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Roofing

Types of Shingles & Repairs

man installing shingles

 

It's time to repair your roof after a damaging and harsh winter and before the spring rains come. Read about more information on Ice Dams and how you can prevent them next winter.

This section categorizes popular types of roofing materials, their main characteristics and how to repair them. Shingles are now made in a variety of materials and colors that can dramatically alter a house's appearance.

 

Asphalt Shingles

Features:
Asphalt ShinglesAsphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingle. They're reinforced with fiber glass or paper and range in durability; typically 20 to 30 years.

Asphalt shingles usually have three sections or "tabs" per shingle and an overall length of 3'. Most have dabs of tar or roofing cement on front to hold down the shingle that will lay on top of it.

Repair:
In most cases, a cupped or upturned shingle can be repaired by sticking it back down with roofing cement. Replace a shingle that's missing (or loose) by gently bending back the shingles above it. Remove any nails and remaining scrap pieces. Slide and nail the new shingle in place. Then glue down the raised shingles with roofing cement.

 

Laminated Shingles

Laminated ShinglesFeatures:
Laminated shingles have gained a lot of popularity recently. Designed to add character, color and depth to the roof, laminated shingles are made of multiple, staggered layers of material (usually asphalt).

From afar, some types of laminated shingles give the look of an expensive slate or shake roof by incorporating angled or rounded tabs and shadow lines.

Repair:
Laminated shingles are repaired much like three-tab asphalt shingles, but because laminated shingles are often thicker, they may require longer nails to fasten them securely.

 

 

Slate

Features:
Slate (stone) shingles are highly durable (100+ years); but about 3 times heavier per square foot than asphalt. Slate is a bit more difficult to work with and less forgiving than asphalt shingles because they break easily. However, a slate roof can create a colorful, hand-crafted look that adds to the overall appearance of a house.

Concrete Tile RoofingCutting slate to size requires using a special pressure cutter or a pick-like hammer that splits the slate. Slate is easily damaged by walking on it, so you may want to contact a pro for repairs.

Concrete roofing is similar to slate in that it is extremely durable to the elements, but easy to damage during installation or repairs.

 

Wood Shakes & Shingles

Features:
Shakes are typically made of cedar, spruce or treated pine. Hand-split shakes have a rough, textured look on the front and often smooth on the back. Wood shingles are machine sawn smooth on both sides.

Wood shakes and shinglesGenerally, cedar is the highest performing wood for making shakes. But, treated pine shakes also perform well. Shakes are brown or reddish in color when new, but usually fade in the first year to a gray color.

To allow for expansion, shakes should be spaced up to 1/4" from their neighbors.

Shakes normally last about 30 years before needing to be replaced and throughout that time individual shakes/shingles may shrink, warp, or splinter.

Repair:
With a nail ripper, remove the nails holding the damaged shake. Remove any remaining scrap pieces, splitting them free with a pry bar and hammer if necessary. Fit the new shake and nail it in place at the gap created by the upper shakes. Dab some roofing cement on the exposed nailheads to prevent water penetration.

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