When it comes to roofing, its pricy cost always comes to mind. With that, the very thought of a roof maintenance or repair freezes us even in the heat of summer. But thanks to our unlimited internet access, we can be our own pro when it comes to basic roofing jobs.
The roof is perhaps one of the most overworked portions of the house, as seasons after seasons and harsh weather conditions will always have an impact on it. We all want to protect our family and property but we also want to save just as much. Thus, it’s best to learn the basics of this ever daunting task called roofing repair and maintenance.
So, what do we need to know to learn to get started?
Before you get too excited about finally DIY-ing your roof, remember the most important part of the equation: your safety. Safety should be the primary consideration when it comes to roof maintenance.
If you have a fear of heights, better get someone else to do it for you. In case your roof is neither steep nor high, it won’t be much of a problem. However, it still pays to have foresight. Avoid untoward incidents by using a harness and scheduling the maintenance during favorable weather conditions.
For a more comprehensive roof smarts, here’s a list of reminders from the Family Handyman:
• Leave steep and/or high roof work to the pros. The few dollars you’ll save by doing it yourself aren’t worth the risk of death or a lifelong disability if you fall.
• Pick a clear, calm, cool time of day to work on roofs. Wet roofs are slippery. Wind also poses a danger, and excessive heat softens the shingles, making them vulnerable to damage.
• Wear shoes with a soft rubber sole for extra traction.
• Keep the bottom of your shoes free of mud and dirt, and the roof swept clear of dirt and debris.
• Rope or mark off the ground beneath your work area to let people below know you’re working above. Even the most careful worker eventually drops a tool off the roof. Always look and call out before tossing anything down.
• When you’re not using your power tools, secure them with short lengths of rope or Bungee cords. Keep hand tools and supplies in a 5-gallon bucket hung on a roof bracket. Carefully position ropes and extension cords so they’re not underfoot; they’re very slippery.
• Stay off slate and tile roofs. Loose tiles or slate can fall out and the surfaces are easily damaged if you’re not experienced.
The right tools aid in the smooth procedures. They also enforce your safety and ensure the quality of your work.
While you can only do so much in the roof repair and maintenance, you don’t need to get all the professional tools you see on TV or at the hardware. All you need are the essentials for basic rehabilitation.
Fundamentally, you’d need a ladder, protective gloves, roofing hammer, utility knife and a saw. The rest would depend on the type of roofing material you have. Say for instance, you’d need tin snips when dealing with metal or steel roofing.
Usually, we’re prompted to do an ocular inspection in and out of the house and around our property in preparation for extreme weather conditions, like storms and winter. Though a roof replacement is something you need to save for the pros, here a few repairs and maintenance you can do for your home.
Missing, Lifted or Loose Shingles
One would know when to inspect the roof for such damage, especially after a storm or when the roof is going through its natural wear-and-tear process.
Worn out shingles often appear lifted or curled, so assess whether the whole area needs to be replaced or getting only a few new shingles would be enough. It could also be a case of a broken tile. Whichever is the case, you can follow these simple steps from DIY Network to take care of the simple roof repairs.
Moss and Mold Growth
Sure their growth isn’t alarming enough but they certainly make your roof look rather unsightly. There are tons of moss and algae remover sprays out there, so choose the one you think is best. Most products even promise years of protection from regrowth. If there isn’t enough sun in your area often, these products might work best for you.
You can also opt for a homemade mold and moss remover. You’d only need a 50-50 bleach and water solution. However, this doesn’t immediately eliminate the moss or algae. This would still take some time before the dead plants can be easily blown away. You might be tempted to use pressure water or to scrape them off, but remember that doing so can damage your roof.
Flashing and Vent Damage
These can surely cause leakage during rainy weathers. Before they do further damage to your roof and interior, replace the damaged flashing and vents as soon as possible. You might need a hand in the installation of new ones, but they aren’t that difficult or expensive.
Leaks could also be caused by worn sealants. Re-caulking won’t be a very demanding task.
Gutter and Downspout Clogging
This is often the problem during spring and fall as leaves eventually clog your gutter. But in other cases, they’re caused by accumulated dirt and grime. If you’re keen on regularly inspecting your gutters and downspouts, this won’t be much of a dilemma when the time comes.
It really pays to take time and assess your property frequently, as doing so can save you from serious troubles and stress. Thus, make it a habit to maintain your roof to your utmost capacity, because not only will it prevent extensive harm to your property, it’ll also save you ample money for professional roofing services. Added to that is the rewarding feeling of accomplishing the ever intimidating and grueling roofing repair and maintenance.
Abigail Sabijon is the managing editor of Scoopfed.com. Before stepping into the blogosphere, she was a university instructor and language teacher. When she’s not writing, she’s either spending time with her husband or playing with her kitty cats.