How To Repair Roof Shingles Blown Off
In this blog, I will discuss how to repair roof shingles blown off in a storm. High wind, old age, and poor installation all lead to shingles blowing off. Along with a lower quality shingle.
Keep in mind when choosing a shingle, that while there are brands that seem equal on paper, we have found that the best performing shingle is the Owens Corning brand, specifically their Duration Shingle.
Have The Right Tools
You are going to want to start by having the current tools, specifically for removing the shingle. You will want to have a flat pry bar, most roofers will have the classic roofing flat bar but I have found that the most efficient is the Pro-claw Contractor Bar. You’ll be surprised, when it comes to figuring out how to repair roof shingles blown off by a storm, this tool will be your best friend.
Next, you will need something to cut the shingles with. You can use a box knife but with a specific blade called the hook blade. Specifically designed for cutting shingles. I’ve also used large snips, which work great if the weather is cold.
Architectural vs Three-Tab
When you remove a three-tab shingle, it is pretty easy because the tar strip seal is not as strong and you can slide your pry bar in from the side easier. You are also able to cut the shingle in 12” or 6” sections, which means you don’t have to take of as many shingles. Overall it’s easier to work with.
Removing Architectural shingles is a whole different situation. They have a stronger hold along the tar line because they are designed to withstand higher winds. When they are installed, the nailing pattern is not as specific so you have to take this into account when you cut the shingle. Meaning, you have to keep an eye out for where the seams are in the new shingles, to make sure that it doesn’t expose a nail.
Removing The Shingles
You will start to remove the shingle by sliding it under the shingle tab to remove the nails. Start from either the bottom or side of the shingle. There is a lot of technique to this that will come over time. A seasoned roofer can remove shingles without hardly tearing one. But a beginner will most definitely tear more than preferred. But that is normal.
Use caution when sliding the pry bar under the shingle, depending on the temperature or the angle you are coming in at, you will either want to move slow or fast to break the seal of the tar strip.
The best time to remove a shingle is in the cold of the day because the tar stip will break easier. If you remove a shingle when the temperature is hot, you need to be careful not to picture the shingle with your pry bar. The shingle will be softer and therefore more susceptible to damage from the pry bar.
Underlayment Before The Shingles
Once you clear away the old shingles, you might need to install new underlayment. Inspect the existing underlayment and replace it if needed. If there are large holes or tears in the underlayment, you will want to replace them. Think like a raindrop, if water would run down the underlayment and instantly get into the house, that you need to replace it.
If you are working on an area like an eave or around the flashing of a wall or penetration, you will want to install ice and water shield underlayment. This is a peel-and-stick underlayment that has a stronger waterproofing nature to it. It will be necessary for these situations.
Valleys And Difficult Areas
If you have a damaged shingle in a valley, chances are you will have to replace all the shingles in the valley. Because the shingles in a valley are woven together so tight that if you try to remove only a partition you are going to damage the ones above the repair. At which point you are creating yet another compromised area of the valley. So just replace the whole thing.
If you are replacing shingles around a pipe for example, sometimes you can take the original shingles that already have a cut out to fit the flashing, and use that to trace a line and cut the new shingles.
It’s safe to assume that since you are reading this to figure out how to repair roof shingles blown off in a storm, there will be shingles that are ripped in half, and part of the shingle is still nailed to the roof. You are going to need to remove the rest of that ripped shingle and install a full shingle in its place. A mistake we see at times is when someone cuts a new shingle in half and slides it up under the broken shingle. This does absolutely nothing.
Nailing The Shingle
Every shingle has a specific nailing pattern. The three-tab shingles are nailed above the keyways. Architectural shingles are nailed in basically the same location but without a keyway to mark the spot. You will need to nail inside the nailing line if it is an architectural shingle. If it’s a three-tab, you will nail it right below the tar line.
If you are installing shingles on a mansard, a roof that is basically like a wall, straight up and down, you will need to be even more specific in the location of the nail and you will also need to caulk the shingles so the seal down.
All these small details will help you out so much when learning how to repair roof shingles blown off from a storm.
Using a hook blade as mentioned above is the best way to cut a shingle when the temperature is hot. Just make sure that you don’t cut towards yourself with a hook blade. It is extremely sharp and more dangerous than a normal blade.
When you cut an architectural shingle, make sure that you don’t cut over the top of where a nail is placed. Otherwise, the new shingle will butt up against the old one where you made a cut and the seam will expose the nail.
Also, one important detail I teach my team when showing them how to repair roof shingles blown off by a storm is to because that when they cut one shingle, to make sure your blade isn’t also cutting the shingle below it. This happens a lot when you are cutting the new shingle to install.
Addressing The Surrounding Shingles
Most importantly, if you take one thing away from this blog on how to repair roof shingles blown off by a storm, remember to nail down and seal the singles directly around the new ones. It’s an unfortunate mistake to repair a damaged shingle, neglect the shingles around your repair, and then during the next wind storm, the shingles around your repair blow off.
It’s safe to assume that if one shingle blew off, the ones around it are also loose and need to be repaired by either nailing them down or sealing them with roofing caulk.