If you have a more specialized roofing material like slate or shakes and/or the slope is at a sharp angle, it might be best to contract the project. Roofing is not for the faint of heart, so if heights are a dizzying concern, this is a very good reason to not go it alone. Otherwise, pick a weekend of good weather and get on the job!
If you have looked at the rake, or sloping edge, and determined that you have reached your legal limit for the number of layers, then the first step in how to repair a roof is removing the old asphalt. The common number is the original layer plus two, but check with your town laws before you begin.
The bottom line here is that this is simply good, old-fashioned hard work! But before you take the cat’s paw and crow bar on the roof you should check the attic. What you are looking for are rotten spots and separations in and around the sheathing. This is the plywood that forms the foundation for the roofing.
The next step in how to repair a roof is the actual removal phase. This is labor intensive and can cause quite a mess. It is advised that you rent a dumpster type receptacle to minimize the debris you will have to clean up when you climb down off the ladder. You may also want to use drop clothes on landscaping.
Roofing nails wreak havoc with lawn mowers and vehicles tires. Also use care when removing old shingles from around flashing. Carefully remove the old flashing and you can use these as templates for the new ones you are replacing them with.
During your repairs you cannot simply nail down a new board. In all the advice on how to repair a roof you will see that it is imperative to make the surface even. For example, if you have an older home the plywood is likely to be 7/8″ or actually one inch thick. The “one inch” plywood of today is ¾” thick.
This may not seem like a large difference, but it is one that you will notice once the asphalt is laid. You may need to use extra felt in these areas to bring the surfaces flush. With these how to repair a roof initial steps you can complete this job to your satisfaction.