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How to Fix Cracked Roof Shingles

As asphalt shingles age, they become more prone to cracking. Shingle cracks can appear anywhere on the surface of the shingle. Because cracks represent the loss of the top layer of protective granules, you don’t want to ignore them. Cracks slow down water movement and hasten the end of a shingle’s life. Knowing how to fix cracked roof shingles will buy your roof more time. The fix also improves the appearance of the shingles.

How to Fix Cracked Roof Shingles Step by Step

  1. Wear shoes with nonskid soles when working on a roof.
  2. If your roof is steep, use a fall-prevention harness.
  3. Choose a dry day when you want to complete the steps for how to fix cracked roof shingles.
  4. Before climbing on the roof, stop at the gutter.
  5. Gather some shingle granules from the gutter. Unless you recently cleaned the gutters, a thin sediment of granules should be there.
  6. Keep the granules in a baggie until you’re ready to use them.
  7. Load your caulking gun with a tube of roof sealant.
  8. Gently lift the tabs of a cracked shingle.
  9. Apply roof sealant underneath the cracks.
  10. Spread it out with the putty knife.
  11. Press the shingle back onto the roof.
  12. Apply roof sealant over the cracks on the top side of the shingle.
  13. Smooth the sealant over the shingles with the putty knife, filling in the cracks.
  14. While the sealant is still wet, sprinkle it with the granules collected from the gutter.

What If a Shingle Breaks While I’m Trying to Fix a Crack?

A badly cracked shingle may break off in your hand when you try to repair it. When this happens, you’ll need to replace the broken shingle. Hopefully, you have a few spare shingles in the garage left over from when the roof was shingled. If not, buy a package of shingles that matches your roof as closely as possible.

To replace a broken shingle, you need to:

  1. Raise the edge of the shingle over the broken shingle to expose the nails.
  2. Use the pry bar to remove the nails securing the broken shingle.
  3. Pull out the damaged shingle.
  4. Slide in the new shingle.
  5. Nail it down.
  6. Put some dabs of roofing sealant over the nailing edge.
  7. Press the shingle above the replaced shingle down onto the new shingle.

Tools & Materials

  • Ladder
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife

Stay Informed About the Condition of Your Roof

The constantly changing weather of the Mid-Atlantic is hard on roofs. If you have cracked shingles, your roof is probably reaching the end of its lifespan. At this point, more serious problems with your roof could emerge. Have the roofing experts at PJ Fitzpatrick check your roof and let you know if you have any serious damage developing. We can let you know how much longer your roof can last. For problems that can’t wait, have us repair your roof or replace it. Contact our home services company for a roof estimate today.

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