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How to Replace Shingles On A Roof


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Shingles enhance the look of a roof. However, a broken shingle not only looks bad on your roof but also might lead to roof leaks. Once one or more shingles on your roof break, you don't have to pull down all the pieces. You can easily find a piece similar to the shingles on your roof in your local outlet. If you plan on going for a technician, you're done at this point. However for the DIY guys, here is how you to replace shingle on roof.

How to Replace Shingle on Roof - Tools & Material You’ll Need

Having your tools ready shall have you later inconveniences. Gather the following before you start.

Here are the tools you need:   

  • A hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Ladder 

The materials you need are:   

  • Replacement shingles  
  • Leather gloves 
  • Shingle nails

Before resolving to buy new shingles, check for any pieces that were left over during construction. This is because you shall have to buy a bundle from the store while you only need one. 

How To Replace Shingle On Roof 

Removing the broken shingle

Shingles are attached to a roof using a sealant and fastened using nails. They are laid in an overlapping sequence to give their beautiful look. Therefore, in order to replace a broken shingle, the nails and sealant have to be done away carefully. Because of the overlapping sequence, when a shingle breaks, the surrounding ones have to be lifted.

Break the sealant

Start by breaking the sealant that's holding the broken piece to the shingle below it. The sealant can be easily broken by sliding a pry bar below the broken shingle’s edge. To do this, place your pry bar on the edge of the target piece and apply light pressure. 

Ensure you get your timing right, it is advisable that you do this when the weather is cool. Cool-weather freezes the sealant making it's bond rigid and easy to break. Warm temperatures make the sealant greasy and hard to remove completely.

Remove the nails safely 

After breaking the sealant for all the shingles to be affected, you can now access the nails. Usually, most of the surrounding shingles shall have to be affected by the replacement process. You need to take a lot of caution when removing the nails. 

Removing them from above the shingle can eat up the grainy surface of your shingles. The surrounding shingles are still in good condition and you do not want to spoil them. 

To safely remove the nails, you need to access them from below. Slide your spry bar below the shingle near the nail area and pry the shingle and nail upwards. This way, the shingles shall force out the nails with minimal damage to the surface. 

You can then easily remove the nails. There are two rows of nails that hold each shingle. Therefore, after doing away with the nails in the first row, the nails holding the preceding shingle shall be holding the other end of your problem shingle.

To access these nails, you shall have to start the sealant removing process then remove the nails holding the upper end of your problem shingle. Lift the preceding shingle to access the nails of your problem shingle. Ensure you remove them in a safe manner as covered earlier. 

Remove the problem shingle

After dealing with the sealant and removing the nails successfully, the shingle becomes loose and can be removed by simply lifting it out. 

Replace the problem shingle and reseal it

After lifting the problem shingle out, install your replacement piece by sliding it into position. Replace the nails accordingly and all the other affected shingles. After they are all in position and well nailed, now it is time to seal the shingles like they were previously. Shingles are made to seal with the other shingles over time, however, it is good that shingles be sealed immediately. To effectively seal your shingles, you can use your roof sealant. 

Other shingle repairs

A shingle does not necessarily have to break for it to be replaced or maintained. Curled shingles and cracked ones for instance spoil the look of your roof and can also lead to leakages. Therefore repairing such issues shall get your roof in position. 

So, we included simple guides to repair this by yourself too. Remember, roof repairs shall best happen during warm weather. During this time, the shingles are flexible and easy to repair. While removing the sealant might be easy during cold weather, the shingles are also rigid and easy to crack or break during such weather.

Fixing curled corners

One problem with shingles is their curling. After some period after installation, some sealant wears out letting the covers curl out. This results in an ugly look of your roof. Apply a sealant to the edges and stick them back. Find some height and let it stay on the edges for about a day. After this, remove the weight to see you clean roof.

How To Repair Cracked Shingles

Shingles that crack don't necessarily need a replacement. That time when you have a cracked shingle situation and do not want to go for a whole pack, you can easily repair that shingle and keep cool. Take a roof sealant of your choice and apply it below the crack. Apply another layer uniformly above the crack. Spread well and apply some sand granules to make it uniform. 

How To Replace Shingle On Roof

Shingles hold the beauty of your roof. When the shingles of your roof crack, curl or break, it doesn't have to cost you much, especially if you're that DIY guy. Access the crack and seal as guided above if possible. 

You have to buy a pack of shingles even when you need only one. In case you really need a replacement due to a broken piece, check whether you got one left behind before going to the store. 

The above replacement and repair tactics shall help you keep your roof tidy and "new forever". Replacing shingles on your roof is that easy!

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