Another day, another storm, another blown-off roof shingle, the circle of life. We all know the frustration of an ever-growing repair list as a homeowner, which is why we’re here to help you check off at least one of those repair items. A blown-off or damaged shingle might not seem like a big deal right away, but if you don’t put repairing it at the top of your task list, you risk damage to the rest of your roof and even the inside of your home.
On the positive side of things, identifying and replacing damaged or missing shingles is fairly DIY-friendly. So strap on your work belt and grab a ladder. It’s time to learn how to replace blown-off shingles!
How to Spot a Missing Shingle
The is the simple part, head out to your lawn and get a good view of your roof. Missing or damaged roof shingles are easy to spot and usually stick out like a sore thumb. If the roof shingle is missing completely, you’ll notice a much darker spot on your roof where the shingle used to be. If you have damaged roof shingles, they will usually have some discoloration and/or be lifted, curled, or hanging on by a corner. A healthy roof will look like a nice even pattern, so really, you’re just looking for anything that’s out of place. Make sure to do a walk around your house so you can get a full view of your roof from different angles.
In some cases, you may notice a leak or draft on the inside of your house due to a missing roof shingle. If this happens, you should call a roofing professional right away to prevent any further damage to your roof. Hopefully, the damage to your roof is as simple as a missing shingle with no leaks, in which case you might be able to fix it on your own with the tools below.
The Tools You Need
In order to replace one or more roof shingles, you’ll need to head over to a local hardware store and pick up matching shingles so that your roof looks as good as new when you’re done. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a match, but you can also order some online if you’re having difficulty. Once you’ve got matching roof shingles, you’ll want to make sure you have these tools:
Ladder – size dependent on the height of your roof
Roofing Hammer – a regular hammer will also work if you already have one
Galvanized roofing nails
Toolbelt – this isn’t essential, but it’s nice to have so that you can safely climb your ladder with your hands free.
Replacing Your Shingles in 3 Steps
Step 1: Safely set up your ladder
An important step to ensure your roof is the only thing that’s damaged! Slips and falls happen all the time, if you’re uncomfortable with heights or inexperienced climbing ladders, don’t risk it. Call the pros at WISA to help you out.
Assuming you’re confident with a ladder, position the feet of the ladder on even ground and make sure the top of the ladder goes higher than the edge of the roof. Once the ladder is securely in place, you can make your way up to the roof with your tools!
Step 2: Remove nails and debris
Now that you’re on your roof, you can go to the area where your damaged or missing shingle is. You’ll begin by lifting the row of shingles above the missing shingle to reveal any nails keeping the old roof shingle in place. Use your pry bar to pull the old roofing nails out, if you leave them in they will tear a hole in your new roof shingles.
Step 3: Slide the new shingle in place
Once all the damaged shingle and roofing nails are disposed of, you can slide your new strip of roof shingles underneath the existing shingle. The last part is using your galvanized roofing nails and hammer to nail the shingle down along the nail strip. For standard three-tab shingles, you should use four roofing nails along the nail strip to secure it to your roof.
And that’s it! But wait, what caused your shingle to blow off in the first place?
Why Roof Shingles Blow Off
The obvious reason would be due to severe wind or weather conditions ripping your shingle right off your roof, but it’s not always that simple. If your roof shingles weren’t properly installed initially, they are more susceptible to being blown away or simply falling off. The age of your roof is another factor. Over the course of 10-15 years, your roof will begin to decay along with the adhesive strips on the back of your shingles. If you have multiple shingles that are decaying, being blown off, lifting, or curling, that’s a good sign that your roof has reached its’ lifespan. Improper installation, poor adhesion, or age paired with even a mild storm is a perfect recipe for blown-off shingles!
Don’t Wait, Call the Pros
There’s no shame in calling a professional when your roof is in trouble. The worst thing you can do is try to wait it out. Nobody can control the weather, but you CAN control how well your roof will stand up to the weather by hiring the professionals at WISA. We get the job done right the first time, so you don’t have to climb up a ladder and fix things yourself in the future. If you aren’t comfortable with replacing blown-off shingles on your own, or you have other roofing needs, schedule a free consultation with us! We’ll get there fast and give you an honest estimate based on the severity of the damage.