We live in the age of DIY and many home owners take great pride in accomplishing builds and repairs themselves. Let’s take a closer look at some how-to roofing repair basics.
DIY Roofing Repairs Basics
Do Your Research
There are many different types of roofing styles and materials used in modern roofing today. The type of roof you have will dictate what tools are needed, warranty requirements, as well as care and handling instructions. Whether your roofing is ceramic, asphalt, concrete, metal, wood, slate, or rubber slate, be sure to research your tiles so that your roofing repair goes smoothly.
Find The Leak Inside
Leaks are often difficult to spot from the roof, so begin your leak inspection inside first. If it is not actively raining outside, you will need to look for water damage, mold, and mildew stains. Insulation easy shows water damage so keep an eye out for deteriorating insulation to find your leak site. Always make sure you use skin and eye protection when handling insulation.
If you are inspecting inside an attic or crawl space, watch for roofing nails that missed embedding in the rafters. Poorly shot nails can easily be affected by frost and water and cause leaks.
If you live in a very dry climate and can’t wait for rain in order to spot a leak, enlist a helper and a garden hose. Lightly wetting sections of the roof while someone searches inside can help you find your problem without waiting for mother nature’s assistance.
Find the Leak Outside
Once you detect the site of the leak, you can inspect from the roof itself. Once of the most common culprits is anything that penetrates the roof such as vents, plumbing, sky lights, chimneys, exhaust flues, etc. Look for signs such as deteriorated flashing, broken seals, missing shingles, cracked or curled shingles, or clogged gutters. Once you have identified the problem, mark it with something visible so you can easily find it again once you are ready to begin. Marking your damaged area also helps you avoid accidentally stepping on a section of roof that may have weakened.
Handle Shingles With Care
Roofing shingles and tiles interlock and overlap to prevent moisture from backing up against the house. For this reason, you may have to remove several shingles for even the smallest of repair jobs. Carefully removing and handling shingles and tiles means you can reinstall the good ones and remove the bad ones. Some shingles become brittle in colder temperatures so be sure to educate yourself on how to properly handle your particular roofing materials.
Professional roofers know how much pressure can be safely applied to certain areas of a roof. Working on a tilted surface can be quite precarious and can result in physical injury or further roof damage. Never step on areas damaged by water leakage. You should also learn how to properly stack your shingles and tiles on a roof during repairs to avoid damaging your materials or putting too much weight stress on your roof.
Repair All Your Layers
Once you have identified the leak site, you should assess how deep the water damage goes. Examine your tiles, shingles, felt paper, sheathing, flashing, frame work and insulation. Make sure any water damaged materials are completely removed and replaced to prevent mold and mildew. Properly adhere and seal any new materials you are using during the roofing repair.
The Perfect Drive
As you replace damaged roofing materials, make sure staples, nails, and other fasteners are properly driven. Crooked, under driven, and over driven nails and staples can leave gaps or holes where water can re-penetrate your roof.
Controlling the temperature of your materials can help you ensure properly driven fasteners. When adhesives, shingles, and sealants are too hot, you run the risk of over driving nails into soft materials. When your materials are too cold and stiff, you run the risk of under driving nails into stiff and stubborn materials. Some roofing materials must be installed within a particular temperature range in order to preserve their warranty. Stay educated on the temperature needs of all the supplies needed to complete your roofing repair.
Some roofing tools like nail guns, staple guns, and air compressors will not work efficiently in cold temperatures. Cold weather makes it difficult for these tools to generate enough pressure to properly drive staples and nails. These tools, and corresponding air hoses, should be stored someplace warm before use to increase their performance.
When To Call The Pros
The importance of roof integrity and the inherent dangers involved in roofing repair, mean there are times when it makes financial and common sense to bring in a professional. Whether you run into trouble diagnosing or repairing a leak, be sure to have a professional roofing contractor’s number on hand. Some roofing manufacturers, like GAF, have a list of contractors that are certified specialists for a particular tile or shingle style. Using these services will mean you have access to roofing crews who are trained to handle your exact roofing materials. Let’s take a closer look at some scenarios that probably require professional help.
Can’t Find The Leak
Leaks can be very tricky to pin down when water is traveling along timber framing before it pools and drips. That means a leak site could be far away from where interior drips are actually forming. If you cannot 100% locate your leak, it may be time for an extra set of professional eyes.
When it becomes clear your roof is suffering from many leaks, there could be darker structural problems at play. Widespread water damage on a roof makes it weaker and more dangerous to self-repair.
Know your limits and don’t be afraid to call it a day if roofing repair conditions become unsafe. If you do not feel like you have the equipment or the skill to attempt a self repair then find a trusted professional to handle it for you.
Powerblanket Roofing Solutions
BULK MATERIAL WARMERS
Storing shingles, adhesives, sealants, tools, compressors, and other roofing materials within proper temperatures greatly increases their usability and durability. Industrial Hot Boxes from Powerblanket protect temperature-sensitive materials during storage, transportation, and on the job site.
Our Hot Boxes provide uniform heat to all materials stored inside. This reduces the chance of having any hot and cold spots. Powerblanket specializes in winter construction solutions. Protect your roofing project from anything mother nature throws at you and keep jobs on schedule all year long. Contact us today to find the roofing solutions for your needs at 855.548.8013 or [email protected]