Asphalt shingles are an economical roofing choice that can offer years of wear. However, it is not uncommon for a few shingles to wear out before others do. In order to get the full life from your roof, you may need to repair your roof from time to time. Luckily, repairing an asphalt shingle falls within the domain of the average DIY-er. You just need to know what you are doing.
Recognizing a Damaged Shingle
The first step in making a repair is knowing when one is necessary. Inspect your roof from time to time and look for the following signs of damage: shingles that have lost their protective layer of gravel bits, shingles with a bulls-eye-shaped cracking pattern, shingles that have torn down the seams, or missing shingles.
The first thing you need to do before you climb up to your roof to make repairs is to make sure you won't be climbing up and down a ladder to grab odds and ends you may need for your project. Make sure you have the following: replacement shingles, cat's paw, roofing nails, a utility knife, roofing cement, and a couple of buckets. You will use one bucket to haul your materials up to the roof and the other to put scraps and used nails into.
Making the Repair
When an asphalt shingle becomes damaged, you have no choice but to replace the shingle. Follow these steps:
1. Gently lift the edges of the shingles from the row above the damaged shingle to access the nails that hold it in place.
2. Use your cat's paw or similar nail-removing tool to remove the nails that hold the shingle in place (or used to hold in the case of a missing shingle). Place the nails and the damaged shingle in your scrap bucket.
3. Place a dab of roofing cement in the nail holes to make sure water does not leak into your roof through them.
4. If necessary, use the utility knife to cut your replacement shingle to size. Cut from the back of the shingle so that the protective granules on the front do not impede your ability to make a clean cut. Make sure there is a small gap on either side of your shingle.
5. Slide the shingle in place maintaining a gap between the new shingle and the shingles to either side and nail the shingle down. Make sure the nails will be covered from the shingles from the row above.
6. Place a dab of cement over the nailhead to prevent leaks, and if necessary use the cement to stick down the shingles from the row above so that the shingles don't curl up.
Once you get to this final step, your repair is done. You will simply need to repeat these steps on each damaged shingle. On the other hand, if you are not comfortable working on your roof, you can always hire someone to do the work for you.
Contact a service like Cloise & Mike Construction Inc to learn more.