Steps on How to replace roofing shingles

October 26, 2022


When it comes to roofing, the first thing homeowners see is shingles. Shingles come in a range of colors and styles. Though cleaning shingle roofs on regular basis is also essential to maintain their performance and longevity. You can make your home truly intriguing with a roofing project.

Replacing an old roof is no easy task and requires homeowners to know how to tackle this project properly. Here are steps on how to replace your old roofing shingles to help make your job more manageable.

Ensure your safety

Some elements mustn't be forgotten when replacing the shingles on your roof. You should prioritize your safety, so make sure your ladder is sturdy and well-balanced. Work with a partner if possible because there will be many areas where multiple hands can assist with the shingle replacement process. Also, stay as far away from your house as possible while working on the roof. That will be the most dangerous time due to the height and speed of a ladder.

Purchase new shingles

Although most home improvement stores can help you find all the materials you'll need over the phone, shopping online may also be a better fit for your situation. This way, you can easily find all the samples you need and use them to get an idea of exactly what colors you'll need. For instance, the Technonicol roofing shingles are durable and available in varied colors/ styles. There is also an option to have samples sent directly to your home daily or weekly to avoid missing out on any deals while they're still available.

Determine the damaged shingles

You should first determine the damaged shingles, how many new roofing shingles you might require, and the extent of damage beneath your roof. In particular, you can check if there is damage to the flashing/moisture barrier and any signs of seepage. If you realize that the shingles are not maintaining adequate moisture, you will replace all the shingles within the damaged area. If you have asphalt shingles, you can wait until the weather has cooled down to remove them. That is because the asphalt sealant tends to heat up during hot weather, making it moldable and challenging to remove. Since you will remove a section of the roofing shingles, you can use a clawhammer, crowbar, or pry bar.

Remove Old Nails

Remove all nails with a hammer drill for better access and safety. If you're working on an asphalt shingle roof, nail removal could pose problems due to high traffic; however, if you have wooden shingles or have spaced them out well beyond the roof's perimeter, you may not need to remove any nails.

Remove Old Shingles

Remove any nails or screws securing the entire existing roof while they are still dry (or before they get wet). Don't try to remove any nails while the roof is wet. Some screws can be drilled out with a power drill, but be careful not to damage any underlying wood.

Apply Sealant

If you're replacing wooden shingles or have had a wooden roof at some point, apply sealant along the seams of your new shingle installation to help keep out leaks. Use a power drill and a caulking gun. DIY cheap sealant from home centers will work fine, but professional-grade sealants will cost more, but last longer and may be worth it for your peace of mind.

Clean Off Excess Resin

When your roof is clean and dry, use a scraper and brush to remove the excess sealant from the roofing. Make sure you get up inside. Try not to damage any underlying wood with the scraper or brush; if necessary, use a little more force to scrape it off. If you're working on an asphalt shingle roof, remove any excess sealant from around the roof's perimeter before installing your new shingles. Asphalt shingles are prone to traps and leaks near them.


Simply place each new shingle into place, overlapping a little bit with the one beside it. This will avoid gaps between the shingles, making for a more durable and robust installation. It is also appropriate to place some barriers over your current shingles while they are still up to protect them from damage, which could cause a mess later on down the line. Notably, you should ensure that the new shingle has the same measurements as the old one. It should also have the same color.

In most cases, when replacing shingles, the sealant bonds will be broken at the beginning of the process. Therefore, you should apply asphalt plastic roof cement under the tabs of your new shingles.

Install Flashing

Install flashing around the perimeter of your roof, where gaps between your existing shingles and the sheathing (the horizontal surface of your roof) are large. The flashing should be long enough to go over one foot above the shingles but provided it hangs over the edge of your roof. You can use aluminum flashing or clay half-inch self-adhesive foam flashing to do this job. Make use of a power drill with a masonry bit, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation. It's a good idea to test the flashing on an inconspicuous location before applying it extensively around your entire roof.


After installing all of your new shingles, you may decide that it is best to wash them off before sealing them. That will help to ensure that any dirt or debris is removed from the edges of each of them and give it a nice new look overall. You should also clean out your old nails if they're still present on top of your shingles. That can help to prevent an unwanted mess later on down the line. The last step will be applying an anti-skid coating or other treatment to prevent any potential ice build-up on your new shingles. That will reduce damage during the next harsh winter season.

If your old roofing shingles are worn and torn, or if they're starting to leak and need to be replaced, don't fret. Replacing roofing shingles is a DIY job for the more handy homeowner. Although roofs have many attributes that are best left to professionals, this job you can do on your own.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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