How to Fix Broken Roof Shingles That Leak

Updated on June 21, 2017
Ashish Dadgaa profile image

Ashish Dadgaa is a Construction Manager with 10 years of experience in the Industry. He writes about Home Improvement and maintenance.

Are you tired of a leaky roof? Is it giving you a nightmare? Are you having trouble locating exactly where the water is getting in?

You are at the right place. I will give your simple and easy directions for repairing your leaky roof. All you need is some DIY skills and basic equipment.

So, shall we start?


First Step: Find the Leak

Go on the roof and examine the leaky area.

  • On a level rooftop, seepage usually enters the structure near where the interior leak is.
  • If you have a sloping roof, you'll need to examine the roof from a higher floor or with the help of a sturdy extensive ladder.
  • You can do a basic test by spraying water on the roof; have someone stand below to signal you where the leakage is located.
  • Look carefully for harmed, bent, missing shingles or uncovered roofing nails, that are near the leakage.

After you've located the trouble spot, you can begin your repair.

4 Hours
Under $150

Tools and Materials

  • Replacement shingle(s)
  • Crowbar
  • Scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Galvanized roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Roof cement or adhesive
  • Trowel¬≠

Step 1


To extract old, damaged shingles, lift edges of adjacent shingles, then cautiously pull out old tacks with a crowbar and carefully remove the old shingles without disturbing adjoining ones.

Step 2

If there is brittle or loose cement left over, scrape it off. If there are any obtruding tacks in the roof, they should be removed, too.

Step 3


For easy placement of new shingle, round its back corners with a sharp utility blade, then carefully push it into the place. Ensure that its front end is lined up to the shingles on both sides.

Step 4


After lifting the corners of adjoining, overlapping shingles and gliding the new shingle in place, then drive 50mm galvanized roofing nails in both top corners.

Step 5

Cover each nailhead with roof cement or waterproof adhesive and flatten down surrounding shingle edges.

Suggestions and Tips

  • Use fresh, new shingles.
  • Cover the back of each new edge shingle with rooftop cement or adhesive before fixing it into position.
  • After changing the broken shingles, check the area around the chimney, around vents or vent funnels, or any line of rooftop cement where two surfaces merge.
  • If the area around the chimney or dormer is exposed not completely caulked, then fill the joints with roof adhesive or cement.
  • Along joints fixed with a line of roof bond, apply rooftop adhesive or cement with a putty blade to areas that appear cracked or worn.

How to Replace or Repair a Damaged Shingle

Roof Repairing Safety Tips


When working on a rooftop can be risky. Remember these safety measures before commencing a rooftop repair:

  • Roof repairing must be carried out during sunny days when the rooftop is totally dry. A damp rooftop is slippery and extremely unsafe.
  • Sufficient safety precautions should be taken for any rooftop refurbishment. While working on height always utilize safety belt and ropes.
  • On sloping roof, ensure that you utilise a ladder framework to give protected fastening.
  • While working ensure that you wear rubber-soled shoes which provide good grip on the sloping roof.
  • The location of an electric line should be in the center while working on the roof.


How Does Water Get In?

Sometimes, ice dams generally happen after a heavy snowfall and a few days of intense cold, which can cause water seepage into the home. As the ice dam keeps growing, it entraps water behind it. The water and ice back up under shingles and water gets into the attic, which will damage insulation, wood, and ceiling plaster.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Ashi


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