Cedar shingles make attractive roofs that are sturdy and long lasting. They’ve been in use for a few centuries and actually can help to insulate a home. It takes time to install a cedar shingle roof, but that actually makes repairs a great deal easier. As the shingles are applied individually it’s quite possible to replace a single cedar shingle in the event of a problem. The new shingle will weather to blend in with the others.
Step 1 - Quick Fix
Rather than removing cedar shingles, there’s a quick repair you can make to a single shingle. You’ll need a metal shim that’s as long as the shingle and around 2 1/2 inches wide, made of corrosion-free metal. You should bend the corner on the lower edge of the shim under and then slide it under the damaged shingle. Press down on it with the shingle. This isn’t a perfect repair but it will work. However, it doesn’t make for a long-term repair.
Step 2 - Preparation
Be sure to clear off the roof properly before you make any repairs to the cedar shingles. Be aware that if you don’t clear off all the debris, including pine needs. These can end up under the cedar shingles, trapping moisture and causing eventual leaks.
Step 3 - Loosening Shingles
With the pry bar, loosen the nail holding the damaged cedar shingle in place, but don’t remove it. After you’ve done that you should loosen the nails in the two shingles that sit above the one that needs to be replaced.
With cedar shingles you should have a tool called a slater’s ripper to remove the nails. Use it to take out the nail in the damaged shingle, being careful not to damage any other shingles. If the nail won’t come out you can use a hacksaw to cut it and then hammer in the point left in the roof. Carefully move the cedar shingle until it comes away from those surrounding it and off the roof. You need to be careful not to damage the surrounding shingles.
Step 4 - New Shingles
Before putting the replacement cedar shingle into place you need to put two nails into it. These should be at 45 degrees so that when the shingle goes into the roof the nails will aim toward the ridge.
Slide the shingle into place. It should be about ½ inch lower than the other cedar shingles in the same row. Now nail it into place. The angle of the nails will help to push the shingle into place properly on the roof. To complete the alignment, putt a wooden block at the bottom of the shingle and hit it lightly with a hammer until the replacement shingle is lined up with the others in the row. To complete the repair you need to hammer the nails in the shingles above the replacement back into place so they’re firm on the roof.
Roof Ridge Vent Replacement: 3 Tips
The roof ridge vent is a tool for ventilating the attic which attaches to the very top of your roof, and pulls out the hot air which is trapped inside the attic. If your roof ridge vent has become damaged, or is no longer large enough for your needs, you will have to replace it.
1. Begin by Taking off the Cap
You will need to begin by taking off the ridge cap which is nailed to the vent. Use a hammer and crow bar to prise this off, and then take down any shingles that are covering the roof ridge vent. Pull the vent to check that there are no more shingles attached.
2. Take out the Vent
You can then use the crow bar and hammer to pull up the vent. Carefully remove all of the nails which hold the vent into position, and then slide the crow bar under the vent. You may need to use a pair of gloves to hold the vent, as the metal can become sharp through weathering.
3. Add the New Vent
Place felting around the wooden boards, and nail it down. Place the vent into position, ensuring that the flange covers the old opening. Use caulk over the surface of the flange, and then add the shingles around the edge. Place the ridge cap back onto the roof ridge vent.
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How to Replace Spanish Roof Tiles
What You'll Need
A ladder A chisel Roofing underlining A trowel Chalk line Replacement tile Roof tile adhesive A hammer Roofing nails Work boots Work gloves Protective eyewear
Spanish roof tiles are a unique roof covering that originated in Europe. They have become a common roofing tile throughout many different parts of the world. Spanish tiles can be used to add a dramatic look to the exterior of your home. These durable roofing tiles are available in various colors and styles. They require little maintenance effort, however extreme weather can cause cracking in the tiles. Replacing the tiles is a simple home improvement task. Be sure to check the membrane under the tiles as well.
Step 1 – Safety
Be sure to put on your work boots, work gloves and protective eyewear before beginning any roofing tile replacement work. Have a friend or family member with you while you work. Carefully move up and down the ladder. Always be cognizant of the edges of the roof while you are working. Check the weather forecast, to be sure you have a day of good weather to complete the job. Should the weather become stormy, leave the work until the weather clears.
Step 2 – Checking Your Roof Tiles
Carefully climb your ladder, in order to get up on the roof and check your Spanish tiles. Walk across the roof top and inspect the roofing system. Check the entire roof for any cracked or broken tiles. Use chalk to mark the tile, so that easier to spot when it is time for repairs.
Step 3 - Patching Damaged Tiles
Damaged tiles need to be replaced as soon as possible. Any water that permeates the roof through the damaged tiles can cause serious damage to the roofing system. It is simpler and easier to work on small areas that require repair than to replace the whole roof. Carefully slide 1 of the broken tiles from the roof. Use a trowel to apply mortar to the area where the tile was removed. Carefully position the new tile in place. Continue removing and replacing all of the damaged tiles until the roof is completely repaired.
Step 4 – Checking Your Roofing Membrane
At each of the areas of damaged tiles, carefully lift up the piece and inspect the membrane material underneath. Be sure the membrane is in good condition and that there is no evidence of damage.
Step 5 – Repairing Damaged Membrane
Cracks and damage on the roofing membrane require repair. Use your membrane patching material to cover the damaged areas. Apply a thin layer of the membrane patch over the area. Be sure the material is laying in a flat and even position on the roof.
Step 6 – Replacing Membrane
Any membrane material that has become torn from your roof needs to be replaced. Carefully slide the roof tile off of the roof. Cut a piece of membrane patch and apply it to the exposed area. Secure the material in place with a nail. Be sure the new piece overlaps the existing membrane. Return the tile to its proper position.
Cedar shakes expand in moist weather and contract in warm weather. Over time, this can cause some of the shakes or the roofing paper underlayment to deteriorate, which may result in a leak. If you notice water stains on the ceiling at the area of a chimney or extensive leaks when it rains, a professional must repair the roof. Minor leaks that show up as small stains or drips can often be fixed in a relatively short time. Fix a leak in a cedar-shake roof during daylight hours when the roof is dry.
Access the attic through a crawl space, using a stepladder. Alternatively, use the attic stairs to access the attic. If an attic light is not installed, take a flashlight to the attic.
Inspect the underside of the roof for a pinhole of daylight. Alternatively, look for moisture or a water stain at the underside of the roof sheathing or on the side of a rafter, and follow the stain to its highest point. Note the area and proceed with fixing the leak. If necessary, measure from the area of the leak to the point where a corresponding rafter protrudes through an outside wall, and note the measurement.
Access the roof using an extension ladder. Add the measurement for an overhang to your attic measurement, and measure up this distance from the edge of the roof to the location of the leak.
Place a wooden block flat on the roof below the area of repair to protect the shakes immediately below from damage. Using a 16-inch nail bar, pry up on the lower edge of a shake at one side of the leak, with the bar resting on the block.
Hold downward pressure against the block with the bar. Cut off the roofing nails at the underside of the shake with a reciprocating saw and a metal-cutting blade. Repeat this at the shake on the other side of the leak.
Put on work gloves and use pliers to fold under the opposite corners of a 12-inch-by-12-inch-by-24-gauge piece of sheet metal and crimp each securely to prevent the square corners from catching under the shake.
Slide the shingle or sheet metal under both shakes and center it over the leak. Slide the piece up until the lower edge is even with the lower edges of the corresponding shakes. If you encounter an unseen obstruction, don't force it, as this may damage the underlayment or other shingles. If necessary, the lower edge of the shingle can remain exposed and be painted to match the roof.
Secure the shakes and metal shingle underneath to the roof with 5-penny shingle nails. Drive a pair of nails, evenly spaced, between the outer edges of the exposed portions of the shakes, using a hammer or shingle hatchet.
Some attics have vertical pipe risers or air-conditioning exhaust ducts that terminate above the roof. These can be used as references for the location of a leak.
When working alone, some professionals drive a framing nail up through a pin-hole of daylight to mark its location. The nail may penetrate the roofing paper between shakes or lift a shake enough to identify the location. Push the nail down, fix the leak, and pull it out from the attic.
For a leak where a pipe or duct goes through the roof, use a caulking gun to apply a generous amount of roof mastic around the upper rim of the metal flashing where it meets the pipe or duct.
Wood shingles can last between 15 and 40 years. Their durability depends on your climate, their exposure to the weather, and the slope of your roof. As a rule, the steeper the roof, the longer the material will last because rain won’t pool and ice and snow won’t accumulate.
If your roof is leaking, or you suspect you have cracked or damaged shingles caused by a recent severe storm, check your roof for curled, broken, or split shingles. Wind and rain can erode shingles and cause them to lift from the roof. You can also go into your attic and look for signs of water—either dampness or stains. If only a few shingles are damaged, you can repair or replace them. But don’t attempt to work on your roof if it is steeply pitched or when it’s raining. Don’t go onto your roof if it’s even slightly damp; instead, work in calm, warm weather. Limit how much you walk on your roof to prevent causing more damage. If you have any doubts about the safety of going onto your roof, call a roofing contractor to do the work.
A shingle that has lifted from the roof can simply be renailed down and the nailheads sealed with roofing cement. Repair a split shingle by closing the gap between the two pieces, nailing them to the roof deck, and sealing the crack and nailheads with roofing cement.
A “shingle ripper” makes removing shingles an easy job—it clips off the nail heads at the swing of the hammer.
Cracked, warped, missing, or broken shingles need to be replaced. Here’s how to do this:
1Split the defective shingle along the wood grain, using a hammer and chisel as shown in the photo at the top of the page, and pull out as many pieces of the shingle as you can.
2Slide a flat bar up under the shingle and pry out the nails with a few hammer blows. (Or, for a neater job, you can cut off the nails using a hacksaw or a special shingle ripper as shown here, available at hardware stores or roofing supply companies). Take care not to damage the roofing paper or sheathing beneath the shingles.
3Measure and cut a replacement shingle to fit the space, making it 1/2 inch narrower than the space (leaving 1/4-inch clearance on each side so the wood can expand with moisture changes). If shingles have very tight, straight grain, you can split them—otherwise cut them with a power saw. (A table saw works best for cutting.)
4Tap the replacement into place with a hammer, protecting the shingle with a wood block as shown below. Stop about 3/4 inch before it is flush with its neighbors, and leaving 1/4 inch on either side for expansion.
5Drive two roofing nails just below the butt of the shingle above it, angled slightly upward. Then place a wood block against the replacement and tap it upward the final 3/4 inch
Another common problem in particularly moist climates is that moss can grow on wood shingles, particularly beneath trees that provide heavy shade. Cutting back tree limbs to encourage sunlight helps eliminate the cause, as does hosing down the roof twice a year. Once it becomes established, moss can be removed by a power-washing specialist using a power washer with hot water and fungicides.