While installing asphalt shingles on your own might be beyond your DIYing skills, making a few repairs should be something that you can easily handle. Armed with a basic idea of what to do and a few materials, you should be able to save yourself a little bit of money by replacing damaged shingles.
Before you undertake a repair, you need to take a step back and make sure that you keep yourself safe. One key point of concern is the ladder you will use to access the roof. If you must set up your ladder on uneven ground, make sure you use wooden blocks to create a level foundation for your ladder. Next, rest the ladder against the edge of your roof instead of your gutters. The gutters can collapse under the weight of your ladder. Finally, have someone hold your ladder just to make sure that it doesn't start to tip as you climb up to your roof.
Procedure for Repairs
While an asphalt-shingle roof might not be as durable as a metal roof, it is easier to work on a shingle roof. Just follow these steps to replace any damages shingles:
1. Gently lift the bottom edge of the shingle above the damage. Use a cat's paw or the claws on your hammer to remove the nails that hold the old shingle in place.
2. If dust or debris has built up under the shingle, use a brush to sweep it away.
3. Fill the nail holes with roofing cement, and make sure you smooth out the cement so that your shingle can lie flat against your roof.
4. Cut the shingle as needed so that it will fit between the shingles to either side.
5. Cut the top corners of the shingle off at an angle, starting about an inch down from the top. This will make it easier to slide the shingle into place.
6. Slide the shingle into position. Make sure that the bottom edge of the shingle is even with other shingles in the same row.
7. Lift the shingle above your new shingle and nail the replacement into place.
8. Cover the nail heads with roofing cement, and use a couple dabs of cement to stick down the bottom edge of the shingle from the row above.
As the above steps illustrate, even someone who has basic skills with tools should be able to replace a damaged shingle. On the other hand, if you have any doubts about your ability to complete your own repairs, you can always call in a roofing professional to do the roofing repair for you.