If you are like most proactive homeowners, you might not think that roofing repairs seem like that big of a challenge. Since you were able to fix the garbage disposal and install a healthy lawn, how hard could it be to replace a few missing shingles? Unfortunately, if you underestimate the work and make mistakes, it might cause more trouble down the road. Here are two reasons you aren't cut out for roofing repairs, and what might happen if you ignore this advice:
1: You Don't Know Enough About Roofing Materials
By the time you inspect your roof for damage and then travel to the home improvement store, you might notice that most roofing materials look pretty similar. Unfortunately, finding asphalt shingles that match your existing roof is the least of your worries. If you accidentally choose materials that aren't right for your roof, you might end up damaging the entire area. Here are a few examples of how roofing materials can differ:
- Nails: Those bargain-brand nails might look like the best way to go, but are they corrosion resistant? Are they the right length? If you choose the wrong nails, they could corrode quickly or lead to a leaky roof. For example, if nails are too long, they might pierce your attic baffles and cause leaks, ventilation problems, and mold growth.
- Shingles: If you thought you were done talking about "rise over run" when you finished that ninth grade math class, think again. Different shingles are designed to accommodate different roof slopes, and choosing the wrong version could cause water to pool on your roof.
- Flashing: Your roof is one thing, but those foreign elements like chimneystacks, attic vents, and gables are another altogether. To protect these areas from water damage, flashing needs to be custom-formed and installed smoothly against your home. Unfortunately, if you buy the wrong type of flashing or install it incorrectly, it could give water an easy way to access your house. In fact, an estimated 95% of roof leaks occur around the flashing details.
To save yourself the trouble of researching your roof and spending hours finding the right supplies at the hardware store, work with a professional roofer. In addition to being familiar with the homes in your area, professionals understand the anatomy of each roofing element so that they can install it properly.
2: You Might Miss Signs of Deeper Damage
When you perform roofing repairs, the superficial damage is the least of your problems. Unfortunately, unless you perform shingle repairs the same day they are damaged, water might seep into your home and cause a litany of additional issues. Wet rot can take hold after water penetrates your ceiling trusses, and small drips could make a mold nursery out of your attic. Unfortunately, if you miss the signs of deeper damage, you might end up fixing more than a few missing pieces of flashing. Here are a few signs of additional damage that might be easy to miss:
- Discolored Subroofing: Do you know what color the subroofing is supposed to be? If not, it might be easy to overlook giant discolored sections that indicate previous water damage.
- Soft Spots: If you don't spend a lot of time on your roof, you might not know how a roof is supposed to feel underfoot. Unfortunately, if you don't notice that extra spring in your step caused by a giant soft spot of rotten wood, you might fall through the roof or ignore a serious structural issue.
Instead of exacerbating existing problems, make the right choice and call a professional roofer. In addition to fixing broken shingles, inspecting flashing, and checking for signs of underlying damage, he or she might also be able to take care of the job a lot faster than you would be able to.