If you are one of the self-sufficient homeowners who like to save a few bucks whenever they can, opting for the do-it-yourself route to fix a broken shingle or patch up a leaking ceiling may seem very tempting. But the thing is: when it comes to repairing or replacing a roof on your own, there are plenty of hidden pitfalls that you need to chew over and ultimately avoid.
Many roofing issues demand the expertise, knowledge and skills of professionals. As a legal requirement, residential and commercial roofing companies need to comply with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines. These guidelines set clear policies regarding the responsibilities of contractors, including education for employees, carrying out adequate risk assessments on every roofing project and providing the safest work environment possible.
Here are some of the most common DIY roofing fails that often make situations worse than they were before:
1. Inspecting for roofing damage… and then causing even more damage.
After a particularly stormy day, homeowners may feel the need to climb up on their roofs to see if torrential downpour, strong winds, or sharp-hitting hail has inflicted serious injuries on their homes. While this may sound like a good idea, in the beginning, doing so can actually cause bigger and more costly damage than was originally present. For instance, putting on additional stress on battered clay tiles by walking all over them can cause the material to fully break or crack — a common way of accidentally damaging your own roof. You can also cause deterioration on tiles or shingles or dislodge other materials resting on top of the roof.
If you want to visually inspect your roofing system, you can do so by checking from the ground up. If you are comfortable with climbing extremely high ladders and the weather has subsided, you can use a ladder to closely assess the situation. Just remember that climbing out onto the roof is not recommended by roofing repair professionals due to obvious safety issues.
2. Replacing damaged materials and components incorrectly.
Many people think that it must be fairly easy to replace a few shingles. However, a lot of things can easily go south, such as using the wrong length of nails, nailing the shingle down in an awkward angle or driving nails into the wrong spot, overlapping layers of shingles improperly and more. It is crucial to execute all of these seemingly minor details as accurately as possible to set up an effective and sturdy system. Otherwise, you are risking leaks and further damage, like premature material degradation and total roofing system collapse. In addition, neglecting specifications from the manufacturer is a quick way to void your warranty, leaving with you even heftier expenses down the line.
Fortunately, warding off widespread problems that are expensive to fix is totally feasible. So, be sure to leave material replacement to professionals in order to get the most out of your investment.
3. Covering the roof ventilation and damaging your attic.
In an attempt to perform roofing repair, homeowners often notice that there are openings from their attic to the outside and immediately decide that these areas need to be covered up. That is how unwanted elements, such as moisture, dirt, bird droppings and other small animals, creep into the attic after all. However, these areas are crucial to keeping your attic properly and sufficiently ventilated.
The primary function of roof ventilation is to expel heated air and moisture from the interiors to maintain a cooler temperature throughout the home. Not only does this lessen the cooling load of your air conditioning unit, it also helps keep the risk of mold and mildew growth at a minimum. Without proper air circulation, hot and humid air will get trapped within your home, leading to an array of problems.
A good idea is to ask your contractor for suggestions on how to properly clean and maintain your roof vents so they will continue performing at an optimal level. You really do not want to make the mistake of covering up necessary vents and consequently inviting serious moisture-related damage.
4. Picking the cheapest roofing materials.
Many homeowners think they can get away with picking out roofing materials or components themselves and then calling professional roofers later on. Unfortunately, people tend to choose items that fall within the low- to the mid-priced range, thinking most construction or building materials perform in an equal fashion. But this is not the case at all.
It is important to understand that materials for roof coverings — such as asphalt shingles, metal roofing, stone-coated steel, clay tiles and concrete tiles — and roof flashing — such as galvanized steel, copper, aluminum and lead — all greatly vary in durability, weather-resistance, longevity, performance and beauty. Any roof replacement professional roofer will advise you to pick materials that do not only match the rest of your exterior but can also withstand the threat of local weather conditions. The wrong type of shingles will fade and grow algae. The wrong tiles will crack and shatter after an intense downpour. The wrong metal panels will warp or rust over time. Even the wrong type of roof coating will wash off quickly and contribute to heating up your home.
5. Ignoring permits which lead to violations.
Many types of roofing work require permits from the city or local municipality. Failing to get the necessary approvals can get you fined in most instances. Even worse is you can lose your insurance coverage, which is vital for your mortgage as well. In the event of a natural disaster, such as flooding, an earthquake or a cyclone, your residential property may sustain extensive damage. A home insurance policy will provide adequate compensation for the loss caused to your house due to such causes.
You will need the knowledge of local building codes and permitting regulations in order to make sure that your roof replacement or repair project goes smoothly. This is why hiring a qualified and experienced roofing contractor, be it for a simple roof repair or occasional roof maintenance, can protect you from being entangled in a legal battle.
6. Ignoring safety rules and getting hurt.
An element of danger is often involved in DIY home improvement projects, especially a roofing job. Your roof is a tricky location to move around in because of the many vital elements that need to be shielded from excess weight from foot traffic. Without the proper care, awareness and precautions, there is a serious risk of injury or death. You do not need to learn about the gravity of this specific line of work the hard way. For a safe roofing project, call a professional.
Call Us for Quality Roof Repair and Installation Services Today
Keep your roof in tip-top condition with quality roofing services. Your Professional Roofer is a premier source of residential, industrial and commercial roofing solutions in and around Saint Peters, MO. Our top-rated professionals are committed to providing the comfort and efficiency you need through industry-leading products and outstanding customer service, whether you need roof installation, storm-damaged repair, or routine maintenance. Call us today at (636) 259-5940 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation consultation.