Replacing Wood Shingles

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 26, 2013)

Wood shingles can be a great roofing choice, though you will need to make sure that you are ready to perform spot repairs after any storms. Luckily, replacing wood shingles isn't all that difficult or even very expensive. If you are willing to undertake this task yourself, simply follow these directions to ensure that you do it the right way.

  1. Get your replacements. If you do not already have the replacement wood shingles (also known as shakes) then you will need to get several replacements. Ideally you will want to have enough replacements to repair several rows of shakes at a single time. In the event that you do not currently have any replacements simply take a damaged portion to your local home improvement store for patching purposes. While at the store make sure that you also purchase some builders felt, roofing cement, galvanized roofing nails, and if necessary roofing hammers as well as pry bars.
  2. Remove the damaged section. When you have the replacements, and other materials, on hand, you can begin removing the damaged section. You do not need to remove all of the shakes from the roof, but rather only the section immediately around the damaged section. Typically this is three or four shakes on either side of the damaged wood shingles, as well as the row above and below. Be careful though as you do this so that you do not damage the underlying roofing (or builder's) felt.
  3. Clean and inspect the section. After removing all the shakes or shingles from the damaged area, go ahead and clean and inspect the area. Clean the area of any remaining dirt or debris, while ensuring that you have actually removed all of the nails that were holding the shakes in place. Additionally you will want to inspect the underlying roofing felt to ensure it is in good or serviceable condition. If it is not, use a utility knife to cut out the bad area, and then replace it with some new felt.
  4. Place the new shingle. Starting at the lowest point of the open section, place a new shingle and see how it fits. If you have correctly sized the shingles they should fit with little to no problem. However, you may need to use a utility knife to trim the shingle down to size a bit.
  5. Nail and cement. When you have the shingle properly sized and ready for final placement, go ahead and nail it in place. Make sure that you also dab a bit of roofing cement onto the nails to help prevent any water damage. On the average you should only need to use three or four nails per shake to ensure that it is held in place during any upcoming storms.
  6. Repeat as necessary. Repeat steps four and five as often as necessary until the damaged section or sections have been completely replaced and repaired. As you do so be careful that you do not unnecessarily shave down the shingle too much.

Once you have finished replacing wood shingles, you can begin cleaning up. For the most part you can hold onto old wood shingles and use them as kindling firewood, or even for some arts and crafts projects. However, if you do end up holding onto any of the old wood shingles make sure that you do not mix the old wood shingles with the new ones. It shouldn't be too difficult to mix them up, but you don't want to run the risk if you can avoid it.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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