Wooden roofing shingles offer good value for your money in that they can last for up to 30 years. On the other hand, individual shingles can be damaged by falling limbs, hailstones, and moss. Thus, you may face the need to replace individual shingles before you have to replace your entire roof. Luckily, the process for replacing wooden shingles is something that most homeowners should be able to handle.
Prepping the Job Site
Before you access your roof, you must make sure that you have a safe work environment. For example, make sure you have a good sturdy ladder and that you find a flat area to provide a firm foundation for the base of the ladder. You should also make sure that you have a second person on site to hold the ladder while you climb up to your roof. Finally, make sure that you collect all necessary materials so that you don't have to make multiple trips up and down your ladder chasing tools and materials. Specifically, you will want to put the following in a tool belt: hammer, chisel, cat's paw, roofing nails, and a tube of roofing cement. And put replacement shingles in a bucket.
Making the Repair
To make a quality repair, follow these steps:
1. Use the hammer and chisel to break up the shingle into smaller pieces. Cut with the grain instead of against the grain and then remove the small pieces of shingle by hand. Place pieces in your bucket.
2. With the cat's paw, remove the nails that held the old shingle in place.
3. Place a dab of roofing cement over the nail holes to help prevent leaks. Make sure these dabs lie flat so that they don't prevent the new shingle from laying flat.
4. Cut the new shingle to size with the chisel or a saw. You should not have to worry about length, but you should leave a quarter inch gap between the new shingle and the shingles on either side to allow for expansion with heating and cooling cycles.
5. Slide the new shingle up until the bottom edge hangs about a 1/4 of an inch down past the shingles in the same row.
6. Place nails as close to the shingle from the row above without damaging the shingle. Drive the nails at a slightly upward angle.
7. Place a dab of roofing cement over the nail heads to help create a solid seal.
8. Tap the bottom edge of the shingle with a hammer until the nail heads are covered by the shingle from the row above and the bottom of the shingle is even with the shingles from the same row.
Wooden shingles are an easy roofing material to work with, but making repairs to your roof does require that you access your roof. If you don't trust your roofing repair skills, don't want to be walking around on your roof, or don't want to access your roof for any reason, call local roofers for help.