How to Replace Slate Roof Shingles

What You'll Need
Slate Roof Shingles
Roof Felt
Masonry Bit
Nail Ripper

Slate roof shingles can give a home a lot of character. Their prestige and shimmer give a house tremendous curb appeal and increased value. These shingles can last for many years without any problems. However, there are times when you may need to replace a few of them. Follow the simple steps below when the need arises that you must replace one or two of the slate roof shingles.

Step 1: Determine Shingle Needs

Before you go ripping up a bunch of shingles, it is important to realize what it is that you need. Cracked, broken and loose shingles will need to be replaced. However, if there are several that need to be pulled and replaced, you may want to look at a professional roofer for the job. Once you see that you only need a few shingles, purchase the ones you need—and a few extras—and have them on hand before you start the project.

Step 2: Remove One Shingle

Start your replacement project with one shingle at a time. If there is one on the edge, this would be the most preferable. However, any shingle will do. Start with a nail ripper placed directly under a shingle that is above the damaged one. Pry the shingle up carefully. You are not looking for a lot of room, but enough to be able to slide out the damaged shingle from underneath.

Step 3: Position Felt

With the slate roof shingle removed, cover the area with a heavy roof felt. Make sure that it overlaps the area by at least 10 inches.

Step 4: Test Fit New Shingle

With the felt in place, test fit a new slate roof shingle into the open position. Maneuver it carefully into position so that you do not disturb the rest of the shingles in the area. Slate roof shingles can be a little heavy so when moving them, take your time, but do not drop them.

Step 5: Drill Holes in Shingle

Using a drill that has a masonry bit in the chuck, drill in two holes where the roofing nails will go. You may also use roofing shingle hooks if you have them available. Either way, you will need to have the holes near the top of the shingle.

Step 6: Install New Slate Roof Shingle

Slide the shingle back into position and nail it into place. Trim the roofing felt that is under the shingle to fit the outline. Use a little bit of silicone caulking along the nail holes for the shingle and check the top one to make sure it is not loose.

Step 7: Repeat Process

Once you have the first shingle installed you will then be able to repeat the process with the rest of the slate roof shingles that are damaged or loose. Make sure to take your time and slide the felt in under the shingle to protect the roof from any water leakage.