Roof Repairs: When is it Okay to Fix it Yourself?

If you have any type of major roof repairs to be done, it’s always best to hire a professional roofer. Climbing onto a rooftop is extremely dangerous, and it’s usually best if you leave it to a professional. However, there are occasions when it might be possible to do some minor repairs on your own, as long as you take the necessary safety precautions.

Before getting started, make sure that your ladder is secure and placed on level ground. Wear a safety harness and non-slip shoes. Never work on a roof that’s wet or on a windy day. Metal roofs can be slick no matter what the weather, and clay tiles can crack if you walk on them, so think twice before you attempt to do your own repairs on those types of roofs.

DIY Roof Repairs

  • Popped nails: If you notice nails that have popped loose, it’s always a good idea to hammer them back in before you lose a shingle or moisture creeps in.
  • Replace shingles: If you have an asphalt or wood shingles, replacing a shingle here and there is a fairly easy process. Just make sure that you position the shingle in the exact same spot as the one you’re replacing. If you have several shingles that need to be replaced, it’s best to call a roofing contractor since the underlayment beneath the shingles might be damaged and the process gets more complicated if a large number of shingles is involved.
  • Recaulking: Aging caulk can dry out and become cracked over a period of years. Don’t hesitate to recaulk any area that needs it. This is particularly common around vents, skylights and chimneys. If the metal flashing looks like it needs to be replaced, it’s best to call in a professional – if it’s not done correctly, moisture can accumulate and leaks can form.
  • Cleaning gutters: It’s important to keep your gutters clean to avoid water spilling over the edge and damaging the siding on your house. Clean your gutters in the spring and again in the fall after the leaves have fallen.
  • Removing debris: It’s always a good idea to remove debris from your rooftop. Moisture can collect there if it’s not removed, which can end up damaging your roofing material over a certain period of time. It’s also common for small animals and birds to make their homes in plant debris, which can not only damage the roofing material but will also provide them easy access to your roof vents and possibly your attic.
  • Washing: If you have moss or algae on your roof, it’s best to remove it before it causes damage to the roofing material.Although it’s preferable to have this done by a roofing professional for safety reasons, it is possible to do it yourself if you’re careful. Never use a pressure washer, as this could damage your roof shingles or tiles. Instead, use a hose with normal water pressure. Starting at one end of the roof and working backwards so you’re always on a dry surface, apply a roof cleaning product, scrub the roof with a brush, then hose it off. This definitely requires some effort, but it is a DIY project if you don’t mind the work involved.

Marc & Stacy roofing | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – Sam Beebe, Ecotrust