A Guide to Replacing Roof Shingles

A roof over our heads is something we take for granted, and it is not until roofs sustain damage do we realize their significance. When damaged, external elements like cold air and rain enter through the cracks — making your home cold and vulnerable to other foundational problems.

To avoid paying hefty costs for foundation and roof repairs, it’s necessary to constantly maintain your roof. However, this will only extend its lifetime to a certain point after which you’ll have to replace the roof or all of its shingles. In this guide, we’ll help you understand shingle replacement. 

Common Roof Problems That Require Shingle Replacement

Before you begin repairing your roof for the umpteenth time, you must first determine if a replacement is necessary or only repairs are needed. Here are a few common situations to consider:

1. Water Leaking 

Moisture marks are the first evidence that a roof requires repair. This problem can be spotted by yellow, brown, or gray stains and peeling paint on the upper floor or attics. Most people do not frequently visit attics, and so this problem remains unnoticed until the detection of stale smells. 

After detecting a water leak, immediately call a roof inspector to find the cause and estimate the damage to the roof, walls, and ceilings. The inspector will also provide information on the repairs and their cost. Sometimes, you need a roof sealant to fill the gaps and repaint walls with mold-resistant paint. In other situations, you may need to replace your roof shingles entirely. 

2. Deforming Shingles 

Curling and buckling shingles indicate damage and they can not remain attached to the roof for long. Strong winds can rip these tiles off and leave your roof vulnerable to external elements. For slightly curled shillings, apply sealant below them and secure them to the roof. If distortion is too much or entire shingles have been blown away, it may be hard to fix them. 

3. Sagging

In a roof, the shingles overlap one another. If rain and snow put weight and damage these, they’ll sag, and sagging shingles let external elements into the house. If the damage is less, you may only need to repair the truffles, but in worse cases, you must replace the deformed shingle. 

4. The Roof has Outlived its Lifespan

Knowing when a roof’s life ends is vital so you can replace it accordingly. For example, asphalt roofs last up to 15 to 30 years. In contrast, high-quality metal and clay tile roofs can function for 50 years. Harsh weather like thunderstorms and snow shorten the lifespans of specific shingles even more, leading you to replace the roof before the lifespan is over. 

Steps to Replace Roof Shingles 

After determining that your roof shingles are beyond repair and require replacement, you can choose a roofing company, like these roofing contractors Indiana has, to repair the roof professionally or do it yourself to save costs. Here are the steps you must follow if you choose the latter option.

  1. Remove damaged shingles. These shingles will be attached to the shingles below them. Slide a flat pry between them to break the adhesive. Since shingles on a roof overlap, you must also break the adhesive bond on two other shingles. They will be attached to the damaged one with the same nails. 
  2. Remove the nails from the shingles. Do not pry the nails off, as this can ruin the roof underneath. Instead, carefully lift them.
  3. Replace the old shingle with a new one. Ensure it is the same size and overlaps the top and bottom shingles. Then nail it down.
  4. Now add the sealant between the newly added shingle and the ones overlapping it. Over time with sunlight, the glue will stiffen and form an adhesive bond.

Precautions to Take 

Roofs can be steep, so wear boots that give you a firm standing. Even consider tying a rope around yourself. Avoid working in damp rainy conditions when the roof will be slippery, and you are more likely to fall. You may also use heavy machinery to nail down shingles, so wear thick gloves to avoid accidents. Do not work on replacing the shingles during cold weather. The adhesive bond will be harder to remove when cold, making the process longer and tiring.


Roofs are a vital part of every house, but over time, some of their shingles sustain damage and must be replaced. Following this guide, you can learn when and how to replace roof shillings. Ideally, this process should be done by professionals. Since the process is not complicated, if you are confident in your repair skills and want to cut down on expenses, you can effectively complete the task.