Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Roof Decking Patch Job

Dad and I focused on replacing a section of decking on the roof that I had mostly stepped through the weekend I purchased the house. Dad was headed home around 3, so we were trying to get things done efficiently that day. This turned out to be a rather fast repair. Roofing and roof patching is a lot easier than I imagined. We started by finding the perimeter of the area that we wanted to focus on. After finding those shingles that we were going to take out, we delicately lifted up the nails of the shingles directly above them and overlapping them from the sides. I am postponing the full re-roofing until May-June because we may need to change the location of the plumbing vents. If we move those, we are going to have to install new decking and drill new holes for the locations.

After we had all of the shingles off the roof within the perimeter, we inspected the decking section of where I stepped through. I did not have a camera on me at this point so, once again, I missed out on a few important shots for this post. The secondary bathroom vent flashing had leaked in the past and it ran down the truss under the decking. This led to rot in the decking near the soffit. Dad used the circular saw to cut the decking out. We measured out a 48"x48" piece and made sure one edge was a seam to the truss. We then cut out some 2x4s to attach to the trusses so that we had somewhere to nail the new decking to. Unfortunately, being a home built in the 70s (they sure were cheap back then), all of the decking on the home is 1/2" plywood. Fortunately, I still had enough plywood left over from repairing the rotted corner that I could use on the roof. I have a feeling that there will be a few more sheets of plywood going onto the roof to replace decking damage when we re-roof the house (mainly where it has bowed a fair amount; using 3/4" decking will help to avoid this if you build a house anytime soon).

The following picture shows the decking in place:

You can see the flashing directly above the section of plywood that caused the leak and the rot. We went to Home Depot and purchased a bundle of shingles and a roll of underlayment. We nailed the underlayment down in a few places to keep it in place. We then started from the roof edge and shingled towards the top. It only took about 25 minutes to reshingle the job and the only thing that slowed us down was weaving the top section back into the existing shingles. We used a roof caulk (some type of tar caulk) to seal any tears that we caused while working with the older adjacent shingles and then sealed the flashing to ensure that a future leak would not return. We weren't too worried about the shingle color because it will be replaced again when we go to re-roof in May. The following picture shows the finished product:

The entire project took a total of about an hour and required the following materials:
  • Bundle of shingles - $21
  • Half of a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 plywood - free from the other project
  • Tar paper - $21 (still a ton left over for some of the work on re-roofing)
  • 1 1/4" roofing nails - $3 (again, lots leftover for more shingles)
  • 8d decking nails - $8.50 (lots of these too)
  • Roofing caulk - $4
This comes to a total of about $55. Several of these items will be re-utilized on the re-roofing project. No more roof leaking or rot damage to the truss or ceiling!


  1. Your new roof shingles look really good! We never tried doing house repairs on our own because I only have four young daughters with me at home. We have to hire a roofing service do these kinds of things for us. I think they’ve done a good job at it because our ceiling hasn’t leaked for some time.

    Missie Rice

  2. Missie, we are going to hire out the whole roof project. It is in need of replacing, and we just don't have the manpower to do all that by ourselves!

  3. I think you guys did pretty well in changing your roof shingles. I hope that your new roof project will turn out great. Make sure that you hire a team of reliable contractors for that.

    Elizabeth Hoffnung

  4. This is pretty cool for first-timers fixing your own roof. I hope that the roofing contractors you will hire for your new roofing project are reliable and will give you good quality service.

    Eugene Head

  5. I love doing roofing work and specially the roof leaks and damages. Thanks for sharing. RV Roof leaks Repair

  6. Oh wow, it's quite interesting to know that you can place a new roof over an existing one. That's something new that I have yet to hear about. Maybe it would be something for me to talk to my uncle about, just to see if he'll like the idea..
    Seattle Roofer
    Monroe roofers

    1. I think you might have misunderstood; we didn't put a new roof over the existing one. After this temporary patch, we had the roof completely replaced. They removed the shingles and I forget now but I think they replaced the decking with 3/4".