After a string of bad storms, you may have noticed that some of your roof's shingles have either become damaged or blown off completely. If so, you may decide to make minor repairs yourself to keep your roof from leaking. After inspecting your roof and taking safety precautions, use the tips below to help you with your project.
Examine Any Shingles Lying On The Ground
Before you begin your repairs, gather up and examine any shingles laying on the ground that were blown off. It is possible that some of them are still in decent shape, making them useable as temporary patches on areas on your roof that are bare.
When looking at each piece, check for cracks and signs of deterioration. Apply gentle pressure using your fingertips to see if the shingle can withstand it. If you hear it starting to pop or pieces start to crumble, throw it away. However, if it appears to be whole, place it in a stack of shingles you can use to patch holes.
Apply Roofing Cement To Secure Curled Or Missing Shingles
While on the roof, look for any shingles that are curled around the edges or have gaps between an edge and the roof. For these shingles, you can use roofing cement to seal the gaps and secure the shingles to the roof. For this step, you will need a tub of cement and a hand trowel.
For each shingle, carefully lift the curled or dislodged edge with one hand. Apply a small amount of cement on the tip of your hand trowel, and smear the cement inside the gap. Using the palm of your hand, apply light pressure to the shingle to secure it to the roof.
You can also use cement on the shingles you gathered in the previous section to temporarily patch bare areas. Use the trowel to apply a thick layer of cement on bare plywood, as well as a thin layer on the shingle. Position the shingle, and evenly and firmly press down to attach it. If you need to use more than one shingle to patch an area, overlap the pieces, and apply an extra layer of cement at the outer joint between the two shingles.
Use A Handheld Hammer To Drive In The Roofing Nails
After you have cemented the shingles to the roof, you still need to drive nails into the corners to keep them securely affixed. When driving the nails, use a handheld hammer. While a nail gun may make the job go quicker, the pneumatic pressure may drive the nails in too hard, potentially cracking any brittle shingles.
The pressure from an automatic nail gun could also break the plywood underneath if it is old or starting to rot. If the plywood has already started to deteriorate, a nail that is driven too hard could create large cracks in it. This would make your roof more susceptible to leaking, potentially causing major damage to the inside of your home.
Once you have nailed the replacement shingles, carefully walk around the roof, and look for any nails that are sticking up. Whenever you see one, lightly tap it to make the head level with the surface. This could help keep other shingles from flying off your roof if another storm blows through with high, damaging winds.
Using the above tips can help you successfully patch and repair small areas on your damaged roof. However, if you find that there are larger areas that need repairs or that the underlying plywood has rotted, you may want to contact a roofing company to discuss your options for either repairing or replacing your home's roof.