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Roofing Tips

Your roof is leaking and needs to be repaired. You, the homeowner, would like to save some money and try the repair yourself. If you are fairly handy you might be able to do this, especially if it is a small job and your roof does not have a pitch, or slope, greater than 6.

How do you go about fixing your roof?

The first step is to go into your attic, if your house has one. Take a flashlight, and look along the ceiling rafters for watermarks. These will show you where water is getting beneath the shingles, and where the roof needs repair. Usually the area needing repair will be two to three feet ABOVE the watermark, since water travels downwards. If you can find the water entry point, inspect this area carefully for damage to your roof decking (the wood that covers your roof and where shingles are nailed on top of). If there is any damage to the decking, call a professional roofing company, since most homeowners will have difficulty doing this work.

If water is leaking in, take a nail (at least 3 to 4 inches long) and pound it straight up through the spot you found in the ceiling where the water was entering (watch out for wiring or other structures when doing this). When you climb up on your roof to do the repair, you will be able to find the spot where the water damage was occurring by looking for the nail.

Now, go outside and visually inspect your roof for cracked, curling, broken, or missing shingles. If the entire roof is badly worn or has cracked shingles everywhere, you will need to replace it entirely. It is best to have a professional roofing company do any major roofing job (see my article on how to get a great bid on your roofing work). If the damage is localized, such as where a tree branch has overhung the roof, then go up onto the roof and measure the area that is damaged. If there is more than one damaged spot, measure each one, recording it on a piece of paper.

You will need to order the MATERIALS for the roof. Order shingles that match the ones on your roof. To figure out how many, multiply the length of the area to be covered x the width. Divide the result by 100, and this will give you the number of roofing SQUARES needed for the repair work. A roofing square is equal to three bundles of shingles. One bundle of shingles will cover approximately 33.3 square feet of roof.

You may also need to order roofing felt, a type of tar paper that goes on top of the wood decking and covers it, especially if the area being replaced is fairly large. You will want 1 ¼ inch roofing nails ( a 5 lb. Box for a light job, or 10 pounds for a medium to large job).

You will also want a roofing shovel or a flat bar (a crowbar with a flat end) to pry off the old, damaged shingles. The best time of day to start is early in the morning (before 8 am) during the hot months, since shingles will soften in the sun in intense heat. Once you are on the roof, find your nail and check where the damage is. Find the bottom row of damaged shingles and using the flat bar, insert it underneath the damaged shingles and lift up. You may need to do this in several places to “break the seal” caused by the tar in the shingles melting together. Once the bottom row is removed, work your way up to the row above, lifting up and off any damaged shingles. Try not to damage any good shingles while doing this - it can be difficult not to! Go slowly at first, until you get the hang of it.

If there are any nails left sticking up where you lifted the old shingles off, take your claw hammer and lift them out. Now you are ready to replace the shingles. Take one of your new shingles, and place it to the side of an undamaged shingle at the edge of the area that you cleared out. Nail it in place with four nails that are evenly spaced and nailed just above the thin strip of dark tar on the top of the new

shingle. The bottom of the new shingle should overlap the row beneath it by 5 inches. Now, work your way to the left if you started at the right edge of the area to be repaired, and put another shingle to the left of the one you just nailed in, following the same guidelines. Continue until you come to the undamaged shingles on the left side.

Now, go to the row above, and repeat this process, filling in the area , either right to left as mentioned above, OR you may work left to right (it doesn’t matter, just a matter of preference). Finish one row at a time, then go to the next row above.

When all of the damaged shingles have been replaced, you are done.

If the area is very large, and the tar paper, or roofing felt, is damaged, you can replace it before shingling. You will measure and cut a length of tar paper, nailing it down over the wood decking with button caps. These are special nails that have a wide cap at the top that helps hold felt down. Overlap the row beneath by about 4 inches at the bottom when felting the next row up. After felting, go ahead and fill in the shingles as described above. You may want to use a chalk line and snap a line that follows the top of the row of shingles you will be replacing for the first row, especially if you are replacing a larger area of roof. This will help keep your line of shingles straight.

With these tips, you will be able to handle a minor roofing repair job and replace damaged shingles. Be sure to call a roofing company for help if there is major damage, if the decking beneath is rotten or damaged, or if your roof has a steep pitch, or angle. But for minor repairs on many shingle roofs, the tips I have given should help you to save money and repair your own roof.


A large number of designing schools are focusing on exterior design learning along with many courses of exterior construction estimation because of its rising demand. In the exterior designing of homes, many people are installing the fences around their houses. In these fences, chain link fence is the most common then any other type. But, for the siding of the homes vinyl siding are quite popular.

 

 

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