How to Replace Damaged Shingles on a Roof?


Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials in the USA and other parts of the world. They are affordable, easier to install, and durable.

However, like any other roofing materials, asphalt shingles may face damage after a while. Once you install a new shingle roof, you should know there will come a time when you must do some repairs. Damaged roof shingles should be replaced immediately if you don’t want to deal with more damage.

You need to ensure the new shingle is installed properly. Otherwise, it will not be long before you start looking for more replacement shingles. So, how do you do it? Keep reading this article to learn how to safely and effectively replace roof shingles.


Why You Should Replace Damaged Shingles

Before we look at the how let’s answer the why? You need to understand why you should get some roofing nails and other materials to replace those loose shingles. And here are three main reasons:

Cracked or split shingles affect the surrounding shingles

The first and main reason to replace a damaged roof shingle is to protect the surrounding shingles. A single damaged shingle is like a rotten apple and can lead to more serious roof damage. New shingles should be the solution to keep it going for a few more years.

Avoid replacing the entire roof

Even though installing asphalt shingle roofs is relatively easier and cheaper, you may not have the budget to work on the entire roof yet. Depending on how many replacement shingles are needed, a simple roof repair can save you from such costs. Don’t wait until the material falls off before you start working on your shingle roof.

Protect your home

When a part of your shingle roof is damaged, it can cause water leakages, which may flow into your home and damage the walls and other parts of the house. You can simply use asphalt plastic roof cement to replace such shingles and avoid damage. It’s all about keeping everyone and everything else in your home safe.


How To Replace Damaged Shingles On A Roof Shingle Replacement

Whether you have three-tab asphalt shingles or any other type, fixing any damage is necessary as soon as you notice it. The last thing you want is for your roof to fall off when the heavy rains begin.

Follow these simple steps, and you will have a new shingle in place within a short time.

Tools and equipment

  • Flat pry bar
  • New replacement shingles
  • Putty knife
  • Hummer and nail removal
  • Adhesive/asphalt sealant
  • Shingle cement
  • Safety gear, like heavy-duty gloves

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to start working. But first, remember always to replace shingles when the weather conditions are conducive. Also, try not to further damage the existing shingles, as it will cost you more.

Step 1: Remove the damaged shingles

Only start working when you are sure of the damaged area. In case of overlying shingles, you should carefully lift them off, fix the damaged ones, and then return the top shingles carefully.

A proper assessment will help you locate and work on roof damage efficiently. You may need to work with a qualified roofing contractor for a full roof inspection to discover other loose shingles.

Here is what to do:

Wear proper precautions

An old shingle roof can be quite dangerous, so you must always use proper safety precautions. Choosing the right safety equipment is not only for you but for your roof too.

Assess the damage

You need to know how many shingles are affected before you start working. In some cases, you may need to remove all the shingles before repairing them, while cracked or split shingles can be handled without removal. Also, ensure the moisture barrier is not damaged. Any damage to such areas makes it more challenging to fix cracked shingles.

Work in cool weather

Too much heat will heat up the asphalt shingles, loosening adhesive materials and making your work less efficient. Any professional roofing expert will tell you to wait until the temperatures are cooler. Adhesive strips hold better during such times. When working with three-tab shingles, consider wetting them to cool them before removal.

Loosen the adhesive

It's easy to locate roof damage and other issues, especially when you hire a roofing professional. Once done, remove at least five tabs in the second row above the damaged shingle before starting the repair process. Use a pry bar of the claw of the hummer, setting it perfectly under.

Loosen exposed nails

You need to remove all the nails around the damaged asphalt shingle. This will prevent shingles from further damage when you start repairing them. Start with four nails holding each corner, then work around the remaining nails. Continue loosening the adhesive and nails from any shingle directly linked to the damaged area. A utility knife should be enough for this task. You can then use the hummer to withdraw the loosened nails that you worked on with the pry bar.

Carefully lift and remove the damaged shingles

Remove all the damaged shingles to pave the way for the new roof. You should be careful not to damage any surrounding tab in the process.

Your roof is now ready for the next step. It would be best if you had the old and damaged shingles on the ground by now and ready for a new one.

Step 2: Replace the Shingles

As stated above, you need to replace the damaged shingles when the weather conditions are optimum. You need to prevent shingles from getting blown off during a windstorm or melting when the sun is too hot. Here is what to do:

Prepare your replacement materials

You will need replacement shingles, shingle cement or adhesive, roofing nails, and protective eyewear. Ensure you have the highest quality materials if you want them to last long.

Install the new shingles

The same process is used here when you were removing the damaged roof. However, you are not removing shingles but replacing them. So, instead of loosening the adhesive or nails, you are fixing and reinforcing them. Place the replacement shingle over the position where the old shingles lay. In case your shingles are backed with an adhesive strip, remove the covering before pushing them into place.

Reseal the edges

Ensure all the edges on the three shingles are sealed. This prevents water leakage through the fixed roof area, which could cause mold growth. Slightly lift each tab on each shingle and apply a 1” diameter spot of shingle cement.

Secure the other loose shingles

You loosened the surrounding materials when removing shingles in the first step above. Do not forget to secure them in place thoroughly to keep water leakage at bay.

Dispose of the leftover shingles

Now your damaged roof is fixed. It’s time to clean up. Remove any unused and old shingles from the area.

As simple as that, your roof is as good as new. You will find the job much easier when you hire a reputable roofing company. Equity Roofing is here to help you replace those damaged shingles effectively.


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