small roofing repair

I have a ranch house that has a small decorative gable (I think that's what it's called). It's like a short (maybe 2 feet tall) and wide (maybe 7 feet across) section of roof that juts out, kind of like a dormer with no windows. This feature ends about 2-3 inches from the roof line (think of a dormer where the window would be about three inches form the edge of the roof). the shingles in this narrow strip of roof need to be replaced, they're all cracked, curling. The rest of the roof is fine (second layer is about 6-7 years old, we bought the house with two layers a few years ago). There's no water coming in (that I can see in attic or in the house), but I want to try to address this myself. How would I arrange the shingles in a 3 inch wide by 7 foot long strip of roof? It's narrower than even the tabs of a shingle. Just get several rectangular pieces and lay them in a row each overlaopping the previous one?? I'll work on posting a picture if you think it'll help.
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A picture would be nice, but it sounds to me like you've got a gable.
I hate it when they leave the tiny little piece of roof for purely decorative purposes. It's a pain to maintain roof that doesn't actually do anything.
Here are some options: * Ask three roofers to look at it. If that section is failing, likely the rest of the roof is about to go. If you catch it early, you *might* be able to use the manufacturer's warranty. If nothing else, you'll be prepared for the worst. You don't have to actually hire the roofers if you don't want to. * To fix it yourself, remove all the shingles and underlayment down to bare wood. Replace any damaged wood. Apply new underlayment. Apply a layer of shingles with the tabs hanging off the edge of the roof (assuming three-tab shingles). Cut off the overhang. Apply roofing tar to the nails if you want. Cut tabs off shingles so they'll fit, then nail them on top of the solid layer. *Do* apply roofing tar to these nails. Install and seal flashing, and you're done.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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I just took a picture of the area.... so you see these shingles are done... It appears (from my perspective that when the second layer was put on, this area never got it, as the rest of the roof edges look to have more layers than this section). No other areas of the roof look at all like this......
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/NeQVBM_WOPUYWOPET9xZQw?feat=directlink
Why would this one area look so beaten, while the rest of the roof appears fine? I'd send a shot of the rest of the roof, but its all snow. The rest of the shingles are in the same shape as the ones you see going up the gable (though I'm sure there's no where near enough showing to get an idea.)
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Look at the shingle at the right edge of the photo. I think this was the original installation method: * Decking material (but I can't really see it) * Covered with underlayment, such as roofing felt * Covered with a base layer of solid shingle material (no slots to make the tabs) * With flashing on top of the base layer * Covered with a finish layer of trimmed shingle tabs for appearance
It looks like everything was fastened together with roofing tar. Tar gets brittle in the cold and can lose its hold. It gets sticky again in hot weather. That's probably why this area failed and nothing else did.
I find it strange that the top layer of shingles looks like it was on _top_ of the flashing. That is a no-no, because it allows water to run between the shingle layers. On a tiny span like this, it probably won't leak, but it _will_ contribute to the failure of the tar.
Beyond that nearest shingle, it looks like both layers of shingles are missing and the underlayment is failing.
Fixing this won't be hard, just time-consuming, frustrating, and messy. I think my previous description of repair still applies. Use some roofing nails to fasten mechanically, and put both layers of shingle under the flashing.
Of course, I'm in Texas and you're up in the Northeast somewhere, guessing by the architecture. You'll have to check locally to see if there are different requirements in your area.
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New Life Home Improvement
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

I'd just replace/cover the whole area with white flashing, and be done with it. In a fancy house, they would put a strip of copper there. Usual cautions about getting the flashing up under the siding, and under the adjacent shingles on the ends, apply. A strip of that sticky stuff they use on eves and in valleys is probably a good idea, once you clean out all the rotted stuff and build back with solid wood. No way would I put shingles back there- wrong material for the job on a tiny strip like that. You can buy the flashing in rolls, and blacksmith it yourself, or any local sheet metal shop could make you up sticks on their bending machine.
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wrote:

Flashing was my first thought since it looks like it's not even visible from anywhere. Even if it was, nothing wrong with white flashing as long as it's not hacked like an old can in the road.

Generically called WSU - Waterproof Shingle Underlayment. It's rather expensive for a regular 36" roofing roll ($80-100+) considering what will be used. May want to look into Flashing Tape. Kind of the same sticky back suff but comes in narrow rolls. Often stated as used for chimneys, and windows.
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