8 Ways & Tips on How to Repair Shingles on a Damaged Roof

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roof shingles close-up

The cost of repairing shingles can run between $300 to $500 per square feet. Damaged shingles cut the lifetime of your roof short. Alos, they can cause a mold infestation, and in colder climates where the water freezes, this creates an expansion that can even damage the structure of your home. Knowing how to repair shingles on the roof could save you as much as $1,500 in accumulated costs. Before you begin, however, you should wear protective eye gear, use heavy-duty gloves and boots with grips while walking on the roof. Never take on a roofing project by yourself.

8 Life-Saving Tips and Tricks on How to Repair Roof Shingles

Tip #1: Plan and Assess the Damage

Before you can even begin, you will first have to assess the extent of the damage and replace the shingles in disarray. While it may sound like overkill to install harnesses and roof jacks, the complexity and the height of the roof will determine how the project moves forward. Never rush work on a roof because reckless behavior leads to injuries. Roofing work ranks as the sixth most risky career and for a good reason. With a startling statistic of 29.4 fatalities for every 100,000 people, roofers have a 5.9 times greater risk of workplace injury than other workers. When you plan better and take precautions, you lower the risk.

Tip #2: Check the Moisture Barrier for Damage

several workers on a roof

When the surrounding shingles fail to defend your home from moisture, you can run across expensive costs like mold removal. How to repair shingles depends on the type of damage. If the shingle fails to keep wetness out, you will want to replace everything within the damaged area. For some situations, you will be better off removing all the shingles from the home when the area surrounding the damage has led to brittle and dry shingles.

Tip #3: How to Repair Shingles—Make Use of Colder Weather

Before you take on a roofing job, you have to understand asphalt and asphalt sealant. In warm weather, the sealant heats up, which makes it harder to remove during summer months. You can remove shingles much easier in cool weather. Starting first thing in the morning before the sun reaches full heat can save you a lot of time. Nevertheless, you should also be cautious of weather that’s too cold. For example, you can’t install a flat rubber roof in temperatures below 40 degrees. The adhesive that usually seals the rubber will freeze and fail to bond at temperatures below this.

Tip #4: Cedar Shingle Repair—Beware of Specialized Shingle Problems

a roofer's hands placing a shingle

Cedar roofing behaves differently from other roofing types. For example, not all sections of the cedar roof will weather at the same rate. The southern end of your home might have trees that cover your roof in the shade. On an unprotected wood roof, these circumstances create the perfect storm for moisture buildup. Moss starts to grow, and as it accumulates, it can harbor moisture that seeps into your home. You have to protect this type of shingle from decay and wood rot to avoid accumulating costs.

Tip #5: Follow the Professional Roofer’s Golden Rule

How to repair shingles depends on the circumstances of the roof, but you typically want to remove a minimum of five tabs within the second row, which is above the three-tab shingle. You need to pull up enough of the shingles to reveal the nails, and the damaged shingles will be removed from below. Within the radius of the damaged shingle, you should carefully inspect the area to ensure you fixed the problem.

Tip #6: Inspect Your Roof After Every Storm

Rain, wind, and hail can all harm the shingles on your roof. How to repair shingles means taking a proactive approach to your roofing problem. While a light rain or thunderstorm could sound harmless, even a strong windy day can lift shingles and send missile debris toward your roof. Look inside your attic for damp areas. Also, instead of taking the danger of climbing onto your roof, buy a pair of binoculars. You can see much better—look for uplifted and curled shingles and missing or torn shingles. Whether you have a tree branch or debris on your roof, you obviously want to remove it. After hailstorms, search for dimples and pockmarks.

Tip #7: Free Roof Inspection—the Better Way

Instead of taking on the risk of a roofing repair yourself, you can call out a contractor to conduct a free roof inspection. However, beware of shady roofing contractors that claim to give you a free roofing inspection. In some cases, you sign a waiver where you will be obligated to pay for the services if your insurance company accepts the damage assessment. While you cannot do much to prevent violent storms, you can take precautionary measures to prepare for them and stop the damage before it compounds.

Tip #8: Use Adhesive to Repair Split or Cracked Shingles

When it comes to how to repair shingles, sometimes the damage will be small enough that you can use adhesive to repair it instead. In other cases, you might not have the money to buy new shingles, and you can line the crack with a liberal amount of adhesive to slow down moisture from getting inside the roof. You should hold the glue in place for several seconds to allow for it to seal properly.

These are some of the methods on how to repair shingles. After you have carefully removed an old shingle, reuse may be next to impossible. In many cases, the shingle will be damaged because the nail was pulled through with it. At the least, you will want to use NP1 sealant to reseal the tabs. If you have a roof older than 20 years, you may want to consider re-roofing it. Do you have experience with re-shingling a roof? What are some of the things you look for? Also, how have you stayed safe while roofing?

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