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How To Secure Loose Shingles Before A Big Storm

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Do you have some loose shingles on your roof? If the weather report is calling for storms and rain in the coming days, you may not have time to call a professional roofer to come repair your roof before the bad weather hits. Thankfully, with some basic materials and DIY-skills, you can secure those shingles and prevent them from blowing off completely in the wind and rain. This won't be a permanent fix; you'll still want to look into roof repair by Power Roofing or a similar company soon. However, it should keep your roof intact through the storm.

For this project, you need:

  • A pry bar (A hammer with a prying device on the back will work in a pinch.)
  • Roofing cement
  • A hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Spare shingles (If you can't find the same color as your roof, that's ok. This is a temporary fix.)

Follow these steps for shingles that are only slightly loose:

  1. For each somewhat loose shingle, apply some roofing cement to the edge, and then press down along the edge to seal the shingle back into place.
  2. Pound an extra nail or two into the loose shingle to hold it in place more securely. 
  3. Apply a dab of roofing cement to each nail head. Spread it out so that it covers all sides of the nail head. This will prevent leaks.

As long as the shingles you secured in this manner are in decent shape (they're not missing a lot of granules or missing pieces off the edges) this sort of repair will last a while. You will still want to have a roofing contractor out to look at them and perhaps replace the shingles -- since the fact that they've come loose once is a sign that they're not that sturdy -- but this is not urgent.

Follow these steps for very loose and missing shingles:

  1. Pry off any shingles that are barely hanging on using the pry bar. Leave those that are a bit more secure in place.
  2. Hold a new shingle over the area where the shingles are loose and missing. It will look strange because you're placing it on top of the existing shingles. Don't worry – your roofing company will remove it when they come to fully replace those missing shingles.
  3. Use three nails to secure the new shingle across its top.
  4. Use three more nails to secure the new shingle across the bottom.
  5. Apply a dab of roofing cement over each nail head to prevent leaks.

The reason you patch the roof in this manner instead of just replacing the damaged shingles is that replacing the shingles requires you to remove several rows of shingles above and below to ensure the new shingles are situated properly. This is quite time-consuming and best left to the pros.