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How to Replace a Damaged Shingle on Your Roof

Work around the damaged shingle to break the seals and remove the nails; and then reverse the process
April 24, 2023

If you have a damaged shingle on your roof, you may be wondering if it's possible to repair just that one section. Fortunately, replacing a shingle is a relatively simple process that can be done quickly and easily. In this article, we'll show you how to replace a damaged shingle on your roof in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

To replace a damaged shingle on your roof, you'll need a few tools:

  • Flat bar
  • Hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Roofing sealant

Step 2: Remove the Damaged Shingle

The first step in replacing a damaged shingle is to remove the old one. To do this, you'll need to break the shingle free from the glue that's holding it down to the other shingles around it. If you're working with an older roof, breaking the shingle free will be relatively easy, as the glue bonds between the shingles are not nearly as strong as they are on a newer roof.

On a newer roof, you'll need to use your flat bar to carefully work between the shingles to separate them without damaging the shingles.

Once you've broken the glue bond, you need to remove all the nails that are holding the shingle down. Look under the top shingle and locate the nails. Slide the flat bar under the shingle and pry up the nail. After you've gotten it loose and raised up, use the end of the flat bar to pop the nail out. Go along like this and remove all of the nails in the top of that shingle. If the shingle doesn't slide out, you'll need to go up to the next shingle and remove those nails too.

Step 3: Install the New Shingle

Once you've removed the damaged shingle, you can simply slide a new shingle back in place and nail it in. Remember, each shingle should have at least four nails located right above the area where the next shingle laps occur. On an architectural shingle, there's usually a line right where the two laminated portions meet.

Make sure you're nailing through these sections and into the top of the shingle below it. Also, make sure that you place your nails at least six inches away from the butt joint of the shingles above it. Don't forget to nail the top shingle back into place as well.

Step 4: Apply Sealant

To help the shingles glue back down, apply some sealant. In an architectural shingle, the glue strip is located at the bottom of it and has a very lower edge. That means that the old shingle will need to be glued down to the new shingle to activate the glue.

Apply a generous bead of sealant all the way down underneath the shingle and press it into place. Fill in the nail holes with sealant as well.

Step 5: Matching the Shingles

If the roof you're working on is more than a few years old, your new shingles aren't going to match perfectly. Even if you save some of the original shingles from the installation, they're not going to match because the sun will have bleached out the shingles on the roof.

However, you can try to match the new shingles as closely as possible by taking a sample of the old shingle to a home improvement store and comparing it to the new shingles. You can also try to find a close match online.

Replacing a damaged shingle on your roof is a relatively simple process that can be done quickly and easily. With the right tools and a little know-how, you can replace a damaged shingle and keep your roof in good shape for years to come.

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