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Replacing Asphalt Shingles

Materials List
Roofing cement (in caulk tube)
Galvanized roofing nails
Tools List (click item to shop)
Small Pry Bar
Putty Knife
Caulk Gun
Paper Towel or Rags
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IMPORTANT: Read this before you start

Your home’s roof is the first line of defense in keeping the elements out. A common problem among both new and old roofs alike is damaged shingles. Wind, falling tree limbs, or just normal wear and tear can damage shingles. It is critical to replace damaged shingles to prevent more expensive damage from occurring. This project involves standing on your roof. If you are afraid of heights this might not be the best project for you to attempt. Always keep in mind that roof pitches are very deceiving. What appears to be a moderate slope and potentially easy to stand on might be very dangerous. It is essential that you have a good strong ladder. Please do not attempt this project if you are unsure of your ladder’s stability.

Skill Level & Time To Complete
• Beginner - 2 hours
• Intermediate - 1 hour
• Advanced - 1/2 hour

Always check your ladder for structural integrity and make sure it is in good shape. Before starting, note the location of power lines. Be sure to place your ladder a safe distance away.

Helpful Tips
Try to pick a warm day to do this project as the shingles will be more flexible and therefore easier to work with. Soft bottom tennis shoes seem to give you the best traction working on moderately sloped roofs.

1. This tutorial deals with replacing a single shingle. The steps are the same for multiple shingles. In order to remove the damaged shingle, you will need to loosen the first row of good shingles above the damaged one. Use a prybar or putty knife to gently pry away the adjacent shingles so that good shingles are separated from the damaged one.
2. Once the surrounding shingles are completely separated, gently rock the damaged shingle back and forth to remove it. Continue this process until all the damaged shingles have been removed.
3. The next step is to remove the existing nails. Lift the uppermost good shingle, and pry the nails out, being extremely careful not to damage surrounding shingles (a small block of wood under the pry bar will help you achieve this). Try to remove as many nails as possible where you removed shingles.
4. If there are nails that cannot remove, drive them flush to the roof with a hammer. There should be roughly four nails for each shingle. Do not leave any nails raised above the sheathing.
5. Now prep the area for the new shingle by patching any holes or tears in the felt underlayment. One of the easiest ways to do this is to apply roofing cement using a caulk gun. Squeeze out some cement and spread it thinly and evenly over the damaged area with a putty knife. It is also a good idea to cover the nails that were hammered flush with the roof sheathing with the cement as well. Have some rags or paper towels available as the cement can be very messy to work with.
6. If you are installing several new shingles, always start at the lowest shingle removed and work your way up. Align the first shingle with the existing shingles and attach it with four galvanized roofing nails (or with the number of nails the manufacturer recommends). Nails should be driven in 3/4 inch above the shingle tabs. Continue applying shingles upwards and take care that the new shingles line up properly with the existing ones.
7. Next, gently pry up the upper most existing shingle, being careful not to crack it and carefully slide the final shingles into place and nail them accordingly. It's always a good idea to put a small dab of roofing cement on the last shingle where the top good shingle will come into contact with the new shingle. Do not be concerned that your new shingles do not stick to each other. The shingles are manufactured with a roofing cement strip, which becomes extremely tacky with a few warm, sunny days and will ensure a tight seal against the elements.



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