A bundle costs as little as $25-$35 for low-cost 3-tab shingles, and $35-$75 per bundle or more for quality architectural shingles
    • Roofing nails, 1.25 long, cost $5-$10 for a box with enough nails to replace a bundle of shingles
    • A flat prybar costs $5-$10 depending on quality
    • Roofing hammer cost starts at about $25, and costs go to about $45 as quality improves

    With your tools gathered, here is how to replace asphalt shingles and stop that pesky leak:

    Also Check: Can Hail Damage On Car Roof Be Repaired

    Fixing Curled Or Warped Shingles

    It is common for older shingles to begin to curl. Its best to try to straighten out your warped shingles in moderately warm weather. Shingles are much more flexible under warmer conditions. In the cold, shingles can become brittle and break easily. To straighten a curved shingle, simply apply a liberal amount of roof cement to the bottom of the shingle around the edges, and press the shingle down flat onto the roofs surface.

    How To Find A Roof Leak

    Looking for advice the wind blew and tore off some of the ...

    Learning how to find a roof leak is easy but accomplishing the task can be frustrating. And fixing a leaky roof can be less time-consuming than locating where the water is coming in.

    Water frequently enters the house near things that go through the roof. Projections or penetrations such as vents, dormers and chimneys are frequent places for leaks. Locating the exact source can be tricky because visible signs of a leak on the inside might be several feet away from either to the left, right or below the actual source.

    To find the source of a roof leak:

    • Look in the attic with a flashlight for evidence like water stains, trhen trace them up the roof and rafters to the entry point.
    • If the leak isnt obvious, have a helper watch in the attic while you get on the roof with a garden hose.
    • Begin soaking low on the roof, just above where the leak is visible inside the house.
    • Use enough water to mimic heavy rains.
    • Run water over the low side of the penetration for several minutes while the helper watches for any water droplets.
    • If none appear, move to the right or left side of the penetration and let the water run over the area for several minutes before moving to the other side.
    • Work your way up the roof, isolating areas around each penetration until the helper yells that a drip is visible.
    • That will be the vicinity of the leak.

    Also Check: How Do You Get Rid Of Pigeons On Roof

    How Do You Extend The Life Of A Shingle Roof

    You may be able to extend the life of a shingle roof and prevent untimely shingle roof repair by following certain guidelines of maintenance. An important area of your roof that should be kept up with seasonally are your gutters. Make sure to prevent unnecessary water damages from clogged gutters. Keep gutters clean all the way to the lower deck board, and the borders of soffit and facia boards along the gutter line. Another thing to do to extend your roofs life is to remove any fallen debris front the roof like leaves and tree branches. These may collect in your roofs valleys which are essentially pathways for water to travel off of your roof. In the winter, keep a look out for ice dams where snow partially melts on your roof. Ice dams will form on your roof with insufficient insulation so make sure that you have proper insulation on your roof to prevent ice dams. Another area of note is to have proper attic ventilation so that when the sumer months come around you wont have superheated air which can prematurely damage a roof. Finally, make sure to have your roof inspected by a professionals every 2-3 years in order to reseal any weak spots that developed along flashing or to make small shingle roof repairs when necessary.

    How Do I Stop My Roof From Leaking Inside

    A roof leak is never a good thing,whether it happens during a heavy rainstorm or it is simply a small hole. Thegoal is to get roof shingles repair as soon as possible before water seeps intothe walls, creating more damage.

    We provided steps on how to make an exterior repair by replacing missing shingles, but what about the interior? For a temporary patch, follow these steps:

    • Purchase a piece of plywood, roofing tar, and a puttyknife
    • Cut the plywood to the size of the hole
    • Using the putty knife, spread the tar over thehole
    • Spread additional tar around the patch edges

    You may need to hammer in some nails or install screws to hold the patch until it dries. After you have the exterior roof fixed, doing the repair yourself, or hiring one of the qualified shingle roof repair contractors, you can replace that plywood with drywall and repaint the ceiling.

    Also Check: How Much Are Roof Tiles

    How To Fix Nail Holes In A Roof

    Nail holes in a roof can come from nails that have slightly pulled out over time, holes that were not covered during a re-roof or nails that were pulled out of mounting holes when items like antennas or satellite dishes were taken down. In all cases, the holes will eventually conduct water through through the roof and cause a leak in your attic. But before you can fix nail holes, you have to find them, and that is the most difficult part.


    Spray your roof with water and climb into the attic to look for leaks. If possible, have someone hose down your roof while you are already in the attic. Alternatively, climb onto the roof with a bucket of water. Add red food coloring to the water and pour it over suspected leaking areas. The red food coloring will be easy to see from inside the attic as it leaks through the nail holes. Just trace the color back to the place where it has entered, and that will be the nail hole.


    Fill small nail holes with silicone caulk or roof cement. Smaller nail holes will be permanently fixed by this method , but larger nail holes will expand and contract more, which can compromise the seal.


    Cut pieces of sheet metal to size to cover one or several nail holes.


    Lift up the shingles in the surrounding area and cover the roof beneath them liberally with roofing cement using a disposable chip brush.



    One Break The Seal On The Target Shingle

    HouseSmarts DIY Smarts “Fix a Leak in Your Roof” Episode 22

    The images below depict Sedona Dynasty with ArmourZone shingles.

    • In the photo below, the target shingle is located.
    • The first step obviously requires the removal of the nails holding that shingle to the roof deck. To access the nails, the shingle will need to be lifted, but it is likely bonded to the shingle below by the shingles asphalt sealant spots. Although this sealant bond is quite strong , it can be broken by sliding a flat pry bar carefully under the target shingles edge.
    • This sealant separation is best done in cool weather, as the sealant bond will be more easily sheared by the pry bar when cool in hotter weather, the sealant will be more gooey and tenacious, and harder to separate cleanly.

    A word of caution: In cooler weather, the shingles will be stiffer than in warmer weather. Exercise care to avoid distorting the shingles more than necessary.

    Also Check: How To Put A Roof On A Patio

    Patching A Damaged Shingle Roof

    The storm has passed and maybe you just lost a few shingles, a branch might have dented the sheathing, or maybe you just need to cover over an opening , is it really worth filling a claim or If you got the ability, maybe patching up the damage might be the ticket & /or beat waiting 6 months for someone to get out there.

    Just as we mentioned in Emergency Roof Tarping Your insurance company & policy requires you to help prevent & minimize any more damage to the property as quickly & safely as possible. This does not mean that someone who is uncomfortable being on a roof must go up there & do it. Just remember you are the judge of what you can & cant do safely or properly. Dont also forget to save the receipts & hours to do this if you are filing a claim.

    In most cases patching a hole in the roof can be done pretty cheaply & not be visible as you probably have leftover shingles floating around. Now if you dont you can take a damaged piece with you to try to match it up as good as you can or if only temporary grab almost any bundle that might be close enough. Only go a few pieces, no problems as you will only need a few if you are careful & save the undamaged ones to reinstall.


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