Wood Shingles Damaged

Problem: Roof leaks because wooden shingles are damaged or missing.

Background: If the roof leaks, locate the trouble spot from the inside. If the wood shingle is cracked, it may be better to repair the crack than to try to replace the shingle. Larger cracks may be repaired with a sheet metal patch underneath. If damaged shingles are beyond repair, they must be replaced. This can be more tricky than repairing a cracked shingle.

What to do: If the crack is ¼ inch or less, pull out loose splinters so only large, solid pieces remain. Check the roof under the shingles to determine where the nails should go. Then butt the solid pieces together tightly and nail the split shingle together with galvanized roofing nails. Don’t drive the nail heads into the shingle or damage its surface. For wide cracks, you can drive a square piece of sheet metal or roofing paper up under the shingle so that the upper part goes beyond the upper edge of the crack, then proceed as you would to repair a small crack.

Special advice: To replace a shingle, use a screwdriver or chisel to break up the old shingle. Remove the pieces and use a hacksaw blade to cut nails off flush with the wood slats or sheathing. (You may have to pry up the shingle above enough to get at all the nails.) Cut a replacement shingle and, using a wood block and hammer, drive it into position. Nail it in place and apply a dab of asphalt cement to cover the nail heads.

Helpful hint: Also check over the roof for loose shingles. Nail these down securely. You can avoid cracking shingles when nailing by pre drilling holes where the nails will be placed.




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