Most people don’t want to tackle a complete shingling project on their own. However, if an asphalt shingle is just cracked or torn, you don’t necessarily have to replace it. This can be accomplished by applying a thick bead of roofing sealant under the crack and pressing it down until it seals.

If a small area of shingles blow off or are damaged, it is possible to manage the repairs yourself. A few things to consider are the pitch of the roof and if you are comfortable with ladders and heights. Also, having some tools of the trade will help to make a repair job go smoother, such as a pry bar made specifically for roofers.

There are some important tips to managing your own shingle repair that will make the job more successful and safe. One influential aspect is choosing a warmer day to do the repairs. The strip of tar on the top of the asphalt shingle is meant to help seal down overlapping shingles, but only works in warmer weather. More tips are provided in the following article from The Family Handyman:

Easy Shingle Repair | The Family Handyman

Shingle Repair

Image via The Family Handyman

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 remove them.

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 shingle.

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.

Easy Shingle Repair | The Family Handyman

The professional roofer in this video goes through the complete process of how to replace a section of roof that has damaged shingles from high winds. He offers excellent tips all throughout the video and is very honest about how to avoid mistakes that many people make. The final part of the video shows how to manage the ridge cap, which can be somewhat tricky:

If you plan to get up on a roof for any reason, safety must come first. However, when you are undertaking a shingle repair project, there are some extra elements to consider. I personally know of someone who fell off a roof and is paralyzed, permanently in a wheelchair. Statistically, falls account for three-fourths of all fatalities in the roofing industry.

This article stresses ten imperative points for safety when doing roof maintenance and repairs:

10 DIY Roofing Repair Safety Tips | LGC Roofing Blog

Image from

1. Select proper footwear.

2. Watch the weather.

3. Observe ladder safety.

4. Prepare supplies in advance.

5. Take your time, and work carefully.

6. Clean your work area before you begin a repair.

7. Install toe holds.

8. Always wear a safety harness and make certain it is tied to something sturdy.

9. Perhaps the most important roof safety guideline of all is to let someone know when you’ll be climbing on the roof.

10. Know when to call a professional.

10 DIY Roofing Repair Safety Tips | LGC Roofing Blog

The final tip is common sense. If you are uncomfortable in the situation, then you are going to be more apt to be nervous and make mistakes. When you are relaxed and calm, accidents are less likely to happen. Saving a little money isn’t worth the potential of a life-changing injury. If you can’t afford to hire the work done, see if your neighborhood has a organization that helps people with home repairs.