He me reshingle my roof

I’ve got a section of roof where water from a higher section of roof cascading over the edge lands, and that section is in very bad shape. The rest of the roof still has a few years left, so I’d like to reshingle just the bad section. It’s only about 100 square feet, so I think this is something I can handle. I’ve already added a gutter to the corner of the upper roof, where the water was coming from, so the underlying problem is fixed.

My plan is to leave the existing shingles in place, adding the new shingles over them, starting from the bottom, and working up. I’ve read about replacing individual shingles in “home handyman” type books, where the old shingle is removed, and the new one is slid into its place. I’m hoping the same technique can be used at the upper end of the repair area. Is this feasible? Is there any other way of integrating the top row of new shingles into the existing ones? The upper row will be 10 to 15 feet long.

Would I need a new layer of roofing felt (or some other material) over the old shingles before the new shingles are added, or do I just put the new shingles up?

Any other gotchas I should look out for, or any tips on this? Any gotta-have specialty tools?

Additional details:
Roof is about 10 or 12 years old (we bought from the builder, but they’re known for using cheapest materials and workers they can find).
Shingles are asphalt, with I believe three tabs per shingle.
The roof is fairly steep, but I’m comfortable working on the roof. (I’ve been installing a rooftop antenna there, since I’m planning on repairing/replacing it anyway, and wasn’t worried about the foot traffic.)
The section to be repaired is over the garage, and triangular with a side edge mostly along the house, and the angled edge ending at a valley with another part of garage roof.
I’m not sure how easily I could access the underside of the repair area.
I’d be happy to get even a couple of years out of the repair, but I’m shooting for at least five. (although I’m thinking it’ll either leak in the first year, or easily make five, with no in-between.)
I expect we’d completely strip off of the old shingles when we eventually get the entire roof redone.
No known leaks yet.

The title should have been Help me reshingle my roof, but it’s hard to find lps these days.


ZenBeam, two questions that impact the answer to your question.

Can you tell how many layers of shingles are currently in place?

Can you describe a little better how the “lower section” meets and transitions to the “upper section”?

If it is leaking, get a pro.
If it is cosmetic, do it yourself if you can find matching shingles.
Get advice from a roofing supply store if you have questions; take a set of photos.

I’ve replaced a few roofs over my life, and made similar repairs. Here’s my amateur take (I am assuming these are ordinary asphalt shingles):

Don’t work on a roof steeper than 8 or 9/12 pitch. I never saw a roofer in my ED whose fall was his first fall. If they fall, you can too. Leave a 12/12 for others.

Pick a cool day. Warm days warm up the asphalt shingles and you will rip them to shreds walking on them. Tennis shoes; not hard soles.

Don’t rip up what’s there if nothing is leaking and this is only cosmetic.

You need a hammer, roofing nails long enough to get through all the layers (these are longer than the original ones), and a pry bar.

Start at the lowest run, lay the shingles on top, and work in the edges in a step fashion. You will see that the shingles are offset from the run below and it will be obvious how to fit them in. You may want to cut off the lowest existing run so that you don’t get a double shingle look. It’s hard to say without playing with it. Leave the roofing paper alone and try not to damage it.

To cut shingles use a utility knife. Score them and then snap off the waste.

Shingles are nailed only at the top, and they have a small strip of tar which sort of glues the lower edge down. Pry this up gently with the prybar and expose the nails of any shingles you decide to remove. Tuck any new shingles underneath. If you pry gently and the shingles are relatively new they will bend. If they are old they will break, esp if it’s too cold.

To nail the top rows, you have two options: if the overlying shingles are flexible you might be able to bend them back enough to tack in the top layer of new shingles. If they aren’t, tuck in the new shingles and drive the nails from the outside, sealing with a dap of asphalt caulk made for this purpose. Do not use caulk of any kind unless some guy who really knows what he’s talking about gives you specific advice. It won’t leak. The thing that keeps a roof from leaking is mostly the pitch and only to a lesser extent the perfect integrity of the surface. Pooling water will always find its way in, it seems.

It may not be all that expensive to have someone else do it. One option which frequently works well is to find guys doing a roofing job in the neighborhood and have them do it for cash on the side. There are liability issues around this which I will leave to your discretion.

(Tried to reply earlier, but kept getting message about database error.)

Thanks, Chief Pedant. That’s the kind of info I was hoping for.

Fir na tine, the section of the roof where the water was coming from is completely separate from the part that needs to be repaired. There’s a valley in the upper section that directed water over the edge, onto the part of the roof that needs repairs (a drop of about four feet).

There is only one layer of shingles (the house itself is only ten or twelve years old.)

Just a mention.

There are shingle knives. My brother sliced his hand open real good when the utility knife blade snapped cutting shingles. Only buy heavy duty blades, and forgo the emergency room.

Nothing to add except, Do not step back to admire your work!

I’ve got nothing to add, either. I just want to say that my husband and I reshingled our 3 car garage 3 years ago.
It was a very enlightening experience for me. I can’t say that it was exactly ‘enjoyable’ to do, but it wasn’t that bad, honestly!
We got it finished in two days, which wasn’t too shabby for just the two of us doing it!
Plus, it looks great!
It was just cosmetic, though. So, that made it just too easy.

Not to mention that I got the BEST suntan that I EVER had!

The instructions that Chief Pedant provided are correct. With only one layer of existing shingles, you can lay the new ones directly over the old ones. Make sure the nails you use are long enough to go through both layers. Examine the top edge carefully. You find that it somehow feathers into the wall or goes under some flashing. It it’s not leaking now, don’t screw around with the flashing. That’s professional level stuff.

Have fun.

I’ll second this recommendation. I had to have shingles replaced, about 15 3-tab asphalt shingles. I talked up two guys doing roofing work in the neighborhood. $50.00 and a couple of beers when they were done and my roof was fixed.

I’ve also done this to have gutters repaired, trees trimmed/chippered the waste, etc. You’d be surprised how quickly people are willing to make a little “happy hour” cash on the side. :slight_smile:


Chief Pedant’s instructions are correct. The only thing missing is that for the lowest row, you either need to get “starter strip” or cut the tabs off enough shingles to fill the area over the lower set of tabs, then the first row of shingles butts against the second row of tabs. When you get to the top, glue those tabs down over the nails one the top row of actual shingles.

Basically, you don’t slide the new shingles under the old, you put them on top.

TIP: To start a roofing nail, hold it between your two middle finger tips with your palm
facing up (the way many americans hold a cigarette). When there is nothing
under the nail point and you hit your fingers it will hurt much less than if you hold it
your thumb and forefinger. (the way most europeans hold a cigarette)

Pick up a do-it-yourself book which will describe the process with pictures.

It’s pretty easy, but be sure to use all the things they recommend. You’ll start with some metal sttipping along the lowest section, then a one-piece strip to go along the entire edge, and then shingles. After you lay the first row, snap a line where the next row will go so they’re all even. At the topmost end, you’ll need some flashing to go against the house. If you have any protrusions thru the roof, you’ll have to put flashing around that, too. Oh, and get yourself some knee pads. I would lay down paper even if you’re going over the old shingles. It’s pretty easy to do, and you’re only doing 100 sq ft.

If you go to Home Depot or some other large store like that, someone will be able to make sure you have all the components you need. Head Harmonious Discord’s advice about the shingle knife. Those things are nasty and need to be treated with utmost respect!

My roof is starting to deteriorate-there are several bad spots. Can I cover these spots with roofing cement, and get one more year out of it? Also, has anyone ever used a rope and safety harness? I’d redo the roof, but only if I wear a safety harness.

It’s better to try and replace even an individual shingle than smear roofing asphalt unless it is a very small spot. It will just heat up and run on a hot day.

Don’t tie the safety harness to a car (an ((apocryphal?)) Darwin Award story, as I recall, when the wife drove off…)

I have never used one but neither would I work on more than a one-story roof.