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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.
  - 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.


Materials List
    Roofing cement (in caulk tube)
   Galvanized roofing nails
Tools List
   Small Pry Bar
   Putty Knife
   Caulk Gun
   Paper Towel or Rags


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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