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Jan 19

Fix Damaged Roof Shingles – Without A Contractor

Free Digital Photos Matt Banks  ID-1005713

Image Courtesy of Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.com

The roof and foundation are the two most important portions of your house. Today is the focus of the roof. Replacing a roof is astronomically costly, but not doing so when it is needed is disastrous. Learn here how to switch out a few shingles that need replacing, to help stave off the inevitable until you are ready.

If you want something done right, do it yourself!

NOTE: do this only if you are comfortable with heights and can walk around on the roof without falling. Sometimes the damaged shingles will be near the edge. A trip to the emergency will counteract the whole point of saving a few bucks, not to mention potentially causing a permanent injury.

Work on the roof only when the roof is dry and there is no chance of rain on that particular day. Also, choose a day when it is warm outside; the shingles themselves will be easier to handle and bend a little. On a cold day, they are more likely to crack.

The first thing you want to do is take a look at your roof to see how many shingles you will need to replace. Any that are curled or bent, broken or cracked need to be repaired or changed. Also, those that are completely discolored probably should be changed as well, for the protective layers have been worn off.

Before heading up to the roof, you may wish to look around your gutter drain. If you see a whole lot of the granules that were washed down from the shingles on the roof, gather them. You can put them on top of curled shingles you repair using roofing sealant.

You will need:

Hammer
Pry Bar (flat)
Roofing Nails
Shingles
Caulking Gun
Roofing Sealant
Putty Knife
Bricks

When you are buying your roofing nails and shingles, do yourself a favor and get a few extras of each. It will save you from having to go back to the store to retrieve more because there were a few damaged shingles you initially overlooked, or you broke a few good ones during the removal of the bad ones. Expect to use eight nails per shingle. Also expect that you will drop some off the roof or bend a few, so get an extra box if the amount you are getting equals one box.

Remove The Damaged Shingle
Once you have all your materials on the roof and you feel comfortable walking around, go to your first charge. Slide the flat pry bar under the shingle ABOVE the damaged one, as shingles are overlapped. Ever so gently and delicately lift it, breaking the sealer strip. You should see a row of nails underneath. Then use the pry bar under the damaged shingle and pry upward. When the nails start coming out, push the shingle back down. This is to pull out the nails without breaking the good shingle above. Remove the nails.

With the nails removed, you may pull out the bad shingle. Put the new one in and nail. Expect to break a few shingles above the one you are about to replace, as they become brittle with age and will crack with too much bending. This is why you bought some extra ones.

Fixing Shingles That Are Curled
Put a bit of the roofing sealant under the curled portion, using a caulking gun. Squish the shingle down. Place a brick on top of it and leave the brick there until the following day, to make sure it adheres.

Repairing Cracked Shingles
Put a line of sealant under the cracked shingle. Squish it down. Lay another layer of sealant along the top of the crack and spread it around using the putty knife. Add some of those granules you found.

Once you are done with those, you will know whether or not you can do the whole roof. If you do not need to replace the sheathing and felt, you can replace the shingles a few rows at a time, beginning with the bottom row. Doing it this way, you can buy a stack of shingles and a few boxes of roofing nails at a time and spend a few hours one or two weekends a month, so it is not incredibly overwhelming.

You can eat an entire elephant – one bite at a time!

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