A home’s roof is created with the intention of being durable enough to handle all types of natural elements. However, there does come a time when a homeowner needs to either replace or repair a few areas of the roof. Understandably, homeowners are hesitant about getting this project done as roofing repairs can be expensive. The good news is that conducting some of these repairs is possible with the right information. Therefore the following includes a few tips to keep in mind when tackling a roof replacement or repair on your own.
Rubber-Soled Shoes Are Key
One of the biggest dangers when starting a replacement or repair project on top of your roof is the very real chance that you could slip and fall. Although the risk is always there, you can take some precautions in order to minimize the chances of a fall happening. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to purchase and wear rubber-soled shoes. These types of shoes will allow you to have some traction as you walk, thus preventing you from falling down. This is a very important aspect of the process, and therefore if you do not have these types of shoes, it is highly recommended to hold off until you have them.
Never Go At It Alone
DIY roofs, no matter the type of work, should never be done alone. This is especially important if you’ve never worked on any DIY roofs. It is important to have someone there to serve as an assistant. They will be able to ensure that your ladder is firmly on leveled ground, that your tools are at arms-reach and that any hazardous materials are disposed of as fast as possible. You don’t have to have a professional assistant for this work. A family member or close friend can be more than enough help.
Inspect & Observe
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when they want to inspect their roof for damages is doing so when everything has been calm. The best time to look for any damages is either after winter or after a strong thunderstorm. After observing the roof, you then need to conduct an inspection. Look at every single part of the roof, from the shingles to the shape of the roof. Inspections are incredibly important as you first need to know what you’re going to fix before you fix it.
If you notice that the issues on your roof are widespread, then you may need to repair the entire roof. If this is the case, it is highly recommended to remove all the old shingles rather than reuse them. The reason behind this is because newer shingles will be able to adhere to the new roof that much better. If you have only one layer of shingles on your current roof, you may be able to simply lay the new ones over them. If there are two layers, then the best route to take is to remove both layers and add new shingles.
Perhaps the most common roofing issue comes from damaged shingles. These are often the first defense against strong thunderstorms and intense heat or cold. The good news is that replacing shingles is actually not that difficult. You will need to first flatten the shingle out and re-attach them with roofing adhesive or caulking solution. Both of these materials can be easily found within any big-box home improvement store for a relatively affordable price. It should be noted that you must remember to perfectly line up the shingles being replaced with the other shingles as misalignment can cause serious problems down the line.
Use Plenty of Roof Cement
It can be easy to want to use as little materials as possible in order to keep the cost down. However, it’s never a good idea to skimp out on the amount of material you use on your roof. After all, even the smallest gap can create damage within your home. A good example of this includes the flashing. Flashing is a thin piece of water-resistant material that runs along roof intersections. Those who have chimneys will usually find them around that specific area. During your inspection, you may notice that the flashing might not be in its best condition. Some might even skip over it when it’s a small area warping or missing. This is a bad idea and should never be left without repair. Utilize as much of your roof cement as possible in order to cover these damaged areas.
Understand Your Limitations
There are a variety of small repairs that any homeowner with little to no experience can take on. However, it is also important to understand when you’ve reached your limits regarding the skills needed for a repair or the current weather condition. In the event that this occurs, it is important to bring in a professional team to finish the job. You may be thinking that bringing in a professional roofing company may be a little pricy, but the reality is that conducting your own repair on something you are not aware of how to handle can cost you more in the future. There have been cases where homeowners have attempted to fix large holes in their roof only to leave small gaps open. Later on, they begin to notice water damage and mold within their walls, causing them to need more than just a roof repair.
Keep Your Insurance in Mind
When homeowners seek to repair their roofs, they are usually thinking that doing so will save them money. If the repairs are done correctly, then yes, you would save a lot of money that would have otherwise have gone to a roofing company. The one thing that is not usually a part of the planning process is how your insurance will take care of any mistakes you make. Most homeowners assume that their homeowner’s insurance will take care of it. The reality is that many insurance companies won’t cover insurance claims for roof replacement unless a certified roofing company is doing the job.