What Causes Asphalt Shingles to Become Loose or Damaged?

The main culprits include:

  1. Age: The adhesives binding shingles together weaken over time from sun exposure and thermal movement. As shingles get older, tabs are more prone to lifting or curling up.
  2. Wind: Strong winds can lift poorly sealed shingle tabs or even blow shingles completely off the roof if they are not properly nailed/adhered.
  3. Defective shingles: Manufacturing flaws or shipping damage may lead to early cracking or loss of granules on shingles. This accelerates deterioration.
repairing Asphalt Shingles on the aged roof

Regularly inspecting your roof for any lifted, curled, cracked, or missing shingles allows you to make timely repairs before problems get worse.

Best Adhesive for Asphalt Shingles

Read on to learn all you need to know about choosing and applying the best adhesive for your asphalt shingle repairs.

Best Adhesive for Asphalt Shingles: Roofing Cement Vs. Construction Adhesives

We have two types of adhesive for Asphalt Shingles:

Using Roofing CementUsing Construction Adhesives
PurposeRoofing cement, also called plastic roof cement or mastic, is an asphalt-based sealant that remains soft and pliable after application. It is designed to patch leaks, seal joints, and bond roofing materials like shingles, flashings, and metal edges.While roofing cement is specially designed for roof repairs, general purpose construction adhesives can also work for minor asphalt shingle fixes.
Brand ExamplesLeading brands of roofing cement include Black Jack, Henry, Gardner, and Geocel.Liquid Nails, Loctite Power Grab, and Gorilla Glue are well-known construction adhesives.
Ideal for– Securing loose shingle tabs: Apply small dabs under lifted corners or a bead along seams.
– Sealing cracks in shingles: Cover fully with cement and spread flat.
– Temporary repairs of missing shingles: Cover opening until new shingles can be installed.
– Creating multi-layer reinforced patches over damaged areas.
Advantages– Stops leaks quickly, even in wet conditions. Many brands adhere to damp surfaces.
– Remains somewhat flexible to handle expansion/contraction and vibration.
– Provides a durable repair when applied properly over clean surfaces. Can last years.
– Made for roofing materials. Bonds well to asphalt shingles.
– Available in convenient caulk tubes or trowel grades. Easy waterproof repairs.
Can temporarily patch small holes, cracks, and lift seams until more thorough repairs can be made.

Strong all-purpose adhesives provide an emergency fix if roof cement is not available.
Disadvantages– Not intended for permanent repairs like fully replacing shingles. Shorter lifespan than shingles.
– Requires completely clean, dry surfaces for best adhesion and longevity.
– Solvents may deteriorate some materials like EPDM or uncured coatings. Check compatibility.
– Dries out and becomes brittle over time. Requires reapplication every few years.
– May not adhere adequately or permanently to asphalt shingles.
-Could potentially damage certain roofing materials depending on chemicals present.
-Thicker consistency not ideal for roof patching. May not spread/penetrate well.
-Often lack flex properties needed for roof movement and vibration. Become brittle.
RecommendationSee manufacturer specifications for application guidelines, drying times, and compatibility with different roofing types.Construction adhesive would be considered more of an emergency fix until proper roofing cement and materials can be picked up. For any permanent or long-term shingle repairs, specialized roofing cement is strongly recommended whenever possible for best results.

3 Best Roofing Cements for Asphalt Shingle Repairs

With so many roofing cement options available, it can be challenging to determine which is right for your project. Here are 5 top-rated products roofing contractors rely on for durable asphalt shingle repairs:

HENRY HE208071 Roof Cement

Henry’s rubber-fortified wet patch cement bonds instantly to seal roof leaks and tears. The extra flexibility resists cracking. It won’t wash away easily or sag on vertical surfaces.

HENRY HE208071 Roof Cement

I recently had the chance to try out the adhesive for Asphalt Shingle Repairs, and I must say, the product is as described. It worked out great for me, and I would definitely buy it again. The fast delivery was a pleasant surprise, and I appreciate the opportunity to purchase this item.


One of the first applications I used this adhesive for was sealing the holes in an asphalt shingle roof for the mounting brackets of a solar panel. It was a pleasure to use, and it provided a strong and reliable seal. The adhesive held up well even in standing water, which was impressive. To prepare the surface, I simply used a soft brush to remove any grime and dirt, ensuring a clean and smooth area for application. After wiping it with a rag, I applied the adhesive without any issues.

using HENRY HE208071 Roof Cement on roof
Another successful repair I tackled with this adhesive was fixing a small damaged area on my roof. Although I didn’t need much roof cement, I found that the tube I ordered from Henrys was the perfect size for the job. As always, Henrys products deliver on their promises, and this adhesive did the job effectively.

I also used this adhesive in combination with a piece of sheet metal to repair my gutter, and it worked perfectly. The strong bond created by the adhesive provided a reliable and long-lasting fix. It’s truly a versatile product that can be used for various repair applications.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that some users have experienced difficulties when using this adhesive in cold weather. The goo tends to get stiff, which can hinder the application process. However, I discovered a helpful tip to overcome this issue. I warm up the cartridge in a small toaster oven set at 150 degrees. By doing so, I ensure the adhesive becomes more pliable without any risk of fire.

Of course, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and only warm new, unopened cartridges. Alternatively, some people use a heat gun to achieve the same result. If these methods seem too complicated, a simpler approach would be to store the cartridges in a warm area of the house before use. Additionally, it’s essential to brush off any dirt present on the surface, as the adhesive doesn’t adhere well to dirt.


While my personal experience with this adhesive has been positive, it’s important to note that every situation is unique. Unfortunately, it may not work for everyone, as it didn’t for one user who had ongoing roof leaks. Results may vary depending on the specific roof conditions and the severity of the issue. It’s always a good idea to assess your situation and consult a professional if needed.

GEOCEL GC55103 4500 Roof Bonding Sealant

Geocel’s fibered sealant repairs roof leaks fast even in wet conditions. It spreads smoothly with strong adhesion to all common roofing materials.

GEOCEL GC55103 4500 Roof Bonding Sealant

Geocel’s adhesive has proven to be a game-changer. Its tar-like appearance combined with its caulk-like curing properties intrigued me right from the start. I followed the instructions precisely, using this adhesive to attach modified bitumen roofing to wood and copper flashing on a wall.

To ensure a strong bond, I nailed the roofing with copper nails, further enhancing the adhesive’s effectiveness. Gradually building up the glue to a thickness of 1/4″, I then pressed the roofing down firmly. Despite the warning on the tube against vertical applications, the adhesive created a bomb-proof seal that exceeded my expectations.

What truly sets Geocel’s adhesive apart is its remarkable adhesion to Asphalt Shingles. It has the ability to seal small gaps and fill cracks, making it an ideal choice for repairing damaged or aging shingles. I even used it on a 30-year-old rubber roofing that wasn’t leaking but had a crack. The adhesive worked wonders, reinforcing the shingle and providing a long-lasting repair.

In addition to its adhesive properties, this product also excels as a waterproofing agent. It effectively seals the shingles, preventing any water penetration and ensuring the integrity of the repair. The adhesive’s waterproofing capabilities have made it an invaluable tool in my roofing projects, giving me peace of mind knowing that my repairs are protected from the elements.

Geocel’s adhesive for Asphalt Shingle Repairs not only delivers outstanding performance but is also easy to work with. Its excellent adhesion ensures a secure bond while allowing for easy clean-up of any excess material. The consistency of the adhesive is perfectly suited for filling small gaps commonly found in Asphalt Shingle Repairs, creating a tight and reliable seal that withstands the test of time.

As someone who values transparency and quality, I appreciate Geocel’s lot/batch code system. It provides valuable information about the product’s manufacturing date, ensuring that I am using the freshest and most reliable adhesive possible. This attention to detail further reinforces my trust in Geocel’s commitment to delivering top-notch products.

Marlin Coatings 100% Silicone Roof Sealant

I have had the opportunity to try out this adhesive for Asphalt Shingle Repairs along with Dap Silicone (You can see it in my article about the best adhesive for undermount sink to quartz here), and I must say it exceeded my expectations. Not only did it provide excellent coverage, but the application process was incredibly easy. I used it to re-coat my roof, and my brother, who helped me with the project, found it effortless to apply as well. The adhesive went on smoothly and evenly, leaving a beautiful finish that almost made me reluctant to cover it with a patio rug.

Marlin Coatings 100% Silicone Roof Sealant

I was impressed by the quality of this product, although it may be a bit pricey for some. However, considering its effectiveness and the fact that it is specifically designed for asphalt shingle repairs, I believe it’s worth the investment. As someone who has been in the roofing industry for over 50 years, I can confidently say that this is the best product I have ever used. Its adhesion properties are exceptional, and it levels out as advertised. I am even planning to purchase more to complete the remaining portion of my roofing project.

In terms of application, I chose to roll the adhesive onto my 2005 24ft travel trailer, and the process was a breeze. The gallon I purchased went further than I expected, and I only used just over half of it. The finish was remarkable, and even after two weeks, it still looks like it will last for a long time. I appreciate the fact that it is self-leveling, making the application smooth and ensuring a long-lasting finish.

Marlin Coatings 100% Silicone Roof Sealant
One of the factors that impressed me the most was the customer service provided by the company. I reached out to them with some questions, and to my surprise, the president of the company personally responded to me. Their prompt and helpful response truly exemplified excellent customer service, further enhancing my satisfaction with the product.

While I primarily used the adhesive for asphalt shingle repairs, I also applied it to a small section of a flat roof for repair purposes. The preparation process was essential, involving thorough cleaning and surface prepping, but the roller application itself was straightforward. The adhesive exhibited great adhesion and formed a thick layer of silicone rubber, ensuring a durable and waterproof seal.

With the right roofing cement and careful application, you can extend the life of your asphalt shingles and keep your roof performing at its best. Don’t allow small cracks and lifted tabs to turn into major leaks. Make timely repairs a priority with the help of these proven roof adhesives. Your home will stay drier and safer from water damage as a result.

CTA:list all comments

2 reviews

    • I advise against tampering with the shingles you have already affixed. Instead, I suggest employing roofing cement as an alternative. Throughout my experience, I have consistently opted for the most affordable brand available, and it has consistently met my expectations. Unless there are underlying issues preventing the shingles from lying flat, there should be no necessity to add additional weight.Read More

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How to Apply Roofing Cement for Shingle Repairs

When applying roof cement, follow these tips for great repairs:

  1. Clean all surfaces thoroughly – Remove any dirt, dust, oil, or debris so the cement bonds tightly.
  2. Use reinforcement fabric – For repairs larger than a few inches, reinforce the cement with embedded mesh.
  3. Allow drying time between coats – Roof cement reaches maximum strength when cured.
  4. Feather edges – Smooth all repairs flush to the roof. Rough transitions can tear later.
  5. Check compatibility first – Make sure cement works with your roofing material.
  6. Follow all manufacturer application instructions – This ensures proper setup and performance.
  7. Wear protective gloves and goggles – Safety first!

For sealing lifted shingle tabs:

  1. Apply small 1-2 inch diameter dabs of cement no more than 6 inches apart.
  2. Keep the cement back from edges so it doesn’t ooze out when pressed.
  3. Firmly push tabs into the adhesive and add weight on top for 12-24 hours as it cures.

For damaged areas:

  1. Clean debris from the repair zone. Cover with first cement layer extending 3-6 inches beyond damage.
  2. Embed reinforcement fabric, pressing it into the cement. Smooth top layer over fabric.
  3. If needed, apply a third layer of cement to fully cover fabric edges and feather smoothly.

See manufacturer guides for the specific application steps and drying times recommended for your product.