Shingle Roof Peeling Along The Edges? Follow These Steps To Make Repairs

2 May 2017
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One of the first places shingle damage often appears is along the edge of your roof. The shingles along the edge may begin peeling and deteriorating after water exposure due to blocked gutters. Shingle damage can also result from ice dams, which are large ice formations that appear in the winter months. If you look up at the edge of your roof and see shingles that aren't in the best shape, don't panic. With the right tools and the help of a friend or two, you can replace them yourself -- and then take steps to keep them in better shape going forward.

You'll need:

  • New shingles in the same color and style as your current ones
  • A roofing hammer
  • Roofing nails - 1 1/2 inches in length
  • Roofing cement

Step 1: Remove the damaged shingles.

The easiest way to remove the damaged shingles is to use the back end of your roofing hammer to pull the nails out. Keep in mind that these nails will go through the top of the last sheet of shingles (the ones your removing), but also the bottom of the second-last sheet of shingles. 

Make sure you peel all of the damaged shingles away completely. Check to make sure there are no portions of shingles wedged under the second-last sheet of shingles; this can happen easily when your shingles are old and crumbling.

Step 2: Loosen the new "bottom" sheets of shingles.

If you've removed the right nails, you should be able to lift the bottoms of the bottom sheets of shingles quite easily. If you cannot easily slide your hand under this remaining layer of shingles, use your roofing hammer to loosen the nails that holds the tops of these shingle sheets in place. Do not pull the shingles completely out; just loosen them enough to get your hand underneath.

Step 3: Slide the new shingles into place.

Take a new sheet of shingles, and wedge it up underneath the last sheet of shingles that's currently on the roof. Press down on the shingles to make sure they sit flat against the roof. Shimmy them up or down as needed to ensure they're perfectly lined up with the ones next to them. 

Step 4: Nail and glue everything down.

Squeeze some roofing cement onto the lower layer of shingles -- right where the next sheet of shingles sits. Press the second-last sheet of shingles down to adhere the cement. Then, drive three roofing nails through the area where the two sheets of shingles overlap. Make sure you pound the nails down completely until the nails are flush with the roof.

If you loosened any upper nails earlier, use your hammer to pound them back down. 

Step 5: Prevent future damage.

Now that you have new shingles along the edge of your roof, make sure you keep them in top shape. Prevent ice dams by:

  • Adding more insulation to your attic
  • Improving attic ventilation (make sure your vents are uncovered and consider adding an attic fan)
  • Sweep snow off the roof when there is a heavy snowfall

You should also make sure you clean your gutters twice a year to prevent them from backing up and overflowing onto the roof. Just climb up onto a ladder and use your (gloved) hand to remove any gunk you find in the gutters. Of course, you can also hire a gutter company to do this for you. Expect to pay between $125 and $175 to have someone clean your gutters; you may pay a bit more of your roof has a steep slant or your gutters are heavily clogged.

If you're not confident repairing your roof yourself, contact a roofing repair company in your area before the damage gets worse.