A lot of homes and commercial establishments in and around the U.S. are fitted with asphalt roofs. Asphalt shingles offer a uniform look to the roof of a home or building. They are also very durable and can withstand the different weather elements with ease. However, they do not come without their share of cons which include cracks, blisters, splits, wrinkles or shrinkage.
These issues can cause the roof to leak, a problem that needs to be rectified immediately unless you want it to become worse. Thankfully, you can easily repair an asphalt roof by yourself. Here are some tips you can follow for the DIY project.
Tools you need
The tools you will require for the process include
- Pry bar
- Nail puller
- New Shingles
- Tarpaper Underlayment
- Roofing Cement
Steps to follow for the repair
- Locate the leak
The first step that goes into repairing an asphalt roof is locating the leak. While the leak can be located by finding out the wet spot on the roof’s underside, this may not necessarily be the exact location of the problem as water can travel before leaking through the roof. However, it cannot travel that much, meaning the leak has to be somewhere near the drip only.
An easy way to locate the exact area that needs to be repaired on the roof is to stack some magnets on the roof’s underside, right near the leak. At the top of the roof, use a compass to locate the leak. Place another magnet at the spot to pinpoint it.
- Remove the roofing nails
You will now need to remove the shingles near the source of the leak. Using a pry bar, gently reach under the shingles and locate the nails. After locating the nails, gently try to pry them loose with the crowbar.
If you find this too difficult, try an alternative. Very often, the nails used for shingles are very deep and can be visible on the roof underside. Locate the shingles that need to be removed and the nails protruding from them as well. Use a hammer to drive the nails out so they stick out from the top of the roof. This will make it easier for you to remove the shingles near the leak.
You will need to remove the next two higher shingles as well for a clean, smooth patch up work. Follow the same procedure as above to remove the nails underneath these shingles and carefully remove the shingles.
- Be wary of the underlayment
It can be very easy for you to get careless and tear off the underlayment (tarpaper) while trying to locate the nails under the shingles. While this is not necessarily a concern, it will force you to do double duty in patching up the underlayment first and then repairing/replacing the shingles on top. Nevertheless, if you do end up tearing the tarpaper by mistake, make sure you repair the tears properly using roofing cement before starting work on the shingles.
- Set in the new tarpaper
When installing new tarpaper, keep two things in mind. First, the new tarpaper always needs to come underneath the existing tarpaper. You can do this by sliding the new tarpaper under the existing underlayment. Next, try to install the new underlayment as far up the roof as you can. However, ensure that the area underneath the new shingles is fully covered by the new tarpaper.
- Replace the shingles
Once the new tarpaper has been fitted onto the roof, you need to replace the cracked or broken shingles. Use some more roofing cement underneath the new shingles to ensure that they hold properly. Wait for the cement to dry. Now all you need to do is wait for some rain and expect the roof to not leak. If it doesn’t, your DIY asphalt shingle repair project was a success.
Repairing broken asphalt shingles on the roof can be a really easy DIY project. Using the proper tools and supplies, you can easily replace torn tarpaper as well as broken shingles on the roof, thus preventing leaks around the house.