School teaches us many essential things, but none of these classes can prepare you for this one critical task: roofing repairs. As a new homeowner, you’ll need to learn how to repair all sorts of things in your home, including the roof. With a little patience, research, and care, you’ll be a handyman in no time!
To build your skills, you must start practicing with one simple project at a time. Complicated tasks like roof repairs would typically require advanced skills and knowledge. But there are basic maintenance and fixes that you can easily learn through tutorials. If you are just getting started with roof repairs, below are some crucial tips you need to take note of:
1) Getting A Contractor
Okay, hear me out, the safest, easiest, and surest way to get your roof fixed is to contact a roofing contractor. Not everyone has the time to figure out how to get the roof done, let alone fixing it. It would probably take you a few tries before you get it right, and that’s if you get it right. There are problems and damages that are best overseen and fixed by professionals.
2) Assess The Damage
Take a minute to observe your roof. What parts need repairing? What kind of damage is there? Sometimes, it’s a small issue that can be fixed through a DIY project, but there are also instances when the whole roof needs to be replaced. The latter will probably require you a contractor, but you can do the former on your own. There are also instances when you don’t need to repair it. A quick clean and unclogging of the gutter will do. These tasks are easier, and you can probably do it yourself in no time.
3) Spotting Leaks
Finding leaks is easy. Just take a closer look at the roof by inspecting it for any damage or roof penetrations. You can also try to spot water stains on your wall and trace its source to check if the dripping or leaking water is from the roof.
Small leaks are easy to fix, but they are hard to find. So, if you’re having a hard time spotting it, bring a garden hose up to the roof and let the water flow. While drenching the roof in certain areas, you must have an assistant who can stay indoors and look for any drips or leaks. Remember to keep the hose on one spot for several minutes before moving. It’s going to take a while, but it will do the trick.
4) Keep Nail Heads Unexposed
Be sure that the nails are embedded correctly. This way, you can avoid any leaks. If you can’t embed the nail completely, you can use a sealant or caulk to make sure water doesn’t get in.
5) Regular Cleanups
A clogged gutter is usually the main perpetrator of leaking roofs because it causes water and ice to buildup and eventually damages parts of your roof. To avoid this, make sure that it’s cleared out regularly to avoid severe damage in the future.
In addition, you might want to keep an eye on the ridge too. The spot where two roof panels intersect is called the ridge or valley. These are usually the first to get leaks because water and snow tend to go down and accumulate in these areas. Therefore, it’s best to check and clean up the ridge regularly too.
6) Prepare Your Tools
To perform basic repairs and maintenance for your roof, you need a few tools to be efficient. The most common tool you probably need is a crowbar, which is excellent for removing nails that are lodged stubbornly on some parts of your roof. Next, you need roofing nails. There are different types and sizes of nails, and you need to check what kind is being used on your roof so you can purchase and stock the same kind.
A hammer or a roofing nailer is also necessary. A roofing nailer will be quicker, and you don’t have to worry about hitting your fingers. A power nailer is also highly recommended if you’re planning to replace a massive chunk of your entire roof. But if it’s just a small repair, a hammer will do. Of course, you should not forget to include a ladder, since this is the only thing that can help you climb up the roof. Below is a list of all the basic tools you need:
- Roofing nails
- Hammer or roofing nailer
- Utility knife
7) Be Familiar With Your Roofing Material
If you intend to do major repairs to your roof, then you have to be familiar with the type of materials that are used in it. This includes the type and size of nails, as mentioned above. Aside from that, you have to be familiar with the type of shingles, flashing, and underlayment that are used in your roof.
8) Safety First
If you’re decided on fixing the roof on your own, you need to make sure that you don’t get into any accidents. So, before anything else, we have to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself. The roof isn’t exactly the safest place to be, so you’ll need that extra bit of security.
Some of the protective equipment you might need are safety harnesses, rope lifeline, roof anchor, a helmet, and a shock-absorbing lanyard. If you don’t want to use any of these things, you can also use lumber strips to keep your footing stable. However, this method requires you to bring up the lumber with you and nail them to the roof, so there is that extra precaution that you need to take. For first-timers, getting protection equipment would be a safer choice.
Roof repairs are quite complicated for the average homeowner. However, basic maintenance and minor repairs are always doable. Assessing the damage, locating leaks, and fixing small areas of the roof can be done without necessarily booking the services of roofing contractors.
However, to be able to perform minor fixes and roof maintenance, you need proper tools and safety equipment. Therefore, you have to prepare and make yourself more familiar with the parts and materials that are used in your roof.
Remember to only do roof projects that you’re confident undertaking. For complicated problems such as sagging roofs and old roofs that direly need replacement, it’s best to contact professionals.