A Guide to Replacing Roofing Shingles

Javi Calderon
A Guide to Replacing Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles, unfortunately, are very susceptible to natural wear and tear. As the first line of defense between your home and the elements, shingles routinely crack or get loose and give way. You can keep your roof in good condition by setting aside one day a year for shingle replacement.

1.    Replacing your roof shingles begins with climbing on to your roof. Now, I don’t even need to tell you to be careful, a bad slip will put all your home repair plans on hold indefinitely. Make sure your ladder is secure and sturdy as it is propped against the side of your home. Climb up gingerly, if you feel unsafe on the roof or can’t get footing, climb back down and call a professional roofer or contractor to do the job. The job of replacing shingles is a simple one, the most important part of the job is staying safe.

2.    While on the roof count how many shingles are missing or need replacing, then off to your local home improvement store to buy supplies. You will need to buy a bundle of shingles (that match the ones on your roof), roofing tar and roofing nails. If the bundle carries more shingles than you need for your project, don’t worry! You can save them for next year.

3.    When working on the roof make sure your new shingles, roofing nails and hammer – or nail gun – are within reach. You don’t need to be making extra movements, or over-extending yourself while awkwardly perched on your roof.

4.    Loosen the shingles touching broken ones, then carefully pulled the damaged ones out and clean off all debris in the area.

5.    Then slip the new shingle under the bottom of the one above it. Shingles overlap, put about 4 roofing nails into the thick area of the top shingle, thus securing the two together into the roof. 

6.    Apply roofing tar over the nails to secure the job. You may want to consider applying roofing tar to cracks to protect against leaks.

7.    Clean up debris, materials and tools. An easy way is dropping things into the yard below and cleaning them from the ground. Climb back down carefully!

Again, while roof repair is a simple task, safety is the key factor. Make sure to take as many precautions as you can to ensure your safety. If you don’t feel safe, get off the roof!

Home Improvement Essentials
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