One household project that can seem frightening and expensive is the idea of doing your own roof repairs. Whether you have major damage to your roof, or just need new gutters and shingles, repairing your own roof is a daunting task, but is something you can actually do on your own. You’ll just need to know how. Of course, for major repairs, you may need to call in a contractor to help. There are also some things you can do to improve the longevity of your roof.
For instance, inspecting your roof a few times each year will let you see problems before they get bigger. If you have a few loose shingles, or gutters that are on their way to needing replacement, you can catch them early. Preventative maintenance can keep you from paying a lot for bigger roof repairs later. Be sure to make your roof inspections in the spring and early summer, or in the fall. During this period, it’s not too hot on your roof, but it’s also not icy.
Never climb on your roof under the direct heat of the summer sun. Warm shingles will loose their coatings as you walk on them, shortening their useful life. Check your flashing for problems, and fasten down loose or warped pieces. Use nails made of the same metal as the flashing when possible, as this prevents corrosion. Those with chimneys should check out the area where the chimney flashing meets their roof. Gaps caused by shrinkage of the cement and tar should be repaired with the same type of sealant. This keeps your roof from developing a leak near the chimney.
If you see a bulge in your flashing, a simple roof repair is to place a piece of wood on that area. Hammer the wood to flatten the flashing, rather than hammering the flashing and shingle directly. If this doesn’t work, there may be water damage in this location, causing the wood to swell. These cases require replacement of the damaged part of the roof.
If you see problems with your gutters, don’t be tempted to fix them while you’re on the roof. This is a common way to fall off the roof’s edge! Instead, note the locations that are a problem, get a ladder, and deal with them from the ground. Apply a protective coating to your roof to reduce the heat from the sun and improve its lifespan. There are a number of different types of roof coatings, but one of the most common is the albedo coating. Used in areas with a lot of hot, sunny weather, they bring surface temperatures down by as much as eighty percent. This extends the life of your roof by blocking UV rays, and keeps your home cooler. If you have a metal roof, other coatings can be used to prevent corrosion, keeping your roof in good shape longer.