Replacing Shakes

If you have some shakes that need to be replaced this story gives you some tips and the step to follow when replacing them.

Intro

You may have some shakes in your garage or shed left over from the original roofing job. If not take along a sample when you buy replacements so that you can match the color. Replacement wood shakes will be lighter in color than the rest of the roof, but they will darken in time.

If the felt underlayment is damaged, cut a piece that is at least 6 inches larger than the damaged area in both directions and slip it into place before replacing the shake. Sound underlayment is especially important on a wood shake roof. If you are making repairs at the eaves, you may need to replace a starter strip or starter shakes.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Once you have the repair materials, an hour or less for most repairs

Tools
Utility knife, tape measure, flat pry bar, stapler, hammer or roofing hatchet, trowel, caulk gun, nail set

Skills
Nailing; using a pry bar, chisel, caulk gun

Prep
Buy replacement shingles or shakes to match and make preparations for working safely on the roof.

Materials
Shingles or shakes, roofing cement (in a caulk tube or a can), nails long enough to penetrate the sheathing

Step 1

Use a hammer and chisel to split apart the damaged shake along its grain.

Step 2

You may be able to pull out the parts with your hands. If not use a hammer and chisel to force the parts down and out. Pull out or drive down any hidden nails.

Step 3

Reassemble the damaged shake and use it as a template for cutting the replacement. Score the new piece several times with a knife and snap the pieces apart. Or cut with a circular saw.

Step 4

Position the replacement shake about 1 inch below the shakes on either side. There should be a 1/4- to 3/8-inch gap on either side. Drive two shake nails at angles. You may choose to use a nail set to finish driving them flush; do not set the heads below the wood surface.

Step 5

Use a hammer and a scrap of wood to drive the shake up into position, aligned with the shakes on either side.


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