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DIY Roof Repairs To Save A Buck... Hopefully

April 22, 2020

NOTE: We want to start this one off by saying: Saving a few bucks to fix your own roof is not worth a trip to the hospital, the bill that comes with it, or the potential permanent injury that could ensue. DIY roof repairs can be dangerous.

PLEASE be careful when climbing on your roof. Be sure the pitch is not too steep (anything under a 6:12 is relatively safe). And never get on a roof when it is wet. Our roofers have specialized shoes for certain types of roofs to help mitigate slipping and injuries.

It is important to understand that roofing system failures of any kind come in varying degrees of decay. The DIY roof repairs listed below may not be an end-all seal of approval.

Please know that some smaller issues could be indicators of much more extensive problems and that these minor fixes could act as a temporary bandaid. We have heard of some quick fixes lasting for years, and some only for a couple of weeks. That is why it couldn't hurt for you to call your local roofer to come out and have a look.

With that said, LET'S GET TO LEARNING!

Nail Pop

Nail pop occurs when a nail begins backing out of the roof and causes a bump under the shingle. This can happen due to weather causing expansion and contraction, or because a roofer used too small of a nail.

Nail pops can be common, and when addressed swiftly, it can be one of the easiest DIY roof repairs IF the nail has NOT punctured through the shingle covering it.

If the nail is cracking or protruding through the covered shingle, then you now have a breach in your roofing system. This makes you susceptible to leaking, and unfortunately, it happens most of the time.

If this is the case, then it would be a good time to call your roofer. They will come out and have a look for repairs and give you recommendations to move forward.

To fix such a problem, you will need a couple of things:
  • Flat pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Some roofing nails (1 1/4")
  • Roofing sealant
  1. Use your flat pry bar to lift GENTLY the shingle that is covering the popped nail. (Keep in mind that a properly installed shingle adheres to the underlying shingle at the base. So, use the pry bar to detach that bond gently)
  2. Remove the nail, caulk the hole, and place a new nail along the nailing strip about 2 inches from the old hole. (The nailing strip, or "hot spot," is an area on a shingle specifically designed to receive a nail. It is usually shown as a darker line or by a colored line put there by the manufacturer.)
  3. Place a generous line of sealant where the top shingle will lay on the shingle below. This is to re-seal that bond between the shingles, so the wind does not get underneath it and cause wind damage. Lower the shingle back down, press firmly to create that bond, and you are good to go.

Wind-blown Shingles

When a bad storm that brought hard winds comes through, those winds could lift some shingles. This can crease and crack your shingles, which can lead to leaking.

Honestly, there really isn't an easy way to tackle this roof repair one as a DIY-er. After a shingle has suffered wind damage, the shingles really need to be replaced. Our first recommendation on this one would be to call your local roofer to have them come out to fix it.

But, if the handyman gene is "strong in this one," then here is how you do it.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Flat pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Some roofing nails (1 1/4")
  • Roofing sealant
  • New shingle(s) that matches your current
  1. Use your flat pry bar GENTLY to lift the shingle that is covering the damaged shingle. (Keep in mind that a properly installed shingle adheres to the underlying shingle at the base. So use the pry bar to detach that bond gently)
  2. Once you have worked loose the overlaying shingle, lift the shingle, and begin to use your pry bar to pry up the nails holding down the damaged shingle.
  3. Apply the same technique in steps one and two to the shingle above the damaged shingle. This is because a properly installed shingle is not only held in place by the nails in the nail strip ("hot spot") but is also nailed down at the very top by the shingle lying above it.
  4. Once the nails are removed from the damaged shingle and the shingle above it, you should now be able to wiggle the damaged shingle free.
  5. Slide the new shingle into place and nail 5 nails along the "hot spot" (usually, this is a darker area, or is identified by the manufacturer with a line).
  6. Be sure you also re-nail the shingle above the new shingle. But do not place the nails back into the existing holes (an inch or two next to the old holes is fine).
  7. The new shingles will have an adhesive strip on the bottom backside of the shingle, which will adhere to the shingle below it. But the old shingle above the new shingle you just installed needs to be re-adhered. Take your sealant, run a line under the shingle's bottom side, and press down to create the bond.

Shingle Slide

This is when the roofer did not correctly nail down a shingle, and the lower half of the shingle begins separating from the upper half.

You see, when shingles are installed, the roofer nails along a unique strip they call "the hot spot." It is a relatively small strip (depending on the brand) that is specially designed to receive the nail.

Suppose the installer does not hit that strip with the nail. Then over time, as the shingle heats, the lower half of the shingle may be separating from the upper half.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Flat pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Some roofing nails (1 1/4")
  • Roofing sealant
  • Preferably a new shingle that matches your current
  1. Use your flat pry bar GENTLY to lift the shingle that is above the sliding shingle. (Keep in mind that a properly installed shingle adheres to the underlying shingle at the base. So use the pry bar to detach that bond gently)
  2. Once you have worked loose the overlaying shingle, lift the shingle, and begin to use your pry bar to pry up any remaining nails holding down the damaged shingle.
  3. Apply the same technique in steps one and two to the shingle above the damaged shingle. This is because a properly installed shingle is not only held in place by the nails in the nail strip nicknamed "the hot spot" but is also nailed down at the very top by the shingle lying above it.
  4. If you don't have a new shingle, rearrange the sliding shingle to align with the other secured shingles. Otherwise, align your new shingle with the secured shingles.
  5. Find the "hot spot" on the shingle. This is a darkened line of tar. Depending on how old your shingles are, the quality of the shingle will determine if this line is easy to find or faded.
  6. Hammer a few nails along the "hot spot" to secure the shingle (5 should do it)
  7. Place a generous line of sealant where the top shingle will lay on the shingle below. This is to re-seal that bond between the shingles, so the wind does not go underneath it and cause wind damage. Lower the shingle back down, press firmly to create that bond, and you are done.

Plumbing Boots (Roof Jack Flashing)

Most of the time, if you are experiencing leaks from a roof jack, it is from a failed flange around the pipe. The actual metal base and shingles around it are normally still functioning properly.

If this IS the problem, though, then we recommend a specialist to repair it.

We are in the process of making a video for you guys on this one, but in the meantime, here is a good tutorial on replacing your pipe flange.

And remember, these fixes are intended to give you temporary solutions. Eventually, your roof will need professional attention, whether that be repair or replacement.

Flashing

Roof flashing issues are just one of those things you call the professionals for.

While possible to write down step-by-step instructions... there are just some roof repairs experience can solve that DIY YouTube videos or articles cannot.

Drip Edge

Believe it or not, as simple as a drip edge may look, it falls under the flashing category and can be equally challenging to repair.

This is another one of those issues we recommend calling your local roofer to get the job done right.

Learn More Here

Decided that DIY roof repair isn't your forte? No shame! Check out this blog to decide which roofing specialist you want to use.

Roofs Restored is one of the fastest-growing roofing contractors in the south. Our company is built on values that preserve integrity, customer satisfaction, quality, and education.
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