3-Step Guide For Temporarily Patching Your Roofing Shingles With Liquid Tar

Posted on: 26 February 2015

After discovering several leaks in your home's roof, you may have noticed that some of your shingles have started to deteriorate. If you are unable to have it professionally repaired before the next rainfall, use this three-step guide to temporarily patch your shingles with liquid tar.

What You Will Need

Before you begin patching your roof, you will need to gather the supplies listed below.

  • Gardon hose with spray nozzle
  • Standard-sized hammer
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Gallon roofing tar, found at hardware and home improvement stores
  • Old corn-bristle broom
  • Small hand trowel
  • 4-inch wide paintbrush

Step 1:  Clean The Roof

Before you start spreading the tar, you need to make sure the roof is as clean as possible. This will help ensure the patch adheres tighter to the shingles without dirt interfering. This step also includes nailing down any roofing nails that are sticking up that could cause the shingles to fall off.

  1. Use the broom to sweep off any leaves, dirt, and dust. Do not apply too much pressure to any deteriorated shingles, however, as this could cause them to crack or break off.
  2. Spray the roof with a light mist of water, starting from the highest point so the water runs down over the repair area.
  3. Allow the roof to dry for an hour, preferably in the hot sun to speed up the process.
  4. Carefully walk around and inspect the roof for any nails sticking up. Gently tap any that are found until they are flush with the top of the shingles. Do not strike the nails too hard because this could crumble the material.
  5. Spray the roof one more time and let it air dry for two hours before going on to step two.

Step 2:  Cover The Shingles With Liquid Tar

Once you have allowed the roof to dry completely, it is time to cover the deteriorated shingles with the liquid roofing tar. For a more even application, keep stirring the tar with an old broom handle until the job is complete. This will keep it smooth and prevent it from setting up prematurely.

  1. Along the top of the patch area, pour a small amount of tar so that it slides over the shingles.
  2. Use the corn-bristled broom to spread the tar over the shingles. Use horizontal strokes for the base coat, then use vertical strokes to even out the tar's surface.
  3. Pour more of the tar and repeat spreading it with the broom until the entire area has been covered with a half-inch layer.
  4. Use the hand trowel to even out the surface of the tar before it sets up.
  5. Let the tar patch set up for at least three hours before going on to step three.

Step 3:  Fill In Thin Spaces With A Paintbrush

After the tar has set up, the third and final step in the patching process involves filling in any thin spaces with additional tar using a paintbrush.

  1. Pour a small amount of tar in a small bucket.
  2. Locate any areas on the patch where you can still see the shingles through the tar.
  3. Dip the paintbrush into the tar, covering it with a thick coating.
  4. Apply the tar with the brush, applying small layers until they are even with the original patch.
  5. Fill in all thin areas and allow the tar to set up overnight.
  6. The next day, inspect the patch and repeat steps one through four if any thin layers are still found.

Although this patch keeps your roof from leaking, it is meant as a temporary measure. For a more permanent solution, you may want to contact a company that specializes in residential roofing to discuss options for repairing or replacing your roof.