DIY: The Pros and Cons of Doing Your Own Roof Maintenance

Perhaps you’ve seen water spots or noticed a leak in your roof following a rain storm. Roof maintenance is an important part of homeownership, and using a professional roof contractor isn’t your only option for taking care of repairs.

DIY Roof Maintenance

There are many advantages to learning a new skill and taking care of your roof all by yourself.

It can be enticing to save money on contractor costs, but you’ll have to factor in the time to complete the project, the cost of materials and the cost of equipment that you may only use very infrequently once this project is successfully completed.

It could take you longer to complete your roof maintenance project, a true downside, especially If the safety of the home is put in danger by the roof’s condition. It’s safer and smarter to work with a contractor who can restore the integrity of your roof before another storm.

One of the biggest disadvantages of repairing your roof yourself is the potential of not doing it correctly. This means you may have to try the repair again if it fails. It can also be dangerous if you’re not fully equipped to prevent falls. Not fully restoring the full integrity of a roof during a repair can potentially lead to even more damage the next time a storm comes. 

By now, we hope you understand that only those familiar with roof repair should attempt it. So, which repairs are DIY possible? Here’s some DIY roof maintenance information:

DIY Shingle Replacement

For many reasons, shingle replacement may be necessary for your roof. Excessive winds and hail can cause roof shingles to become severely damaged or lift off of your roof entirely. This can harm your residential curb appeal as well as the safety of your home. A capable roofer should have no trouble replacing shingles. But, it can be tough to find new shingles that match both in style and color with the rest of your roof. If you can find them, you’re well on your way to a successful shingle replacement.

A shingle replacement is a simple four-step process.

  • Break the seal on the shingle if it is still attached.
  • Remove the nails and take off the shingles.
  • Put the new shingles in place.
  • Hammer and seal in the shingles.

    Finding DIY resources online has never been easier than right now, including videos you can easily follow.

    Flashing: Too Important to Fail

    Flashing is an unsung hero of every roof. Without proper use of flashing, snow and rain would constantly seep into your home. Find flashing around chimneys, skylights and any parts of the roof where there is a gap between shingles. In addition, flashing is often present in roof edges and valleys.

    Flashing replacements can get pretty complex and should be done by someone with a lot of experience with roofs. While a poor shingle replacement may still be able to function okay, not replacing your flashing correctly can have drastic consequences.

    Replacing the flashing involves removing several rows of shingles in addition to the old flashing. You’ll also need to chip out old mortar and caulk along the edges of the flashing. Then, seal the seam with urethane roofing cement or a silicone caulking compound.

    Again, flashing repairs should be left to an actual roofing company, as the ramifications of improper flashing installation can lead to extensive water damage.

    Roof Maintenance: Fixing a Leak

    There are various types of roof leaks you could encounter during homeownership tenure. Some leaks are more difficult to repair than others. For this reason, it’s hard to say whether you can handle patching a leak on your own, or whether it’s best left to the pros.

    An article on Family Handyman has a solid breakdown of how to inspect for leaks, the different types of leaks and how to repair them. 

     If you do experience a roof leak, the safest thing to do is to hire a professional roof maintenance/repair company to look at it for you.

    DIY Not Your Speed?

    If do-it-yourself tasks aren’t for you, consider John Hogan Roofing to get your roof right the first time. We pride ourselves on providing homeowners in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and surrounding communities with excellent residential roofing repair and replacement. Email us at john@johnhoganroofing.com or call us at (727) 353-6232.

    John Hogan Roofing