Best material to fill in gaps on comp shingle roof

I have been up on my roof and have seen a couple of spots where the shingles don't actually touch--I can see the paper that normally lies underneath the shingles. Now I have not noticed any leaking or anything like that, but I'm thinking that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
My options are: I do have some leftover shingles in the garage, that are much wider than these gaps. I also have a few bits and pieces of older shingles that have come off the roof, that I have kept for situations like this. Also, in the past, I have worked with Henry's roof cement, a black sticky tar-like substance.
I'm wondering what would be the best product to fill in gaps that are probably less than an inch wide, maybe 4-5 inches long. I'd rather not use a whole, new shingle if I can avoid it. Are older ones that have split up no longer good--would they be more likely to split up again?
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If the shingles are installed correctly, there should be at least 2 layers of shingle material at all locations. In gaps between the strips of shingles you should see the top of the shingle from the row below not tar paper and the gap in the top of the shingle strip should always be under the tab of the shingle above it. Are you sure you are not mistaken, because if you are correct, no sticky black tar like substance is going to fix the defective installation for long.

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Yes, I'm sure. The house was a bank repo and I talked to the roofers when I was buying the house and they told me they were not professionals--they did this on the weekend. Your comments about what should be the case are pretty apropros for the situation. I could go on but I won't.
OK now--so you are saying that roof cement wouldn't do it. Then my next qeustion would be, are older shingles that have torn away ok to use--or should be careful to use only new ones. As you can imagine, these gaps are rather small, so it would be a bit overkill to use a new shingle (the ones I have are a good 2 feet long if not longer).

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You need a new roof correctly installed and rated for the wind in your area.
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The roofing job was either extremely old or the installers don't know anything about roofing. Being able to see tarpaper anywhere on a roof is a new one on me, never heard of anything except a totally worn out roof where that ws possible.
Bite the bullet and get a new roof. It is a case of pay it now or pay it in the very near future. No amount of patching is going to hold for long.
Spread the word around for people not to use whatever outfit did the roofing. Harry K
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On Tue, 8 Jan 2008 20:19:22 -0800 (PST), Harry K

Biting a bullet is bad advice. Sometimes they fire off and you could end up killing an innocent animal like a coon or sumptin.
I gots sum roof patchin education. If roof leaks, git sum duck tape. Bout 100 rolls, start the tape on the bottom of roof and go up over the top and back down the udder side. Cut off roll and do dis again and again. Bee sure to overlap tape by a quarder or half inch each time. You gots to cover da whole roof like dis. When ya done, gets yoself a 12 pack, git naked, and sit on da lawn an git drunk while looking at your new cool lookin silver roof.
Optional: You kin put da tape the udder way on roof. Start on north side of house and take tape to south side. If roof goes east and west, you probably need to get a house mover to turn the house or just write "north" on the west end of the house and "south" on the udder end before you start da tape. Remember tape from bottom up, not top down or you got leaks.
Caution: Roof must be dry. Do not use duck tape when its raining or snowin. Rain an snow means it a day ta git drunk, not work. Also do not fix roof during hurricanes or tornadoes cuz yo ladder mite fall down. If you gots holez in roof, dont step on them. Nail an ol board over them before using duck tape.
Better idea: Git yo ol lady to do the tape while you kill a 12 pack.
Remember: Duck tape will fix anything, except a broken duck.
Red Green and sometimes Blue
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There is no way to be sure from here, but I would suggest there is another possibility. At least some brands use a white colored plastic/paper cover over the tar strips to keep them from sticking. These should be removed when installed. They may have missed removing some. See if you can carefully reach under there and pull that paper off. Leaving them on will increase the possibility of wind damage.
NOTE: Working on a roof in cold weather has a couple of problems. First if the weather is freezing, be very careful of ice and snow. Second the shingles will be brittle with the cold and just walking on them can damage them.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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I have never seen a bundle of shingles where the instructions on the pack said to remove them.
In fact every brand I have used specifically says _not_ to remove them.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

That is what I was going to say. I had a discussion with a homeowner about this very issue and pointed out the instructions on the bundles that say: "Do not remove the plastic strips..."
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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These strips are applied to prevent the tar spots on the shingles underneath while still in the bundle from sticking to the shingle above. They work like the backing paper on sticky labels but in reverse. Once the shingles are installed the plastic strips do not align with the tar spots anymore, allowing the tar spots to adhere to the shingle installed above them. Removing them does nothing other than cause a lot of work, the instructions are to correct the miss-information that some people (customers) believe.

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