Leakproof skylight flashing
Apply self-sticking underlayment
Install 6-in.-wide strips of a self-sticking waterproof underlayment. This underlayment will direct any water that may get through the metal flashing onto the roofing felt. Install from the bottom up, lapping each piece on top of the lower one.
If you have to replace shingles around a skylight, examine the old flashing. Most residential skylights sit on a raised curb made watertight with metal flashing. If it’s carefully removed when the old roof is torn off, it should be reusable. If not, you’ll have to buy new flashing ($50 to $100) either from the skylight manufacturer or from a roofing company that has a metal fabrication shop (look under “Roofing” in the Yellow Pages or online).
First remove the skylight’s counterflashing. On some units, you have to remove the whole glass frame (lead photo below). On other models, you simply unscrew a metal channel from the curb. Next pry off the old shingles, carefully pulling nails to save the flashing. To reassemble, follow the steps as outlined by the photos, and you’ll have a leakproof installation. Note that the metal flashing pieces don’t need to be sealed to each other. Since water runs downhill, they only need to be installed in the right order. So put away that roofing cement.
If you’re hiring a roofing crew, ask them to carefully remove the old flashing and reuse it if it’s in good shape.
Correctly Flashed Skylight
This skylight shows the correct flashing technique to make it waterproof. Numbers 1 - 4 correspond to the 4 photos above. Number 5 shows how the final step, counterflashing, is integral to the skylight and covers the upper edges of the roof flashing.
Easy Shingle Repair
Fix those potential leaks now.
Tools & Materials
Remove those ugly damaged shingles and stop potential roof leaks by following this simple three-step shingle replacement process.
Replace damaged shingles
Pry gently to break shingle free
Gently tap a flat bar under the shingles to break the seal-down strips free. Don't force it—shingles rip easily.
A broken shingle is both ugly and a leak waiting to happen. But as long as you can find matching shingles (and you're not afraid of heights), the repair is straightforward.
Pick a day when the weather is moderate to do the repair—too cold and the shingles can crack; too warm and the shingle sealants are tough to break.
Loosen the tabs under the broken shingle and the next two courses above it. Shingles are fastened with eight nails each—four at the center just above the tab slots and four through the shingle above it—and you have to lift up all the shingles that cover those nails to remove them.
After all the tabs are loose, push the flat bar up under the damaged shingle to each nail, centering the nail in the flat bar notch To avoid ripping shingles, gently work the pry bar under both tabs as you push it up.
Pop out the nails by prying underneath the shingle instead of trying to dig the nail head out from the top of the shingle; that will wreck the shingle. Then push the shingle down from the nail head and pull out the nail. After removing the center row of nails on the damaged shingle, lift the undamaged shingles above it and remove the next row of nails. Then pull out the damaged shingle.
Slide the new shingle up into place. Nail the center row first, then the center row of the course above it, nailing 1/2 in. over from the old holes (Photo 3). Nail at the top of the slots between the tabs, just above the sealant strip.Roof Flashing: Replace Plumbing Vent Flashing
Tools & Materials
The metal or rubber flashing around plumbing vents can deteriorate or rust through over time, creating water leaks. Here's how to replace the flashing and stop the leaks.
Pry up shingles
Remove one or two shingles above the vent flashing, then pry out the vent, being careful not to damage the shingles.
Plumbing vent flashings are notorious spots for roof leaks. If you have a leak in the general area of a plumbing vent, check the condition of the vent flashing. Look for rust holes or gaps around metal vents (required for cast iron waste lines). If you have rubber vents (which are used for plastic pipe), check to see if they have become brittle and cracked.
Both types extend under at least two courses of shingles, so you'll usually need to remove a few shingles above the flashing to get the old one out without ripping any shingles. If you don't have any shingles left from the last roofing, be extra careful not to rip any. (Even if you can find new shingles in the same style, the color won't match perfectly.)
Loosen the tabs on the shingles above the vent first. Those shingles won't be removed, but you'll need to get under those tabs to get at the nails on the shingles directly below. Work from the top down, removing any shingles covering the vent flashing. Getting the tabs free without ripping them is the only tricky part. Work a putty knife slowly under the bottom lip of each tab and slip it through the adhesive to break the seal from one side to the other. Don't try to pry up the whole tab at once or it will rip. Once the tabs are free, slip the flat bar under the shingle and tap it up under the nail head. Pop the shingle and nail up, then pull the flat bar out from under the shingle and pop the nail head up from above the shingle. Don't worry if you accidentally tear the nail head through the shingle. When you replace the shingle, just put the nail in slightly above the hole and fill the old hole with caulk.
Slip a flat bar under the edge of the vent flashing and pop the nails up . Pull the old flashing up over the vent pipe and scrape any old caulk and debris off the roof. Slide the new flashing over the vent pipe and under the shingles above the pipe. Center the pipe in the flashing and push the flexible front corners up or down so that the flashing pipe is parallel to the vent pipe. (Rubber vent flashing automatically adjusts to any pitch.) Lift the vent enough to spread caulk under the sides (but not the bottom edge), then nail with three 1-1/4-in. roofing nails per side. Put one nail in the bottom edge with a dab of caulk under it to seal the hole.
Set the top part of the vent on the pipe. Make sure the inside of the lead collar fits inside the pipe, then tighten the pipe clamp. Finally, replace the shingles
Removing Damaged Shingles
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Use the proper safety precautions. Any time you're getting up on the roof you need to practice roof safety. Wear protective eyewear, heavy-duty gloves, and gripping boots appropriate for walking on the roof. Preferably, you'll also install roof jacks to have something to stand on, and harnesses to protect yourself. Never do roof work alone.
How you access the roof will depend upon the roof itself and the location of the damage. Always use a secure, sturdy ladder when you're climbing up on the roof, and have a helper to secure it at the base. When walking on the roof, always walk slowly and secure your footing before taking another step.
If you're just trying to assess the damage and replace a few damaged shingles, it might seem like overkill to install roof jacks and harnesses, but depending on the complexity and the height of your roof, it might be the safest option. Roof work isn't something to rush.
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Assess the damage. Find the damaged area of shingles and determine how many new shingles you'll need and the extent of the damage underneath. Look at the corners on the shingles surrounding the damage. Are they curled and pulled up from the roof?
Check the damaged area for damage to the moisture barrier or flashing, and check the damaged area for signs of seepage. If the surrounding shingles aren't doing the work of keeping moisture out, you'll need to replace everything in the square around the damaged area.
In some cases, it might be better to remove all the shingles from a roof in urgent need of repairs and re-roof the house instead. If the shingles in the area surrounding the damage are old, brittle, and dry, it’s probably not worth taking the care to re-secure them to the roof.
Cracked or split shingles may be repaired without removing them, provided they're still in good condition. You can learn more about securing the shingles in the following section.
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Remove shingles in cool weather. Asphalt and asphalt sealant will heat up in hot weather, making it moldable and much more difficult to remove. It's a lot easier to remove shingles that are cooled down and slightly more brittle than the moldable, so do the work of removing them first thing in the morning, before the sun has beaten down upon them considerably.
Wet shingles to cool them down before removal, if you must work in the heat. Wetting them down with a small amount of water will help them to tighten and firm up, making them much easier to remove, if necessary.
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Loosen the adhesive under the tabs two rows above the damage. Removing all the shingles on the roof is usually done with a large hayfork , or rake-sized scraper used for removing shingles. Since you're only removing a portion of shingles, though, it's usually better to use a smaller tool. A pry bar, crow-bar, or the claw of a hammer works perfectly at getting under and carefully prying up shingles, separating the adhesive and revealing the nails of the shingles underneath.
A good rule of thumb is to remove at least five tabs in the second row above the damaged "3-tab" shingle. Pull up enough shingles to reveal the nails of all the damaged shingles that need removed below.
The end seams should be lined-up about a foot off to one side of the damaged one. In other words, you'll want to make sure that you pull off shingles in a radius around the damaged portion, to make sure you get everything.
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Loosen the exposed nails. Slide your flat pry-bar under the shingles around the damaged portion. Work around the nail, pulling it up. Carefully lift each surrounding tab about 45 to 60 degrees. Go very slowly, but pry firmly, and try not to crack or break them. If the surrounding shingles are in good shape, you can reattach them when you're finished replacing the damaged shingles, saving you money and effort.
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Continue loosening the adhesive and nails closer to the damaged shingles. Work your way progressively closer to the damage. Lift the tabs in the first row above the damaged shingle and withdraw the loosened nails from that shingle with the pry-bar by using the same process.
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Loosen and remove the damaged shingles. Loosen the adhesive underneath the tabs of the damaged shingle, then pull them free and discard. If the shingles are severely damaged, don't try to salvage them. Just remove them and replace them with new shingles of a similar style to the rest of the shingles on the roof.
Continue removing the damaged shingles until you've cleared out the shingles that will need replaced. It'll be easier to remove everything before you get started replacing them.
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Get the necessary replacement materials. To replace shingles, you'll obviously need shingles to replace the ones you remove and the materials necessary to secure. Most shingles that are in need of replacement are three-tab asphalt shingles. If your roof involves some other variety of shingle, you'll need to match your new shingles to the old. To complete the job properly, you'll need:
Replacement shingles. Buy more than you'll need at the home repair store. You should be able to count up how many damaged shingles will need replacement and buy accordingly. It's good to have replacements on hand.
Shingle cement or adhesive. Some shingles come with adhesive strips pre-installed, making this unnecessary. If you buy unbacked shingles, though, you might need to purchase additional adhesive to secure them to the roof before nailing them. It's a good idea to buy it to secure other loose shingles anyway.
Roofing nails. Most three-tab shingles will be pre-cut with guide holes that will make the installation process very simple. To secure them, you'll need roofing nails, which are heavy-duty, and about two or three inches long.
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Install the new shingle. Place a new shingle in the same position as the shingle you removed. If the shingles are backed with adhesive strip, remove the covering and push them into place, then nail them to secure them. Most shingles have pre-cut holes for nails, usually three per shingle. Follow the directions of the shingles that you purchase, or use the other shingles on the roof as a guide.
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Reseal under edges of all three shingles. Lift each tab slightly on the shingles as you install them, and apply a 1" (2.5 cm) diameter spot of shingle cement under each tab. Press tabs down into the cement firmly and secure the shingle into place. Continue installing shingles and securing them with adhesive accordingly, until you've installed all the damaged shingles along the row.
After you've finished the damage portion, you can start working your way back up the roof, retailing the loose shingles into place, as long as they're in good shape, and using the adhesive to secure them back onto the roof.
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Secure other loose shingles while you’re at it. While you're up there working, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for other areas that look like they may become problematic in the future. Keep an eye out for curled or weathered-looking shingles that might allow water to seep in underneath. Using your adhesive, lift the tabs gently and re-secure them.
Shingles become damaged when water gets in underneath and starts rotting from beneath. If you rescuer loose or weathered shingles on a regular basis, you'll get a considerable amount more life out of them. Regular touch-ups can extend the life of a roof immensely.
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Fix cracked or split shingles instead of replacing them. If shingles become cracked or otherwise split, because of falling branches or other types of damage, consider using adhesive to repair them as best you can, instead of removing them completely. Line the crack with a liberal amount of adhesive and stick it back together to repair it. Hold it in place for several seconds and let it seal