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Roof Shingles Leak

Problem: Home’s roof leaks.

Background: Damaged or missing asphalt or fiberglass shingles can cause roof leaks. Seriously consider the risks of doing the job yourself, especially if the roof is steep, if the repairs seem complicated, or if you do not have the equipment you need (such as the right ladders). Try to repair asphalt shingles when the weather is relatively warm, because they can become brittle in cold weather.

What to do: If the roof is leaking, determine the general area by looking inside the attic. Shingles with only small cracks may be fixed with roofing cement. If a shingle is dam aged or torn, but does not need re placing, raise it and apply a good amount of roofing cement to the underside. Press the shingle into place and nail it down with galvanized roofing nails. If the shingle needs re placing, raise the shingles above the damaged one. Pull the nails from the damaged shingle with a claw ham mer. (If the nails can’t be reached with a hammer, cut off with a hacksaw blade or use a flat pry bar to remove them.) Remove the shingle, install the new shingle, and nail in place.

Special advice: Generally use 2 nails to secure each tab of a shingle strip; this means you would use 6 nails for each full strip. The shingle should be blind nailed, or covered by the upper shingles when they are lowered in place. After nailing, remember to apply a dab of asphalt cement over the nail heads, before lowering the upper shingles into place.

Helpful hint: Sometimes, if you don’t have a replacement shingle, you can use a section of metal flashing under the damaged shingle. Slip it underneath and nail it to the roof, then coat the underside of the damaged shingle with roofing cement and press it into place.




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