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Roof Repair Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
As a homeowner, knowing how to take care of your home's roof is a huge part of keeping you and your family protected from the elements. But what if you find yourself in need of a roof repair? While it's not always going to be a good idea to DIY a roof repair, some small repairs can in fact be done yourself, especially if you have a bit of construction knowledge and follow these important tips.
Roof Repair Tips
1. Dress Appropriately
This is probably the most important tip to keep in mind when attempting a roof repair. Being on the roof of your home is no joke, you are high above the ground and a fall could mean serious injury. Make sure you dress to protect yourself from anything up there (preferably long sleeves and long pants like jeans) but most importantly: wear rubber soled shoes. Rubber soled shoes will grip the roof and provide you with stability while you are walking up there. You don't want to risk having poor traction, as that could lead to you slipping and falling.
2. Do Your Best To Match Shingles
When repairing your roof, you may need to replace some of your shingles. While it's not always easy, using shingles that match your current ones is hugely important in this process. This gets more challenging depending on the age of your roof (shingles will fade in the sun) but using shingles that are the same color, style, and brand, will keep your repair from sticking out like a sore thumb. Your roof makes up 40% of your home's curb appeal, so don't shirk this one!
3. Check Flashing And Vents
Flashing is thin metal sheeting that helps to seal areas of your roof that can be prone to leaking. Check this to make sure it's nailed down and laying flat against your roof. If it's cracked, loose, or has gaps around it, it's important to nail it back down and seal it with roof cement. Any vents should be checked as well to make sure the caulk around them is intact. Any cracks could let water in, and you definitely don't want to find yourself with a leaky roof!
4. Cover Up Nail Heads
Not leaving exposed nail heads on your roof can't be stressed enough. When attempting a roof repair, make sure you use aluminum or galvanized stainless steel nails, because you don't want them rusting. The nails on your roof need to be underneath the shingle that is just above the shingle they are in. In places where nails can't be covered by a shingle, you need to put caulk or roof sealant over them to keep water out.
5. Don't Use Caulk For Everything
While it may be tempting to patch a small leak using caulk, or reseal vents that may be leaking with caulk, we can promise you, caulk will not solve all of your roofing woes. Don't fall into the trap of a temporary fix, as this can cause a lot more damage in the long run, especially if you don't catch it in time. It's important to understand exactly what your problem is and familiarize yourself with the proper materials to fix it.
6. Know When To Repair Vs Replace
In another blog, we talked about how to decide whether a repair or a replacement is right for you. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew, especially with a DIY roof repair. There's a reason pros exist in this industry, and it's because a botched repair, or attempting to repair something that should actually be replaced is going to be a much bigger headache for you in the long run.
7. Don't Hire Just Any Contractor
It may be tempting to call your local handyman for a quick roof repair job if you feel like you can't tackle it yourself. We get it, roofers get a bad rap. But hiring someone without the proper experience and credentials in roofing can lead you to disaster. You can find great and trusted roofers in your area with a little research. Always look at ratings, reviews, and make sure your roofer is licensed and insured.
8. Know When To Call The Pros
Not sure how to fix the problem yourself? Don't know if you feel safe up on your roof? Don't have the time or the skill necessary? There's no shame in calling in a professional. When it comes to your roof, more often than not, the risk of being up on your roof, and the chance that the problem gets fixed poorly or incompletely outweighs the benefits of a DIY solution. At Colony Roofers, we offer free 30 minute inspections, and have a team of fully licensed and insured professionals standing by to assist with any roofing problems, or answer any questions you may have. Call us today, we're always happy to help!