When their roof springs a leak many handy homeowners consider the idea of tackling the roof repair themselves. But not all are keen on climbing up there and a phone call to the roofing contractor may be their best bet. How feasible are DIY roof repairs and can you reasonably expect to save money doing it yourself?
All Things Are Possible
For small and contained leaks on a shingled roof, do it yourself roof repairs can be a wise choice. The most difficult part is finding the source of the leak. Once you have that hammered down, repairing or replacing the shingles is fairly straightforward.
Often you need to climb into your attic with a flashlight and a sharp eye to find that leak. Water marks and evidence of water damage can be a fair distance from the actual leak. An accurate location is needed.
Start by noting the things that are mounted through or on your roof, such as vents, piping and chimneys. Where there is flashing, there can easily be leaks. Spot them and then investigate those areas of the attic first. If there is no sign of water damage there, examine the balance of the roof systematically until you find it.
While you're up there, have a good look at the entire area and make note of any damage or problems with the insulation. You should attempt to fix all of the current leaks in one visit up to your roof, saving you time and reducing risk.
Not All Things Are Advisable
Any time you climb onto the roof, whether for inspection or repairs, make sure you always practice proper safety. Wear rubber soled shoes to prevent slipping and tie yourself off for fall protection. Have a partner on the ground for spotting and to help you move the ladder for easier access on and off.
Only attempt DIY roofing repairs when the weather is decent. When it's too cold your asphalt shingles will become brittle and you'll need to apply heat allowing them to bend back. Also, you may be working with roofing cement and won't want to have high winds, rain or other nasty weather to distract or harm you.
Always pay attention to where power lines are near or above your roof. Avoid them completely.
Common Roof Repairs
Small sections of shingles will often get broken or go missing on a roof. These cause leaks and can be repaired fairly easily. Remove any torn, split or rotted shingles with a thick putty knife. Reattach new shingles with asphalt roofing cement. Use a caulking gun and be sure to set them properly in place.
Sometimes shingles can become curled up. Once they've been heated (in the sun or with a little help from your heating gun), you can generally roll them back down and apply asphalt cement to keep them there.
With these smaller repairs you may save yourself a few hundred dollars. Not only will you keep the amount of labor charges this small job would have in your pocket, but you save having to pay an experienced contractor just to come out and handle the small repair.
For larger problems and on steeper roofs it pays to call in the professionals. You might save a little by sourcing out the leak ahead of time, but often you can expect to pay the bill and simply be pleased with the repair.
If the job is complicated and you don't get it right, the damage that can happen will cause you much more than a repairperson would have in the first place. Weigh the degree of complication against the cost of the repair and decide from there whether a DIY roof repair is worth your time and efforts.Posted by: TrustedPros