Here is an example of a roof repair we just did. New York City has mostly flat roofs but once in a while we come across shingle slanted roofs. It is important to do shingles right because otherwise the slightest wind will blow them off again. In this case the roof was only a couple years old so it really shouldn’t be damaged already.

Eco Brooklyn doesn’t focus on specifically on shingle or tar roofs but as a green roof installer we often get involved in the roofing aspect as well. We’ve learned how important it is to do it right because once the green roof is on it is really hard to find a leak should the roof layer be installed incorrectly.

We were brought on to this job because the client is considering installing a green roof. But before we could do that we had to address the immediate issue of leaking

In this case there were two areas of concern. One was the incorectly applied shingles. The other was the area where to roof joined with the side wall. A crack had developed due to expansion and contraction of the roof. This is something that needs to be checked every couple of years and tar reapplied as needed.


The shingles were not properly applied and blew away, causing a leak down the back wall.


Where the roof met the wall a crack had developed.

We repaired the shingles by first laying tar paper under the top shingles and over the bottom shingles. We used rust proof roofing nails. We then laid new shingles starting at the bottom and working upwards. The top shingles we placed under the existing shingles. There were one or two small holes that were better served with some tar patching instead of ripping up more roof.

What the client is paying for here is that the job isn’t material and labor cost but more technical knowledge. Anybody can go up and throw materials around but the trick is to install it precisely so it that it lasts. The layering of materials is very important, all the while not damaging the exiting roof.

Another consideration for Eco Brooklyn is not to use toxic or new materials. In this case there is no question that tar shingles and tar flashing is a petro chemical product, which is far from ecological given our destructive addiction to oil. But because it is a repair of an existing roof we wanted to keep the look the same.

We did however use dunage materials. Dunage is when a package is damaged and the store either throws it out or sells it cheap. We buy dunage because it reduces the amount of materials being thrown out by stores, thus reducing the burden on the landfill.

In this case the dunage was a damaged pack of shingles and a dented can of flashing. tings that don’t effect the quality of the materials so it is perfectly acceptable to us.

Here is the repaired roof:

The new shingles were placed strategically over and under the existing shingles. The nails were placed so they are not exposed. Over time the weathering will blend the new color with the old color.

The crack along the border was sealed with flashing.