Fixing problems on your own, especially if you can save money along the way, is tempting and potentially, if undertaking proves to be successful, a very gratifying experience.
Having a handyman's skills to fix the issues that come with owning and maintaining a good state of real estate is a formidable asset. These skills are undoubtedly useful for minor problems that need fixing. But, are they enough to handle significant concerns such as roof repair, or will you need the help of roofing contractors for these? Like so many other roofing experts, Eagle Eye Roofing in Kingwood Texas, argue it is better and, most importantly, safer to hire professionals, although there are some roof repairs you can do in a DIY fashion.
Types of Roof Repairs
1. Shingle Replacement
Broken shingles, split shingles, and shingles losing granules or pieces are problems that usually require shingle replacement. Other shingle damages that cause most roof covering issues are curling, shrinkage, lifted shingles, and weathering of shingles in valleys. When these problems occur, you’ll have to replace your roof’s shingles immediately to prevent further damage.
2. Partial Reroofing
Partial reroofing is the process of layering one set of new shingles over a set of existing shingles on a localized area of the roof which has undergone substantial damage. If the damaged area is concentrated enough and just needs some patching up, then partial reroofing may be the option to go for.
3. Total Reroofing
Total reroofing is layering new shingles over damaged and worn-out ones throughout the entire roof structure. It's among the quickest and least costly ways of fixing the whole roof, although not always a suitable solution.
You may want to opt for total reroofing if your roof’s total life span is nearing its end and there are no significant issues such as water damage, missing shingles, or tremendous amounts of moss and mildew growth.
4. Roof Replacement
Roof replacement means tearing off everything on the roof down to the deck and then putting on new shingles, deck, flashings, underlayment, and substitutes for any damaged structures. Since it involves more labor and is more time-consuming, it's more expensive than a reroofing.
5. Roof Flashing Repair
Roof flashing is a thin material that professional roofers use to avert the water away from the roof's critical areas. Usually, it’s installed around vents, chimneys, and skylights. Damaged or unprofessionally placed roof flashing, especially around chimney or dormer, causes the most common leaks that can lead to wood rafter, purlin, truss rot, or worse, deck collapse.
DIY Roof Repair Tips
Properly maintaining and detecting damages early on, helps you save money and time. Many DIY enthusiasts do not shy away from rolling up their sleeves to fix a roof problem themselves.
These are the most common DIY roof repair tips:
1. Clear The Gutters of Debris
One of the easiest ways to minimize potential roof damage in a timely DIY manner, especially after heavy storms and winds, is by cleaning fall and spring gutters regularly. After removing the goop, leaves, and even objects from the gutters with a small plastic scoop, use a wet/dry vacuum or power washer to remove any heavier residue. Lastly, use a garden hose to flush the gutters and downspouts.
Pro tip: Use a ladder stabilizer to prevent harm to yourself and damage to the gutters. Even better, have a great working rain gutter system set in place. Make use of new and technologically advanced gutter guard systems.
2. Replace A Damaged or Missing Shingle
Replacing a damaged or missing shingle should not be too much of a problem if you know your way around tools such as a hammer, flat pry bar, utility knife, and a handful of 11/4-in. roofing nails. Here's how to do it:
- If the shingle is still attached, break the seal;
- Take off the shingle by removing the nails first;
- Put the new shingle;
- Seal in the shingle with a hammer.
3. Patch Up Leaks
Many will argue that fixing a leak is easy, but finding the leak is the hard part. Start by looking at the roof uphill for stains and searching for roof penetrations such as plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, and dormers since they are typically the sources of the most common leaks. Some indications of leakage are water stains, black marks, and mold.
Depending on the problem you find, there are different measures and fixes for roof leaks you can try to do by yourself.
Roof Repairs That Should Be Left To Professionals
It's an ironclad belief that fixing problems by yourself saves money. Some people turn to DIY as the whole endeavor feels exciting and challenging. Regardless, there are some, if not all, roof repairs that you should always leave to professionals. Namely, total reroofing jobs and roof replacements.
- You may seriously hurt yourself or worse
- You do not know how to carry out the roof repairs properly
- You will miss on noticing other underlying problems
- You risk losing insurance and getting void of warranty
How To Choose The Best Roofing Contractor
Discover Local References And Past Work
Look for local references by reading honest online reviews from authentic customers and by asking your friends, family, and colleagues for any recommendations they may have. It's advisable to go local since it minimizes potential issues and scams by choosing a contractor from your community. Local contractors also know better local rules and code regulations and have an established relationship with area teams and suppliers.
Double-check Licensing And Insurance
Make sure your contractor holds the requisite permits and licenses for roof repair or installation. A reputable contractor will look after its employees by ensuring they have the right safety equipment, tools, materials, and most importantly, proper insurance in case of work-related injuries. If a roofing employee sustains an injury at your property without having adequate insurance, you may be held accountable and liable.
Make Sure The Roofing Contractor Is An Authorized Installer
This is an important question because some roofing contractors outsource their jobs to third party independent contractors. If that's the case, the roofing materials manufacturer will most likely void the warranty that comes with the materials. Manufacturers won't honor their warranties when a non-authorized installer installs a roof.
Ask For Roof Warranty
It's best to ask in advance about the roof warranty policy and how the contractor handles unplanned expenses. You'll then know what to expect and if you can agree on the terms.
Should You Try To Fix The Roof On Your Own?
There's no harm in doing DIY projects if you're confident enough and well-versed in the procedure; you may follow the tips provided above. However, if you aren't, it's best to leave your roof problems to the hands of professionals.