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How To Patch A Roof In 8 Steps (Homeowner’s Guide)

September 20, 2023 // 6-minutes read

One of the top causes of water damage in a house is rain coming through a leaky roof. You do not want to leave your home in such a condition for long as it means you are going to have to start wading after a few days. 😅 So, do you know how to patch a roof and make it as good as new?

Below, we run through the steps you need to take to get your roof back in tip-top shape to ensure that you do the job in a way that is:

  • Safe 🦺
  • Competent 📋
  • Fast 💨

So, pick up your tools and get started.

1. Inspect the Problem

roof inspection process by workers

Before patching the roof you need to know where the issues are, so you need to start by looking over the roof for any problems. 👷🏽 Do this both from the inside as well as the outside, as it will often be easier to see holes when the sunlight shines into the roof.

If any shingles are missing or damaged, make a note of how many and where they are. Also, check the edges of the roofing such as the flashing for any areas that might no longer be as secure as they used to be.

When you are searching for damage, mark any areas that need fixing with chalk, or duct tape if it is likely to rain. This will show you where you need to focus when you return with the right equipment.

2. Ensure You Have the Right Tools

You have a full toolkit, right? 🙃 Well, before you get up on the damaged roof, make sure you have the items you need. These will include:

Ladder. A ladder to get onto the roof, or a stepladder for inside the home. 🏠

Replacement shingles. 🧱 They should be of the same make and shape as the old shingles. If they are not, they may not sit flush with the others and will only cause more roof problems.

Pry bar. This will help you remove damaged shingles from the roof without causing harm to the area around them.

Roofing cement and trowel. When you put new shingles in, this will secure them in place.

Roofing nails and hammer. These will hold the shingles in place more than cement alone. This is the “belt and braces” method of ensuring a secure roof.

Gloves and protective eyewear. 🧤 Safety first, right? 🥽

3. Understand Safety

Even with the proper equipment, it is important to ensure you know what you are doing. To start with, check the ladder you want to use to ensure it is both sturdy and secure. If you are unsure, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Also, wear strong footwear. The roof may have debris or exposed nails on it from previous work, so wear shoes that protect you from harm.

Before you go up, check the weather. ☔ The last thing you want is to start working during a thunderstorm, after all, and even a little water can make the surface of the roof slippery. 🌩 Instead, pick a day when you can have the assurance you will remain dry and unassailed by the wind. 🌈

If you have one, consider using a safety harness. 👷🏾 By anchoring yourself to the roof, you avoid having a fall that could end up with you in a hospital or worse. 🏥

4. Remove the Damaged Parts of the Roof

damaged roof of house

When you get up on the roof, use the pry bar to pull up any damaged shingles. Place the edge of the bar underneath the shingle, close to any existing nails, and gently apply pressure on the far end. Do this with care not to harm any surrounding shingles and try to avoid causing further damage. 🚧

After this, take out any remaining nails, but be aware of where they came from so you can replace them later without making the join weaker.

Try to avoid discarding the shingle off the side of the roof. This could cause damage to people and equipment. 🚑

5. Replace the Shingles Using Cement

Apply roofing cement to the bottom of the replacement shingle. Put it across the whole surface, as this will act as a waterproof adhesive moving forward. Once the cement is in place, put the shingle where the old one was, making sure to create a bond with the surrounding shingles too. 💪

6. Reinforce the Roof With Nails

Use the hammer to force them through the shingle into the holes where the previous nails sat. This will make sure it remains even after light weathering. Although be careful not to force the nails in too far, as this may harm the roof or the shingle itself. 🔨

7. Create a Watertight Seal

Once the shingle is firmly in place, use more cement around the edge of the shingle where it touches other parts of the roof. This offers a layer of protection to the underside of the shingle, preventing water from dripping through. 🌧

If you later see water coming through, this likely means you did not use enough cement or did not apply it in the right places. Make sure no gaps remain at the end to keep your home dry.

8. Inspect the Work

Once you finish, you can step back and admire the hard work you have done. Go back and inspect all the shingles you placed down to ensure any subsequent work you did has not affected the ones you placed earlier. 🧐 It is also important to make sure that the drying process of the cement has not left any gaps you might need to fill in.

Once that is all done, you can go get yourself a refreshment! 🍹 You did the hard work with the roof repairs, after all. 😎

Get Someone Who Knows How to Patch a Roof

Even with the above information, you might not feel confident doing this job yourself. That’s ok, and it is normal to be a little worried about getting up on the top of your home. Even if you know how to patch a roof, we can help you out.

We are specialists in the area of roof services and can get in, get the job done, and get out in record time. All you need to do is give us a call and let us know what you need us to do today.

Quicker Service. Bigger Discounts. Fewer Hassles. Buckworth.

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