How to Apply Roof Cement

The application of roofing cement is an important part of repairing or putting asphalt shingles on your roof. It plays an integral process in anchoring shingles to your roof and helps create a waterproof seal to hold them to your roof in the event of bad weather.

Roof Cement Applied To Shingles

This is a guide which will explain how to use roofing cement as part of the steps to repairing your roof.

  1. Start by climbing the ladder up onto your roof. Roofs can be dangerous if wet or covered with debris, so make sure to clean the surface you'll be working on before beginning.

  2. Before you can put down new shingles, you must remove the remains of the old ones. Look for shingles that have been ripped apart or come free from the roof.

  3. Use your pry bar to loosen all the shingles adjacent to the damaged ones.

  4. Remove the damaged shingles by gently tugging on the sides until they pull free.

  5. Use your pry bar to pull out the nails which had held in the damaged shingles. Be careful not to damage any of the remaining shingles surrounding the bare spots. If you cannot pull any of the nails free, pound them down to be level with the sheathing beneath the shingles.

  6. Look for any spots of damage, rips, or tears in the bare sheathing. Use the roofing cement in your caulking gun to fill the rips. Also cover the heads of the nails you hammered down with roofing cement. This will create a water tight seal to keep your roof from leaking. Your putty knife will allow you to smooth the cement flush with the roof's surface.

  7. When installing new shingles start with the lowermost row and work your way up. Fit All the new shingles into place where the damaged ones were before anchoring them in with nails. Again start nailing the lowermost row to the roof and work your way up. Use only four shingles per roof. Roof shingles are manufactured with dry strips of roofing cement on their underside that will adhered them to the roof as the sun heats the shingle and activates the cement. The last shingle you place, which should be the uppermost and fit neatly underneath one of the shingles already on your roof, will need more dabs of cement of its edges to stick it to the older shingle on top of it. With this done, you've successfully repaired your roof. Congratulations! This is no simple task.


Wearing soft soled rubber boots can help give you traction while walking on your roof. Make sure to let someone know you'll be up on the roof and to come check on you periodically in case of accidents.


If the roof is particularly steep or you have trouble keeping your balance you may want to consider obtaining roof brackets and boards to give you extra foothold.