It may be tempting to try DIY roof repairs. A job well done, especially on your own home, can be rewarding work. Plus, DIY projects can save you a few bucks. However, DIY roofing jobs are the exception. They are unlikely to be cheap or simple. Instead, they often turn into frustrating and dangerous projects. Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t try DIY roof repair.
You Could Make the Problem Worse
A roof seems simple. It rains, and the shingles direct the rain off the roof, right? It’s much more complicated than that. All of the components of the roof work together to shed water, from the hip and ridge shingles to the flashing, gutters, and much more. You have to understand how these parts work together to make adjustments.
You also have to understand the layers of a roof. If your shingles are damaged, you may need to replace more than the shingles, perhaps even the flashing, felt, decking, and attic insulation.
Also, roofers have a lot of specialized knowledge they need to make repairs. If you try to DIY, chances are you’ll miss out on these essential details and make the problem worse. For example, shingles have to be nailed in very specific spots. Flashing can only be secured on one contact point, and some types of valley installations are much better than others.
It’s Easy to Damage a Roof
Professional roofers know where to step, and where not to step, to prevent damaging the roof. For example, they will not step in a roof valley unless necessary, because doing so easily rips up shingles. If you walk on your roof, there’s a possibility you could make a worse leak than the one you’re heading up to repair.
You Could Fall
Your roof isn’t the only thing in danger when you’re up there. Professional roofers have safety equipment that prevents falls. When professionals do fall, they have insurance to cover their health costs and the damages they may cause on their way down. The average homeowner doesn’t have a safety harness, and your insurance may not cover your fall.
There’s also the possibility that your roof has seen too much damage to be walked on at all. Major leaks or very old shingles can be serious safety hazards if you’re on the roof. Water damage can rot out the beams that support the roof, causing you to fall through. Aged shingles can crumble under your feet, becoming a tripping hazard.
Don’t DIY, But Do Understand What Your Roofer Does
While you shouldn’t do a roofing job yourself, you should still understand what’s going on up there. If you have questions about your roof’s problems or about the work a roofer is about to perform, you should feel free to ask them. A reputable roofer should be happy to explain everything and should never dismiss your concerns. If you want to be more involved in your roof’s repair, all you need to do is ask.