Roof Repairs You Can Do Yourself

A roof is an essential aspect of your home. However, harsh weather conditions can damage it. As a homeowner, having a damaged roof can be distressing and hazardous. If your budget does not allow you to hire a roofing contractor, it is advisable to handle some roof repairs on your own.

However, before you go ahead with repairing your roof, you should remember that some problems may be complicated than they seem. Thus, if you do not know how to carry out the repair activities, it isimperative to consult a professional. If you decide to go the DIY route, it is important to adhere to the safety regulations. Here are various roof repairs that you can easily do by yourself:

1. Gutter Repairs

Gutters are part of your roof even though many homeowners separate them from their home roofing system. If your walls and landscape are damaged by rainwater, you should inspect the condition of your gutters. It is important to check if they are clogged. Debris and dry leaves may block them, hindering rainwater from flowing efficiently.

If you spot lots of granules packed in your gutters, you should clear them instantly. Also, check if brackets are well secured to the fascia and fasten any loose screws. If your problem is water drips behind the gutter, the issue could be a wobbly gutter apron. Ensure it is in place and fastened.

A loose sealant can cause gutter leaks. Remove the worn-out sealant and reinforce every gutter connection with a quality seam sealer. Make sure the gutter area you want to seal is dry before applying the seam seal. That way, you will have a reinforced connection, and your sealer can last longer.

2. Shingle Repairs

Although re-roofing or fixing new shingles might need a professional roofer, you can replace a few missing, curled, worn-out, or warped shingles by yourself. However, you must have the right knowledge to avoid making mistakes that may lead to further costly damages.

First, remove the remains of your old shingles. Handle each by the edge, and carefully pull the fasteners off the struts. Clean any debris on the space you intend to repair. Use a knife to round the new shingle to allow ease placement and proper alignment. Once the shingle is correctly lined up, fasten it to the batten using roofing nails. Make sure you cover the nails with a seal to avoid water leakage.

3. Flat Roof Repairs

Flat roofs tend to accumulate pools of water during rainy seasons. However, their membrane structure material combats this problem partially. Thus, leaks are a common problem in buildings fitted with a flat roofing system.If you are experiencing leakages, you should inspect and repair your flat roof on a sunny day to avoid inconveniences when it rains. Make sure there is no water, tree branches or debris in the areas being repaired. Ensure you drain any water that may be trapped between the felt and blistered layer.Once the area is completely dry, you can now seal the openings with a thick layer of roofing cement. You should reinforce the cut edges to the new re-roofing material using strong nails. To make the coating even, cover the nails with more roofing cement.

4. Repairing Open Valley Flashings

Flashings can be distressing, but you can repair them on your own. However, they are hard to locate. If you spot an open valley flashing, inspect the joint right above your head. Once you pinpoint the rupture, you should clean it with a brush. Create a buffer zone with a piece of metal wider than the hole.

Ensure the sheet of metal you are using to patch the opening is of the same material as your roof structure. If you use different metal materials, your patch will eventually corrode, causing major flashing issues. After placing the sheet, apply a thick layer of cement and press it to ensure the hole is fully covered. To protect your patch, reinforce its edges by applying more roofing cement.

5. Metal Flashing Repairs

This is a common issue experienced by homeowners. Such issues tend to appear on exterior walls, chimney, vents, or skylights. Thus, ensure you inspect these spots regularly during spring. It is not advisable to wait until you experience leaks. Such issues happen when the mortar holding the bricks starts to fall apart.

How do you fix this issue?

Start by removing flashing from your chimney structure. Be careful when pulling out the loose flashing to ensure you don’t rip it from the brick wall. Use a chisel to remove mortar flakes. Clean away any debris that may be on the joints. Make sure you have protective gear when handling these repairs.

Once cleaned, you should use water to wet the joints and spread cement mortar around it. After filling it with mortar, you can carefully insert back your flashing. Ensure it fits firmly into its socket. Give the patched area time to dry up completely before applying caulk on the sides of your flashing joints and over its cap. You can apply the same approach when repairing metal flashings on your vents or skylights.

6. Roof Batten Repairs

Battens, also known as roofing lath, are used to anchor your roof shingles or tiles. Battens will keep your roof in position. A sagging roof is an indication you have a battening problem. This happens when your battens are rotten and cannot hold your roof weight.

Such an issue is common with wooden roofing lathes, and that is where there is an introduction of metal, plastic, and fiberglass battens. They last longer than wood battens, and you will have fewer issues with your roofing system.

To resolve batten issues, ensure you check if your roof is leaking. Inspect your battens often and replace them as soon as you suspect an underlying issue. Place battens on both sides to allow sufficient flow of air (use counter-batten system). If your roof is fitted with wood battens, you may need to upgrade to probably metal battens.

These informative tips from our friends who are roofers in Windham Maine will help you handle the above roofing issues on your own. However, make sure you wear safety gear and use the appropriate tools to do the job. Never climb on a sagging roof. Additionally, always use a steady ladder to access higher heights. Schedule your roofing repairs during dry seasons unless when unavoidable. It is imperative to get a professional roofer for all your major and complicated roofing problems.

Yes, You Can Do Roofing In Winter!

I can verify that many roofing contractors are called out to replace a roof during the winter. However, the summer is often considered the best time for roof work by many homeowners. Working on a roof during the depths of winter is really not that much different to working on a roof during the summer months, although of course, the roofer will tell you it’s a lot colder. That aside, many roofing contractors will also tell you they prefer to carry out roofing work when it starts to get colder. If you are one of those homeowners who insist that replacing or repairing a roof in the winter doesn’t make sense, maybe its time to go over some of the arguments for it:

It’s Too Cold Right Now To Have My Roof Replaced!

If the roofing crew working on your house putting in a new roof doesn’t seem to care that it’s cold outside, then why should you? They probably wouldn’t be on your roof doing that kind of outside work if the cold bothered them. And many roofers will tell you that replacing a roof during the hottest part of the summer just isn’t much fun; it can feel like it’s 110 degrees up on top of your house when the temperature hits 90 degrees. With that in mind, it’s perhaps easy to see why many roofing experts prefer to replace a black roof during winter rather than during the heat of summer.

There’s Too Much Snow On the Roof To Replace It Now

It takes no more than about 30 minutes to shovel the snow off the typical roof, and most roofing contractors consider this task to be part of the job, and they won’t charge you for that 30 minutes of work. Yes, the roofing crew obviously needs to be cautious when shoveling snow from a sloping roof, but of course, they are quite used to scrambling about on rooftops and are careful anyway. In fact, the shoveling of the snow is no more or less dangerous than all the other tasks that need to be carried out to replace your roof. Most roofers are experienced professionals who wouldn’t dream of taking an unnecessary risk at 15 feet or more above the ground. And there are several more reasons why it actually makes sense to have the roof on your Boston home replaced during the winter, rather than waiting until it starts to get warmer.

1) Leaks In Your Roof Caused by Ice Dams

An example of a typical ice dam.

Your entire home, including the roof is subject to extremes of temperature and weather that really test it, during the winter months. One hazard is what is known as an ice dam; snow accumulating on your roof can melt and then freeze again at the edge of your roof line, having run down the sloping roof. More leaking roofs in winter are caused by this scenario than by anything else. Leaks and other damage to your home can be prevented in cold places such as Massachusetts and other northeast states, by using drip edge flashing techniques and what is known as an ice and water barrier. If you have an older roof you may find that you don’t have an ice and water barrier on the roof, although if you do it can potentially protect your roof for at least three feet up from the edges. You can ensure that you don’t have to endure damage from ice dams again by having your roof replaced properly, along with an ice and water barrier.

2) A Bad Roof Gets Worse During the Winter

A roof can be adversely affected by many things once the weather turns colder, and in all probability, if your roof was bad before winter arrived, once spring is here it’s just going to be even worse. The shingles on your roof can expand and contract during the fluctuating temperatures of winter, which can lead to older shingles cracking and curling. The weight of heavy and wet snow can also cause curled shingles to crack. And the inevitable and unwanted result of cracked shingles is often a leaking roof. Your shingles can then be damaged further by the heavy snow melting and refreezing, and if you have an older roof this continual freezing and melting of snow just isn’t good for it.

3) Get Your New Roof Installed Faster

Instead of having to wait weeks or perhaps months to have your new roofing installed, you may find that the contractor is able to complete the job in a matter of days, if you have the work done in the winter. This is because many roofing contractors simply aren’t as busy during the winter as they are during the summer. Most homeowners decide to get their roof replaced when the weather is warmer, which often means a longer wait for the work to commence. It’s well worth getting your roof replaced in the winter and avoiding a lengthy and frustrating wait.

4) It’s a Slow Time – Save Money

In addition to speedier service and installation of your new roof during the winter, you may also find that you save money too during this slower time of the year. These lower rates for labor are typically offered during slow times of year as an incentive to customers and as a way for contractors to avoid having to temporarily lay off their staff. But while the service may be faster and the overall bill lower than it would have been during the summer, everything else remains the same. In other words, you still get to take advantage of the same warranty for the materials and work carried out, and you’ll still receive the same expert service from your chosen roofing contractor. And of course, the quality of your new roof is the same, regardless of whether it was installed during the freezing cold or during a heatwave.

So it may be winter but just because you don’t feel like venturing outside, it doesn’t mean that you should put off replacing that old and leaking roof until the warmer weather arrives. Replacing your roof in winter can often save you money and you’ll enjoy much faster service and have the new roof in place sooner than you would have done during spring or summer. There are dozens of reliable locally based Massachusetts roofers ready to help you to replace your roof, and if yours really needs replacing, there’s no time like the present.