How To Replace Cedar Roof Shingles

If you have damaged cedar shingles, it is possible to replace the damaged shingles instead of replacing the whole roof. Cedar shingles help keep the home better insulated, but they occasionally get damaged from weather, or from objects falling on it. It is a project a beginning DIY person can do with the right tools.Here are some tips to replace cedar roof shingles.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • ladder
  • safety harness
  • roof tarp
  • garbage bin
  • pry bar
  • hammer
  • rust-proof nails
  • slater's ripper
  • hack saw
  • wood block
  • metal shim
  • replacement cedar shingles

Set a ladder on flat ground, and attach a safety harness on the other side of the work area. Wear rubber-sole shoes to walk on roofs.

Sweep debris or damaged shingles remnants off the roof into a garbage bin. If rain catches you before you finish, or you have to stop for other reasons, cover the repair area with tarp. Lay bricks or other heavy objects on the tarp to secure it.

Remove or Repair the Damaged Shingle

For a short-term repair to shingles that are not seriously damaged, fix them with a metal shim the size of the shingles. Bend the corners of the metal shim under, and insert it under the shingle. Press on the shingle.

Start replacing damaged shingles at the highest point. Loosen the shingle nails with a pry bar, but don't remove the shingle yet. Loosen two more shingles above the shingle you loosened.

Raise the top shingles until you have room to remove the nails from the damaged shingle. Use the slater's ripper to remove the nails from the damaged shingle.

Carefully wiggle the shingle off; taking care to avoid damaging good shingles. If the nails are stuck, remove them with the hacksaw. Proceed to remove other damaged shingles in the same manner.

Install the New Shingles

Before installing the shingle, hammer two nails in it at a forty-five degree angle, so the nails point to the ridge. Lay the new shingle in place around one-half inch lower than existing shingles, then hammer it in place.

Set a wood block at the bottom of the shingle, and tap it gently with the hammer to make the shingle even with the others. Hammer the shingles you loosened above the replacement back in place.

Replacing damaged cedar shingles saves money on roof replacement. If you don't feel comfortable walking on roofs, or the roof is seriously damaged, you may want to consider hiring a roofer.