How To Repair a Shingle Roof

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    Dec 06, 2013
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How To Repair a Shingle Roof Photo by John Nicholson

Overtime some roofs develop leaks that are not exactly a reason to replace the whole roof but will need a bit of attention and repair work. The reasons for the leaks are many there might be a cracked or missing shingle, or some damage underneath the shingles. In this article we'll talk about locating the damaged parts and repairing it easily.

Usually, broken shingle problems occur where two surfaces meet and mostly around chimneys. To find the problematic shingle you will probably have to go up the roof and inspect it carefully. Located the worn off or damaged areas, look for inadequate flashing or caulking.

When you find the problematic shingle the repair process is really easy. You can re-attach any curled back shingles with asphalt roof cement or a compound that is ideal for caulking guns. I would really recommend the compound because you can be more precise with the caulking gun and not make a mess of things. Be careful though, shingles can be easily straightened in warm weather but when it's cold you'll probably break them if you force them too much. You'll have to soften them first. Here's how you do it.

Take a propane torch and start to heat the edges of the shingle. You'll have to just soften the shingle not set them on fire. That's why don't hold the flame directed at them for too long.

Sometimes the shingles are still in place with no visual damage but they're actually rotten. If you can easily lift it with your hand it's time for a replacement. Shingles doesn't have to be and exact match for replacement you can make them fit if you bear with the colour differences.

The steps to remove the damaged shingles are pretty easy.

First, lift the edges of the surrounding shingles and remove the nails holding the shingle in place. Scrape any cement or compound residue left.
Take the new shingle and round it's back corners to make it easier to fit in place.
Slide the shingle into place and nail the edges. The nail head should be covered with some roof cement or compound.
And this is it your new shingle is in place and the leak should not be present anymore.

This method for replacing shingles should work on any roof. But if you see that changing them doesn't fix the leaks, you are facing a bigger problem. The best way to handle such problems is to hire an experienced builder  to take care of the problem for you. Remember it's not an easy job and you'll probably ruin your roof while trying to fix it.

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