How to Replace Asphalt Shingles

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You may not need a new roof, but replacing a few bad or missing shingles to avoid water damage can save you money later on.

Things You'll Need

  • Roof Cement
  • Shingles
  • Nail Bar
  • Caulk & Glue Guns
  • Extension Ladders
  • Hammers With Claw Head
  • Putty Knives
  • Roof Common Nails
  • Make sure the roof is dry before you climb on to it and that any ladder you use is sturdy and well-secured.

  • Check your roof at least twice a year and after bad storms, and look for loose, damaged or missing shingles.

  • Count the damaged pieces so that a salesperson can help you purchase the right number for the job.

  • Take one of the damaged shingles with you to a lumberyard or home-improvement center to match color and style.

  • Climb up to the rooftop.

  • Bend back the shingles above the damaged shingle. Use a gentle motion to avoid damaging nearby good shingles.

  • Remove nails and any remaining pieces of damaged shingle with the claw head of a hammer or a flat nail bar.

  • Use a sharp utility knife to cut the new shingle to match the size of the old one if necessary.

  • Slide the new shingle into place and nail it.

  • Glue down the raised shingles with roofing cement. This can be applied either from a tube with a caulking gun or from a can with a paint-stirring stick or old putty knife.

  • Make sure to remove any debris from the roof and gutters.

Tips & Warnings

  • This job is easier if the weather is warm: The shingles are much more pliable and less likely to get damaged. The new shingles will seal down more quickly as well.
  • If the roof is steep or you have a fear of heights, call in professionals. They have equipment and experience to handle tough jobs.

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