How to Complete DIY Roof Repairs (And When to Call a Pro)

blue plastic tarp over a roof leak

Roof issues can be a real pain. Especially if you have water, leaves, or something else getting into your living space.

Instead of trying to coordinate your budget and a contractor's time schedule, why not do some roofing DIY?

Believe it or not, there are some simple DIY roofing repairs that are absolutely doable. You only need a little know-how and some simple tools.

While some tasks should be handled by professionals, there are times when you can fix the problem yourself. Keep reading for DIY roof fixes, and info on when to go with a professional.

Find the Root of the Problem

Some roofing issues may seem minor when they actually aren't. Because of this, it's important to get to the root of the problem.

If you've found an issue with your roof, inspect it carefully. Determine what the real problem is. It may appear to just be a shingle issue when there's really a deeper problem.

Don't rely on your inspection, alone, though. You could miss something important. Roofing problems can be costly, so make sure you're not missing something bigger. If you've spotted something small you can still handle it on your own.

Contact a roofing professional and get a free roof inspection. They'll give you a quote and let you know what the real problem is. Then you can decide whether or not to fix it on your own or let the professionals handle it.

Shingle Problems

If you have a few missing shingles you can probably fix the problem yourself. The same goes for damaged shingles.

First, you'll need to find shingles that match the ones on your house. If you have any extras laying around from the last time you roofed your house, go with those, or the exact same type.

If you don't know the exact type of shingle used, find the closest match possible. Once you've done that, remove the problematic shingles. Then use proper adhesives and nails to install the new ones.

You may need to remove some surrounding shingles to do the job properly. Make sure you get enough new shingles to cover your workspace.

Leaking Issues

If your roof has some minor leaks you can fix the issue on your own. First, locate the area of your roof that's letting water in. You may want to do this from your attic if you have one.

Once you've found the source of the problem, the fix will depend on the situation.

If condensation is dripping from an exposed nail, simply cut the nail with pliers. If the leak is coming from around a pipe, replace the metal and rubber surroundings that protect the bottom of the pipe. They may be rotten or damaged in some other way.

The areas around windows, dormer walls, and vents are susceptible to leaking. Check siding, caulking, and other surrounding materials and make the needed repairs.

Flashing Repairs

The flashing on your roof may need to be repaired. This problem may show up around areas where something protrudes from your roof such as a chimney or skylight.

Tiny holes can be plugged with roofing cement. Larger ones will need to be patched. When creating a patch, use the same material that's used in the existing flashing.

Rough up and clean the area to be patched. Apply your patch using roofing cement. Make sure your patch is larger than the area that needs to be fixed.

Re-roof a Section

You may need to reroof a larger section than just a few damaged shingles. If this is the case, remove the existing shingles and install the new ones appropriately.

Shingles can be layered, so you may have to remove more than one layer of shingles. You'll need to replicate what you remove so your roof still looks its best. Keep your roof even by installing the same number of layers as you removed.

Keep in mind, though, regulations limit shingle layers to only two. Remove both layers if your roof already has two layers of shingles.

When to Call a Professional

While it's fun and even practical to fix roofing issues on your own, you may need to call a professional. Here are some tips for deciding when you should call someone instead of trying to fix the problem on your own.

Safety

The slant or shape of your roof may not offer you a safe way to get around. If safety will be an issue, always call a professional. They have the gear and expertise to deal with steep roofs and other potentially dangerous setups.

Don't risk getting yourself into an even bigger problem. Call the professionals if there's any chance of injury.

Roof Replacement

If your entire roof needs to be replaced, you're better off calling a professional. Roof replacement takes a lot of work and is better left to those with the right expertise. You may miss something important since you don't have the same training and knowledge of regulations as a professional does.

Warranty Concerns

Any work that's improperly done could invalidate your home's warranty. If you don't have the proper skills, tools, or knowledge to correctly make a repair on your own, always call a professional.

Try These Simple DIY Roofing Repairs

DIY roofing repairs can save you a lot of money and waiting time. You just need the proper knowledge and tools.

Fixing roofing issues on your own isn't always the best route, though. So don't hesitate to call in a professional when you need one!

If you do decide to fix your roofing problems on your own, keep these DIY tips in mind. They'll help you fix the issues in a jiffy.

Are you unsure if your roof actually needs to be repaired? Click here for some tips on determining if it does or not.

 

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