How to Replace Roof Shingles: DIY Roof Repair Guide
April 10, 2023
Have you noticed your shingle roof looking a little shabby in spots? Maybe a severe storm flew away a few shingles. It might be time to replace some shingles.
Knowing how to replace roof shingles is a valuable skill that can save your home and wallet. If you’re not quite ready to update your entire roof, you might be able to patch it well enough to last another season or two.
Learn everything you know to remove damaged shingles and install new ones correctly. Plus, take advantage of some key tips to extend your roof’s life.
1. Inspect Your Roof
Even if you want to do the shingle replacement yourself, it’s best to inspect the roof first to make sure a repair is an option. In some cases, it might be better to have the whole thing replaced.
For example, there are three key signs that you need to replace an asphalt roof. Older roofs, noticeable shingle breakdown, and storm damage might leave you no choice but to arrange for roof replacement.
2. Remove Old Shingles
You’ll need to remove damaged shingles if you notice obvious damage or have loose shingles flapping around whenever the wind blows over your home.
Start by assessing the roof for signs of damage, like broken bits, stains, and curling edges. A flat pry bar works well for removing a damaged shingle and bent roofing nails. Keep an eye out for any missing shingles as well.
Carefully lift damaged roof shingles with the pry bar to avoid ruining surrounding shingles. You want to replace as few as possible.
While this process can be relatively straightforward, take caution when working on the roof and always use proper safety equipment.
3. Inspect the Underlayment and Decking
After you remove all damaged shingles, inspect the underlayment and roof deck underneath. Look for any signs of mold growth, rot, or decay, and make those repairs before installing new ones.
If you do not have the replacement shingles and roofing materials on hand for immediate installation, it’s important to prep the exposed areas until you can finish the job. Any moisture that gets into the underlayment or the roof deck can cause significant damage and make your job that much harder.
4. Install New Shingles
When you replace individual shingles, you want them to fit with the rest of the roof. Select shingles that match and be sure to overlap with surrounding shingles to maintain the pattern.
Use roofing nails to ensure they attach properly to the roof. To get a watertight seal between each layer, you’ll want to apply caulk or sealant.
5. Finishing Touches for a Professional Look
A few finishing touches can go a long way to giving your roof a more professional look, even if you just replaced a few shingles.
- Apply ridge caps to a roof’s peak or ridge.
- Add hip ridges to cover the intersection between sloping sides on a hip roof.
- Seal around vents, pipes, and the chimney to prevent water from entering these areas.
- Use roof flashing material, like metal or rubberized asphalt strips, and apply them with enough overlap onto both surfaces to form a seal. Then caulk around the seams.
Inspect your work for any loose nails or gaps around vents, pipes, and chimneys.
When to Contact a Professional
If something looks or sounds wrong and you don’t feel comfortable handling the repairs, there’s no shame in contacting a professional. Skilled roofing contractors can evaluate and repair your roof to ensure that the job is done correctly. Ultimately, that could save you money and stress down the line.
Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Roofs
Making roof repairs, like replacing missing shingles, can extend your roof’s life. Of course, there are more ways to make your roof last longer.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Clogged gutters remain a leading cause of water-related roof damage. As the leaves and debris build up, they prevent rainwater from flowing away from your home.
You should clean out your gutters at least twice a year. It’s best to do it once in the late spring or early summer and again in late fall as part of your winterization routine. Wait until the leaves are done falling because they can clog up gutters fast.
Trim Overhanging Branches
If you have trees in your yard, it’s a good idea to keep them trimmed away from the house. A fallen limb can damage your roof and make it easier for moisture to get in.
Have Regular Inspections
Regular inspections are another key step in protecting your home. As storm seasons worsen around Ohio, it’s essential to have your roof in optimal shape.
Make sure you regularly check over your roof by walking around the house to look for obvious issues, like missing shingles or dents.
It’s also helpful to have a professional, like a roofer or contractor, take a look at your roof from time to time. They have the experience and training to notice things that you might not recognize. Catching an issue early on is key to limiting the damage.
Do you still have questions about replacing roof shingles? These are the most commonly asked questions and answers on the topic.
Can you replace just a few shingles?
Yes, it is possible to change out just a few asphalt shingles. Depending on the roof’s condition and age, replacing several can be an effective solution for minor damage or wear and tear.
Do roofers put new shingles over old ones?
Yes, roofers can put new asphalt shingles over old ones. This practice, known as re-roofing, can save time and money.
However, it only works for asphalt shingle roofs that are in good condition. It’s also not possible if there are already several layers of shingles in place.
Maintaining your roof is just one of the many challenges of being a homeowner. Taking the time to properly inspect, repair, and replace your roof can save you a headache down the line.
Plus, regular maintenance only goes so far, especially after seasons of heavy storm damage. Eventually, you will need to replace the whole roof.
If it’s time to give your home a facelift with a new roof, the experienced team at RoofX can help. Contact us today to learn how easy and affordable it can be!