Learning Center

Keep Your Home's Roof in Good Shape

Make sure your roof is in top condition to prevent costly leaks and damage.

house with several lose shingles

The roof on your house does a big job. It keeps you and your belongings dry in the rain, shaded in the sun and safe from wind. It keeps out the snow and takes a beating when hail falls. Keeping your roof in good shape should be near the top of your list for home maintenance. A leak in your roof can cause thousands of dollars in damages.

If your roof is more than 20 years old and many shingles appear damaged or badly worn, it's probably time to replace it. But if your roof is in good shape with only a few damaged spots, you may be able to fix the roof yourself.

How to do simple shingle roof repairs:

  • Remove damaged shingles as well as a few shingles around the damaged area. Also remove the tar paper underneath if it has any signs of damage.
  • Lay new tar paper on the roof. Layer the tar paper so that it overlaps by 1/3 in each row. Use roofing adhesive to glue the pieces together and seal any openings. Using roofing nails, nail the tar paper into place every two feet. Cover these nails with adhesive to prevent leaking.
  • Trim the corners of the new shingles so they easily slide into place next to and under the existing shingles on the roof.
  • Use roofing nails to nail each corner of the shingle into place. Once you have nailed the shingles into place, apply roofing adhesive to the top of the nails to prevent leaking.
  • With a little attention and care, your roof will give you years of protection from the elements.

    * Roof repair can be dangerous. Use extreme caution. These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. If you are unsure or uncomfortable doing of any of these steps, call a trained professional.


Take Stock of Your Dreams

With our Web-based Home Inventory Tool.

Discover Dreamvault

You're invited to an open house!

Take a virtual tour of our Interactive Home, where safety is king of the castle.

Visit the Interactive Home