DIY Roof Repairs: Steps to Take
A roof is one of the essential parts of a home. It keeps the house warm in the winter and cools in the summer, and protects the occupants from the elements. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, roofs account for about 40% of a home’s total energy consumption. A well-insulated roof can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their energy bills each year.
Additionally, a good roof can add up to 10% to the value of a home. A new roof can also qualify a home for a home insurance discount. So not only is a roof essential for keeping a home comfortable and safe, but it can also save money on energy costs and increase the home’s value. The roof is often a durable and long-lasting part of a home, but it does need regular maintenance and repair to remain in good condition. If a roof is over ten years old, consider repairs or replacement.
Professional roofing contractors might be out of your budget, or you may feel uncomfortable hiring someone to do the job. In that case, basic repairs can be done by a DIYer with the proper knowledge and preparation. Here are a few steps to help you get started on roof repair.
Get a Stable Lifter
The primary issue with DIY roof repairs is that they can be hazardous. The roof is a high-up and potentially slippery surface, exposing homeowners to the risk of falling or injuring themselves. A Consumer Product Safety Commission study found that falls from roofs accounted for 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States each year.
Before homeowners can even begin repairs, they must find a stable way to access the roof. A ladder is not always the best option – it can be unstable and difficult to move around. Instead, homeowners should consider using a roof lifter. This device lifts you onto the roof safely and securely and can be moved from spot to spot without worry. A vertical platform lift can also accomplish the same task more efficiently. It might be the more cost-efficient option, especially if you want to perform more complicated repairs.
Assess the Roof
When assessing the roof for damages, DIY homeowners need to check for the following:
- Are there any missing or broken tiles?
- Is there any water damage?
- Is there any damage to the roof insulation?
- Are there any signs of mold or fungus?
- Are there any leaks?
Those issues could be happening in the interior structure, so it’s essential to check the interior. Check for water stains, dampness, and any other signs of damage to get an accurate assessment of the roof’s condition. Identifying the exact source of a leak can be challenging, so use a water-resistant flashlight to locate any weak spots.
Performing Maintenance and Repairs
Once you have reviewed the roof and identified any damages, you can start by making minor repairs. This can include replacing broken tiles or applying a waterproof sealant to stop water from entering. If the damage is more extensive, consider replacing entire roof sections with new materials.
For maintenance, inspect the roof at least twice yearly for signs of wear and tear, such as missing shingles or cracked tiles. Use a wire brush to clean away debris and moss, and then apply a sealant to protect against further damage. Lastly, check all gutters and downspouts for clogs or blockages that could cause leaks or foundation problems.
You might also have to invest in the materials necessary to repair and maintain your roof correctly. This can include sealants, caulking, tiles, shingles, and other supplies. Equipment pieces, such as safety harnesses, hammers, wrenches, and work gloves, will also be necessary. This situation makes the vertical lift a more cost-efficient option than the ladder, as it provides access to difficult-to-reach areas of the roof.
Get a Roofing Contractor
As much as you want to save money on DIY roof repairs, you should invest in a professional roofing contractor for more extensive jobs. A qualified contractor has the experience and know-how to identify potential issues with your roof, pinpoint the exact source of problems, and provide you with the safest and most efficient solutions. Complicated processes can be completed in a fraction of the time, and you know that the job is done right.
No matter what kind of roof repair you are considering, safety should always come first. Make sure to research and purchase the proper equipment before attempting any repairs. If you feel the job is too complex or dangerous, it’s best to leave it to a professional. With the proper preparation and knowledge, DIY roof repair can be an effective way to save money while ensuring your family’s safety.