When tree limbs grow long enough to brush against your roof, they will damage the shingles eventually. When the wind blows, the limbs scrape the roof, and this lifts and twists the shingles underneath them. You should keep tree limbs trimmed so they are well away from the roof, but if they've already caused some damage, you want to repair it as quickly as you can. Here's what you need to know.

Keep Safety In Mind

If your roof has a steep pitch, you should work with a safety harness and use the buddy system so you stay safe. Wear shoes with rubber soles that have good traction. If you don't feel confident in your ability to climb up and down the ladder, and walk on the roof safely, then it's best to call a roofer to make the repairs.

Assess The Damage

If tree limbs have been brushing against your roof for quite a while, rain may have seeped through to the deck below the shingles. This causes the wood to rot over time. If your roof feels spongy under the shingles, or if you can feel it move when you walk on it, that's a sign the wood is bad. You probably won't be able to repair a rotted deck yourself. Instead, you'll need to have a roofer remove all the rotted boards and replace them with new ones. You don't want to place new shingles over bad wood because that just covers up a problem that might lead to water leaking into your attic later on.

Repair The Damage

If it appears that the only damage is to a few shingles on your roof, you can repair or replace them yourself. If the bottoms of the shingles are curled up, you might be able to straighten the shingles out and secure them with roofing sealant. Apply it like glue and weigh the ends down with bricks until the sealant dries. If a shingle is cracked, you can try filling the crack with roofing sealant. Spread the sealant over the crack with a putty knife and let it dry in place.

When shingles are missing or beyond repair, you'll have to put on new shingles. You can buy roofing supplies at a hardware store, although it may be difficult to find shingles that are an exact color match. If you only need to replace a few shingles, the color difference may not matter.

Shingles overlap each other, so to remove one, lift the bottom of the shingle on top of it. Then you'll see the tabs and nails that hold the shingle in place. Remove the old shingle and swap it out with a new one using the same nail holes to hold it in place.

Making minor repairs on your roof isn't too difficult as long as you are handy with basic tools. However, when the damage covers a large area on your roof, you may prefer to call a roofer to do the job since bigger repairs will be more noticeable from the street.