Two Cedar-Shingle Roof Repairs

Posted on: 17 November 2015

Cedar shingles can last for decades, but just because the roof as a whole can last does not mean that every shingle on the roof will. Hail damage, defective shingles, or impact damage can compromise individual shingles, and if they are not taken care of, the leaks caused by the defective shingles can undermine the rest of your shingles. Thus, it is important to move quickly to make repairs. 

Shingles Split along the Grain

The sun is constantly baking your shingles, and over time, the constant barrage of UV rays from the sun can rob them of the natural oils that help to protect them from rot. Also, a dried-out shingle will crack along the grain as the shingle expands and contracts with changes in temperature. As long as the crack does not extend above the underlying shingle, you can fill the crack with roofing cement and then hammer a nail into either side of the crack. These nails will prevent the crack from splitting further, and as long as you cover the nail heads with roofing cement, you shouldn't have to worry about further leaking. 

Repairing Badly Damaged Shingles

If a shingle has multiple cracks along the grain, or it has suffered a crack across the grain, you will need to replace the shingle. Follow these steps:

  1. Use a hammer and chisel to break the shingle into smaller sections. 
  2. Pull these smaller sections out. 
  3. Use a hammer or nail remover to remove the nails that held the old shingle in place. 
  4. Fill the nail holes with roofing cement. 
  5. Measure the gap between the shingles on either side of the missing shingle. 
  6. Cut the new shingle as needed so that it is a half-inch thinner than the gap between the shingles. 
  7. Slide the new shingle into place, maintaining a quarter-inch gap between the shingles on either side. 
  8. When the bottom edge of the shingle extends a quarter inch below the shingles in the same row, hammer nails into the top of the shingle and angle them upward. Get them as close to the shingle from the row above as possible. Cover the nail heads with roofing cement.
  9. Tap the bottom edge of the shingle with a hammer until it is even with other shingles in the same row and the nail heads are covered. 

You don't need specialized training or tools to repair a shingle roof, so you should be able to make repairs on your own. However, if you are not comfortable working on your roof, you can hire professionals like McCullers Roofing to make repairs for you.