Applying Roofing Cement

How to Apply Roofing Cement on a New or Damaged Asphalt Roof

By Mark J. Donovan

Roofing cement is used in the installation and repair of asphalt shingled roofs. Roofing cement comes in various size containers as well as in tubes. Usually a trowel, putty knife and/or caulking gun are used in the process of applying roofing cement.

Shingling a Roof and Applying Roofing Cement

Shingling a roof typically includes applying roofing cement around skylights, flashing, vent pipes, valleys and chimneys. Roofing cement is also used to cover any exposed roofing nails such as around ridge vents and ridge vent caps. In some cases roofing cement is also used to help hold shingles in place, such as roof ridge shingles on a hip roof.

Repairing a Shingled Roof and Applying Roofing Cement

For asphalt shingle repair, roofing cement is commonly used for patching small asphalt shingle cracks, seams and holes. It is also used in the replacement of damaged shingles.

To apply roofing cement on small asphalt shingle cracks, seams or holes, simply use a putty knife or trowel to work the roofing cement into the affected area.

If a damaged asphalt shingle needs to be replaced, work the nails loose on the shingle just above the damaged one with a flatbar. Then remove these nails so that you can slide the damaged asphalt shingle out.

Once you have removed the damaged shingle, slide a new one into its place. Then replace the roofing nails that you had previously removed on the upper shingle. Finally, apply roofing cement over the nail heads and press the upper shingle down firmly.

Typically roofing cement is used on ridge vents and where the roof shingles come in contact with fireplaces.

One Word of Caution

Note that working on roofs is dangerous work. Though many roofing cements can be applied on wet surfaces, I highly recommend waiting until the roof is thoroughly dry to avoid slipping and falling from the roof. Also make sure that the roof is free from debris to avoid tripping and potentially falling from the roof.

For more help on Shingling Your Home’s Roof, see’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won’t end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Cost Estimator

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