How to Repair and Patch a Roof


If your roof has sprung a leak, you might consider patching the leak yourself if you have a roof that's not dangerously steep. If your roof has a steep pitch and a serious leak, hire a contractor to handle the job. Sometimes roof shingles fall off during a storm or begin to curl from age, which can cause a roof to leak. Although patching a roof fixes the problem, aged shingles and leaking indicate that a roof needs to be replaced in the near future. Under normal circumstances, completing a roof repair yourself does not require a lot of time or skill to complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement roof shingles
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Caulk gun
  • Roofing sealant
  • Locate the exact area on the roof in need of repair. If you have a leak inside the home, visually inspect the roof directly above the leak to locate the cause of the problem.

  • Remove any curled or broken shingles by prying them off. If necessary, remove the surrounding shingles for easier access to the shingles in need of replacement.

  • Remove the old roofing nails beneath the shingles using a hammer. With a caulk gun filled with roofing sealant, squirt the sealant into the old nail holes.

  • Nail new shingles to the roof in place of the old ones. Use roofing nails to install the shingles. Apply roofing sealant to the nail holes after installation.

  • Squirt roof sealant onto the entire bottom-side of any loose shingles. Push down on the shingle for a couple of minutes. Install another shingle if necessary.

  • Tighten roof flashing using roofing nails, followed by roofing sealant. Replace severely bent or damaged roof flashing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have new shingles, patch the roof with heavy-duty plastic as a temporary solution.
  • Do not ignore a roof in poor condition. Aged shingles and leaking problems indicate that the roof needs to be replaced.

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