Should you Repair your Roof?

A popular question from homeowners is “should I repair my own roof?”  Obviously, with the effects of weather, natural disasters, accidents, and even time, roof repair is a reality of home ownership.  While the most advanced do-it-yourself enthusiasts may choose to carry out their own repairs, most roofing professionals advise against it.  Minor repairs may be manageable, but roof replacement is a massive job that requires specialised tools, equipment, and expertise.  Moreover, roofing repair procedures quite often rely on knowledge of different roofing materials and the practices most appropriate for each.  So, unless you have extensive roofing experience, the potential for error is arguably too high.  In short, when faced with the prospect of completing your own repairs, you should probably not.  Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will determine the nature and extent of roofing repairs.

Type of Damage

Depending on the style of roof and the type of damage (i.e. weather damage or improper installation), repairs may be major or minor.  Identifying the ultimate cause of the damage can significantly impact the type of repair.  For example, an inadequately installed roof may not have proper ventilation leading to rot or other forms of water damage.  As a novice, you might be competent to repair a leaky shingle, but you might not be aware of extensive water damage beneath the surface.  A professional roofer, on the other hand, would be able to spot signs of extensive rot and possibly conduct major repairs that will ultimately save you money in the long run.

Roofing Materials

Installation and repair practices will likely vary depending on the type of roof you have installed.  Asphalt roofs are easy to maintain and repair, and in many cases damage that affects a few shingles can be easily repaired.  On the other hand, if you have a flat roof and you identify a leak, it may be difficult to trace the source of the leak.  Signs of roof damage are sure to appear in your home, but this does not always indicate the source of a leak.  Moreover, specialized roofing materials require expert installation and repair, so unless you have years of roofing experience, you should leave repairs to your roofing contractor.  There is also the issue of whether you have the proper equipment for making repairs.  A hammer and roofing nails may be sufficient for an asphalt roof, but the longevity of metal roofs can be significantly diminished if not properly installed.

Ultimately, fixing roof leaks requires that you find the source of the leak, the extent of the damage, and that you have the proper tools for the job.  And we haven’t even begun to talk about safety.  Roofing can be dangerous work, and if you don’t have the right safety equipment, you could even put your life at risk.  Yes, you can save a few bucks, but that’s hardly worth it if your health is compromised.  Hire a professional and make sure you get the job done correctly, completely, and safely.