One of the advantages of shingle roofs is that they are easier to repair than roofs made from most other materials. In fact, roofs made from shingles are so easy to repair that some handy homeowners decide to repair their roofs themselves instead of hiring a roofing professional. This is not always advised; major repairs are generally best handled by an experienced roofer. However, if you do decide to patch a small, damaged area yourself, here are a few tips you can follow to make sure your repairs are durable and long-lasting.
Lift the shingles to slide the new ones underneath
Don't simply tear off the damaged shingles and slap some new ones on top. This is an okay temporary fix for just a few days, but it is no way to repair a roof for lasting durability. Instead, you need to lift the shingles that are above the missing or damaged shingles. You'll likely have to pry the nails out of them to do this. Then, nestle the new shingles underneath those lifted shingles, and put the lifted shingles back down. This way, your patch will be consistent with the rest of the roof, which means it will shed water properly and be a lot less prone to leaks and wind damage.
Cover your nails when possible
In most cases, you will be replacing more than one row of shingles. When doing so, make sure you position your nails close to the top of the row of shingles so that those nails are covered by the next row of shingles. This helps prevent water from seeping in around the nail heads. If there are nails that you cannot manage to cover, put a dab of roofing cement over each of them; this can also prevent leaks.
Seal down the edges
Finally, make sure you use either some roof cement or silicone roof caulk to seal down the edges of the shingles. Just squeeze a thin line of the adhesive under the edges of the shingles, and then press them down into it. This helps prevent the wind from catching under the edge of your replacement shingles and tearing them off the roof.
If you decide to repair your own shingle roof, following the tips above is advised. All of these steps work together to make your roof more durable, longer-lasting, and impervious to future damage. If in doubt, you can always call a residential roof repair service.