DIY Roof Repair - Two Important Items You Need

18 July 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


If you are a DIY expert who loves to make home improvements, then you may think about making roof repairs to your damaged asphalt roof. However, if you try to make the necessary fixes without spending money on the necessary tools and items, then you just may end up damaging your roof even more. To make sure you keep damage to a minimum, invest in some of the right roofing products to complete the job.

Roofing Shoes

Asphalt roofing shingles are made out of a base or matt that contains organic fibers. This matt is then covered with asphalt, which is a petroleum-based oil material. The asphalt creates a waterproof barrier, and the barrier is sprinkled with mineral rocks that help to reflect light. While the asphalt oil penetrates deep into the matt and creates a thick barrier on top of it, the oil will evaporate very slowly. After many hot summers, the shingles will become somewhat dry and they will be more likely to rip. If you start walking around on the shingles with hard rubber-soled boots, then you can damage more shingles then you actually repair.

You can reduce roofing damage concerns by wearing shoes or boots that are specifically designed for roofers. Some of these boots are made with foam pads on the soles. The soft foam is meant to grip the asphalt shingles to keep your footing secure while also reducing pressure on the shingles. The pads are made with dense foam, and they are meant to wear down as you use them. Velcro strips attach the pads to the shoe soles so pads can be replaced easily. If you do not want to invest in a full pair of boots, then slip on foam pads are also available.

Roofing shoes also come in plywood sole varieties too. The plywood helps to reduce heat transferring from the roof to your feet, and the sole also reduces shingle damage. Rock climbing shoes are also a good option, especially if you need to climb around on a roof with a steep pitch. 

Shingle Ripper

If you need to remove and replace several shingles across the roof that cannot be repaired, then you will need a tool called a shingle ripper. Most asphalt shingles are three tab strip varieties. These shingles are 36 inches long and 12 inches wide. The top part of the shingle consists of a long and solid strip, and the bottom has three different sections called tabs. The tabs are what creates the pattern along the roof. All three of the tabs sit over the strip of the shingle just below it. This means that aggressive removal practices can leave you with a three foot damaged area and holes on the strip just underneath the removed shingle.

A shingle ripper is meant to remove a single shingle without damaging the surrounding ones. The tool is a steel one with a long neck, a notched head, and a gripped handle in the end. To use the ripper, identify the three tabs on the shingle you need to replace. Slip the long blade end with the head underneath the middle tab. Move the ripper to the right until it hooks onto a roofing nail. Place pressure on the handle of the ripper with a hammer until the nail pops up and out of the roof. Move the ripper to the left and right until all the nails have been removed from the shingle. Shingles will often be secured with about four nails. When the nails are removed, you will be able to pull on the shingle to release it. Make sure to pull gently though, so the shingle does not scrape against the one underneath it.