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Charleston Roofing May 30, 2022 10:02:58 AM 10 min read

Don't Try to Repair Your Own Roof Yourself! Here's Why

It might be tempting for many homeowners to attempt to repair their own roofs. You may think, I just need a ladder and nails to replace a few shingles... Wrong! Not only are materials expensive, but it also is not the best idea to try and fix your home’s roof yourself as you won't be able to do the job correctly. Many things could go wrong, like not being able to find the cause of the problem or having an improper repair done which will only make matters worse in some cases!

This blog post goes over why you shouldn't attempt DIY roof repairs at all - from how hard it can be if you don't know what you are doing, as well to the dangers associated with trying to fix your own roof.

Here are many reasons why you shouldn't repair your own roof:

You Could Injury Yourself (Or worse)

Roof repair is a difficult task and one that should only be attempted by professionals. Trying to do your own roofing project is not simply challenging, it is very dangerous. Many things can go wrong and you could end up injuring yourself, causing more damage to your roof, or worse.

One of the most common injuries sustained while attempting roof repairs is a fall. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States, and roofers have a higher rate of fatal falls than any other occupation.

Falls from roofs can be caused by a variety of factors, including wet or icy conditions, loose roofing materials, and unsecured ladders. Even if you are careful, there is always a risk of falling when you are working on a roof.

In addition to falls, other common injuries associated with roof repairs include cuts, scrapes, and burns. These injuries are often caused by sharp roofing materials, power tools, and hot tar.

hot roof before diy roof repair

You Could Damage Your Roof

Another reason why you shouldn't try to repair your roof on your own is that you could end up damaging the roof. Even something as simple as nailing down shingles can be difficult to do properly. If you don't nail them down correctly, they can come loose and cause further damage to your roof.

Here are a few things that could happen to you when you are trying to repair your roof alone:

Ripping off shingles

Ripping off your shingles is one of the worst things that can happen to your roof. Missing shingles only leaves your roof vulnerable to the elements but also increases the chance of a roof leak and other damage. This could happen from you stepping on them the wrong way or pulling them off with too much force.

Tearing up roofing paper

The roofing paper is a layer of protection between your shingles and the roof deck. It is there to help prevent leaks. If you tear it while you are repairing your roof, it could cause problems down the road. Sometimes this can happen if you are not careful when removing old shingles.

Puncturing the roof deck

The roof deck is the plywood or OSB board that your shingles are nailed to. It is important that this stay intact so your roof can do its job of keeping water out. If you puncture it while repairing your roof, it could lead to a leak.

Not properly securing new shingles

If you do not properly secure your new shingles, they can come loose and blow away in high winds. This leaves your roof vulnerable to water damage and can also be a safety hazard for anyone walking below.

Not sealing roofing nails

If you don't seal the roofing nails properly, they can start to rust. This will not only cause your roof to look bad but could also lead to a leak.

puncturing roofing felt

The roofing felt is another layer of protection for your roof. It is a water-resistant barrier that helps to prevent leaks. If you puncture it while you are repairing your roof, it could cause serious problems down the road.

It's hard to know where to start

If you have never repaired a roof before, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are a lot of different roofing materials and tools involved in the process.

You also need to be familiar with the different parts of the roof and how they work together. If you don't know what you're doing, it's easy to make a mistake that could cause serious damage to your roof.

diy repair example

It Saves to Hire a Professional

Trying to repair your roof on your own could end up costing you more money in the long run due to unintended mistakes causing even more damage. The last thing you want is a roof replacement because of your inexperience.

Here are some costs homeowners don't realize that go into DIY repairs:

  1. If you make mistakes while repairing your roof, you might have to replace the whole roof. This can be really expensive.
  2. Prices for roofing materials have gone up in recent years, so it might cost more than you think to repair your roof.
  3. You might need to buy special equipment to do the job right, and this can be expensive.
  4. You will also need to take time off work to do the repairs, which can cost you money in lost wages.

When homeowners spend money to hire a roofing professional it is an investment; they will be able to fix your roof quickly and efficiently. They will also be able to identify any underlying issues that could cause further damage down the road, so you're saving money by opting out of DIY roof repairs.

Professionals Have the Skills & Experience

It's important to remember that roof work is a complex job done by a certified roofing contractor that requires specialized skills and knowledge of roofing systems. This includes knowing:

How to identify the source of the problem

A roofing company will use a ladder and other equipment to examine the roof for any signs of missing or damaged shingles, roofing paper, and roofing felt. They will determine if you need to install shingles, assess structural issues, buy materials for maintenance, and the overall cost of the roof issues.

How to safely and effectively repair roofs

Professional roofers are trained to use a variety of techniques to stay safe while working on roofs. One of the most important is wearing the proper safety equipment. This includes a hard hat, safety glasses, work boots, and gloves. Roofers also use roof jacks to keep them from slipping off the roof.

The different types of roofing materials

There are a variety of roofing materials that can be used for roof repairs. The most common are asphalt shingles, slate, and tile. Asphalt shingles are the most popular type, while slate and tile roofing are more expensive, they're also more durable. Knowing your material helps experienced roofers replace shingles and repair your damaged roof.

The roofing process

The roofing process involves a few steps. The first step is to remove the old roofing material. This is done by stripping the roof of its shingles, roofing paper, and roofing felt. The next step is to inspect the roof for any damage. Once the roof has been inspected, the roofers will start to install the new roofing material. They will nail down the new shingles, roofing paper, and roofing felt. The last step is to seal the roof. This is done by applying a layer of roofing cement to the seams of the roof.

professional roofer

You Don't Have the Proper Tools

Roofing is a complex job that requires the right materials. Using the wrong tools or using them incorrectly can damage your roof and void any warranties you have. Additionally, materials needed for the job are often quite expensive.

Proper tools and their handling include:

  1. Roofing nail gun. These are safer are more effective than your traditional hammer.
  2. Hammer tacker stapler. Staples or cap nails are necessary for holding felt underlayment in place; which to use depends on knowledge of your building's requirements
  3. Shingle cutter. These are used to cut specific shingles a certain way, which you'll also need for cutting a roof underlayment and ice and water protector. Roofing blades are another option for cutting thicker materials such as shingles.
  4. Ladder hoist. These are used to lift up heavy shingles instead of ladders; this prevents falls that can occur when carrying heavy shingles.

And many, many more!

Without the proper knowledge on how to use these tools, it may result in roof damage to the extent that you need to replace your entire roof. Roof replacements are very expensive and require professional tools and experience. What might have been a simple fix can turn into a major project.

You Don't Have the Right Education

Additionally, it isn't as simple as buying the tools needed for roof repair. You have to consider:

What kind of roof you're working on (tar or shingle)

Shingle roofs and tar roofs are both types of roofing. Shingle roofs are made of little pieces of wood that fit together and tar roofs are made of roofing material that is sticky. The tools they need for repair differ, so it is important you know what roof you have.

The size and pitch of your roof

The size of your roof will determine how many tools you need and the pitch will determine how difficult it is to work on your roof. A roof that is too steep can be dangerous to work on and a roof that is too large will require more tools.

The condition of your roof

If your roof is in bad condition, it will be more difficult to repair. This is because the roofing materials may be brittle or weak. It is important to inspect your roof before attempting any repairs.

Weather in your location

You need to know the kind of weather in your location to determine the specific material needed, such as wind speed or waterproofing.

You need to know the wind speeds in your area before fixing your roof. This is because you need to make sure that the roofing materials you use can withstand the wind. If they can't, the roof could blow away and cause damage to your home.

Waterproofing roofing materials are important for roof repair because it helps to keep the roof protected from water damage. If the roofing material is not waterproof, the water can seep through the roof and cause damage to the roof deck, insulation, and framing. This can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

Emergency repair work

If your roof is damaged because of a fire or some other extreme event, you may need to do an emergency fix. This means fixing the roof quickly before more damage is done.

This experience and knowledge will not be readily available to the novice homeowner. Consequently, you may risk damaging your property with improper tools, costing way more to replace the roof due to these mistakes than simply hiring a professional to begin with.

layers of a roofing project

You Could Void Your Roof Warranty

If you have a roof on your house warranty, chances are it will be voided if you try to repair the roof yourself. Most roof warranties require that repairs be done by a licensed and insured roofing contractor.

Attempting to repair your roof on your own could leave you with no coverage in the event of an emergency. Hiring a professional roofer is the best way to ensure that your roof is repaired properly and that your warranty remains intact, which will save you money in the long run.

about to fix your roof

Conclusion

Homeowners, when it comes time to make a decision about roof repair, please remember the importance of experience, quality, and safety. DIY projects can often go wrong, costing homeowners more money in the long run. At Charleston Roofing and Exteriors, we believe in providing quality roofing services to our clients at an affordable price. Let us help you keep your home safe and looking beautiful!

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