Replace damaged shingles
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Photo 1: 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.
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Strip out photo of single shingle showing nail locations
Find all eight nails in these typical locations.
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Photo 2: Pry up shingle and nail together
Wedge the notch of the pry bar under the shingle at the nail head,
then pry up both shingle and nail.
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Photo 3: Nail on the new shingle
Nail down the new shingle, propping the tabs above as you nail
to avoid breaking them.
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 (Photo 1). 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
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 (Photo 2). 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
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.