How to Patch a Roof Hole

March 4, 2022

Patching holes is a common roof repair that is important to get done as soon as you realize there is a problem. You may notice there is something wrong if there’s a leak in your home and your drywall is wet. Holes in your roof can also lead to pest infestations, which, over time, can get worse if not fixed. Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to patch a roof hole.

Can I Patch a Roof Myself?

Some roof repairs may seem simple enough that you may want to try fixing it yourself. If you are proficiently handy around the house, you could try to do it on your own. However, NEVER climb onto your roof without the proper safety precautions, and do not climb your roof when it is raining or if your roof is wet. You should also never climb your roof if you suspect there to be rotten areas; one wrong step and you could be falling through your roof! If you do think that there is major damage underneath your shingles, call a professional roofer for an inspection.

Find the Damaged Area

The first step to knowing where you should patch your roof is finding where the damage is. You may know there’s a problem because your walls or ceiling are wet or because there’s a leak, but you may not know where the source of the leak is right away. Therefore, we have to narrow down where the damaged area may be.

Begin by going to your attic and looking for areas of moisture, such as a leak or wet stains. From the outside, you can also try to spot missing or damaged shingles, as well as any penetrations in your roof, including the chimney, vents, or anything else that goes through your roof. If you can’t find the source of your leak in your attic, run water from your hose onto different sections of your roof. Have another helper watch out for visible drips from the inside of your house to confirm whether or not the area you are watering is the damaged part of your roof.

Materials You’ll Need to Patch a Roof

Holes in your roof can be caused by a number of things, including fallen tree limbs, wood rotted over time, or pesky animals creating an entrance through your roof from what used to be a small crack. It might also be an old roof penetration you want to get rid of altogether. Depending on what type of damage or hole you are patching in your roof, there may be different steps and precautions you need to take. 

Here are just some basic materials you might need to patch a hole in your roof:

  • A ladder
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Plywood sheet
  • 2-by-4 wood plank
  • Hammer and roofing nails
  • Heavy-duty electric screwdriver/drill and deck screws
  • Roofing tar
  • Tar paper
  • Roofing adhesive

How to Patch a Roof Hole

Step 1: Climb onto your roof. As mentioned above, climbing your roof is extremely dangerous and you should always take the proper safety precautions before going on top of your house. Make sure your ladder is 100% secure before climbing up.

Step 2: Remove the shingles and nails that are covering the damaged area on your roof. Use a pry bar to slightly lift up the shingles above the damaged area (be careful not to damage them.)

Step 3: Use a pry bar to slightly lift up the shingles above the damaged area. If the hole in your roof’s plywood is irregular or an odd shape, use your reciprocating saw to cut out a square or rectangle shape around the hole. Remove the wood.

Step 4: Install a 2-by-4 plank underneath the hole; the plank should be three times the width of the opening. Then, cut your plywood to be the exact size and shape of the hole. Make sure the plywood you are using is the same thickness as your existing roof. Then, insert the new plywood into the hole. Nail the plywood sheet to the plank underneath and cover the wood borders and bracing screws with roofing tar.

Step 5: Lay tar paper over the area with missing shingles, making sure the top of the paper is slipped under the flaps of the shingles above the now-repaired area. Nail the tar paper on every 12-18 inches along the perimeter. If you used more than one sheet of tar paper, nail down any overlapping areas, as well.

Step 6: Lay on the new asphalt shingles, starting with the bottom row of shingles. Secure each shingle with three roofing nails across the horizontal center-line and coat each nail with roofing adhesive for water protection. Tuck the top new shingles underneath the shingles you previously lifted up before, then press down on the lifted shingles so that they are laying on top of your new shingles.

IBEX Roof is Here to Help

Patching holes in the roof is a common roof repair. However, it still involves a lot of care and safety precautions; stay safe and make sure to not cause any further damage to your roof! If you have done roof work before, then you may want to try fixing it yourself. But if you cannot get to your roof safely, suspect there is major damage on your roof that can’t be seen, or if you can’t find the damaged area on your roof, then it’s time to call a professional roofer.

The roofing experts at IBEX Roof are equipped to inspect your roof safely, even if dangerous areas cannot be seen. We can also come and inspect your roof before you notice any damage to make sure your roof is protecting your home the way it should. We aim to provide the best customer service and quality work to our customers. If you need some roof work done, fill out our online form or call 360-218-3104 to get a free estimate today!

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