When you look up at your roof, do you notice that the shingles along the edges are starting to lift up? This is commonly one of the first signs of wear and tear to appear on a roof, and it leads many homeowners to assume they need to replace their entire roof. However, in most cases, you can just repair the shingles along the edge, take a few steps to ensure they don't suffer so much damage in the future, and put off replacing the roof for a few more years until the rest of the shingles are showing wear, too. Here are those steps in more detail.
Step 1: Repair the shingles along the edge.
If the shingles appear to be in pretty good shape -- they are not cracked or covered in moss -- then you do not have to replace them. You can just apply a dab of roofing cement under the lifting-up edge of each one. Press the shingle down, and then secure it with a roofing nail. Then, place another dab of roofing cement over the nail head. This will prevent water from leaking in around the nail head.
If the shingles are not in good condition, you will need to replace them. The row of shingles on the edge of the roof can be tough to replace since the row of shingles above them overlays them. But, if you pry out the roofing nails, you should be able to peel the shingles out. Then, you need to wiggle a new sheet of shingles up into place under the shingle layer above those at the edge. Use three nails, placed an even width apart, to secure the shingles. Drive them through both the new sheet and the more-upper, older sheet. Place a dab of roofing cement on each nail head.
Step 2: Keep the shingles from suffering more damage.
There's a reason why your edge shingles started peeling. Either you're not cleaning your gutters out and water is pooling on the edge of your roof, or your attic is not well insulated. If your attic lacks insulation, snow will melt and trickle down the roof. Then, it will refreeze on the roof's edge and pry the shingles up as it does.
So, to protect your edge shingles from future damage, try to be better about gutter cleaning. Do it twice a year -- once in the spring and again in the fall. Also, add an extra layer of fiberglass insulation to your attic just to be sure.
A few years down the road, you probably will notice more substantial shingle damage, and at that time, you can have the whole roof replaced.
If you don't feel you can repair your roof on your own, contact professional roof damage repair companies in your area to help you.