How to Repair a Leaky Shingle Roof

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Things You'll Need

  • New shingles

  • Flat pry bar

  • Roofing nails

  • Propane torch with flame-spread nozzle

  • Asphalt roofing tar

  • Roofing sealant

There are several possible sources of leaks from a shingle roof. Shingles sometimes become loose. They also can curl or crack. Sometimes, a shingle disengages from the roof all together and needs to be replaced. If the roof is old or there are many shingles that need to be repaired, it may be time to replace the roof. If, however, the roof is basically in good condition, it is worthwhile for the homeowner to tend to the repair. Professionals may be called, but repairing or replacing shingles is a job that a homeowner can undertake herself.


Fixing a Leaky Shingle Roof

Step 1

Find the leak's source. Carefully examine the shingles that surround the area at the source of the leak. Look for missing, cracked, misshapen or damaged shingles.

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Step 2

Use a flat pry bar to pry off a damaged shingle. The roofing nails should pop out. Remove the shingle.

If the shingle is missing, continue from here.

Step 3

Place the new shingle in place, aligning it carefully with the surrounding shingles. Keep extra shingles on hand from the last time that the roof was shingled. Buy extra shingles, if none are on hand, at a home center.


Step 4

Lift up the shingle that borders the new shingle from above. Secure the new shingle with roofing nails.

Step 5

Coat the nail heads and the gaps between the shingles with asphalt roofing tar.


Step 6

Repair curled shingles by softening them with a propane torch with a flame-spread nozzle. Be careful that they don't become too hot--a fire may start. Glue them back down with roofing sealant.

Step 7

Place a brick or block on the glued shingle to weight it down. Remove the brick or block after a day.


Step 8

Fix cracked shingles with roofing sealant. Apply sealant first to the underside of the shingle where the crack is located.

Step 9

Press the shingle down and apply sealant to the top of the crack to seal it from above.


Roof repairs should be done on sunny days, never when the roof is wet or icy.


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