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Roof repair is a home maintenance task that many homeowners may be reluctant to try on their own. In truth, do-it-yourself (DIY) roofing repair can be economical and straightforward. The first step in determining if roof repair is a job that you can tackle on your own is getting to the root of the problem.
If your roof is relatively young, wind damage or improper design are often the cause of roof problems. Winds do not have to reach hurricane strength to damage a roof. A strong wind can have gusts that reach over 50 mph. This is enough strength to lift portions of the shingles, loosening fasteners and pulling the adhesive loose from the structure.
Problems associated with improper design are often not a good choice for do-it-yourself roof repair. If you simply fix the roof, but leave the design problem in place, the problem will be recurring. Common problems with design are support structures that are too weak to support the weight of the roof, a roof without adequate slope, too few drains, which allows water to pool on the roof, and not enough consideration taken for expansion and contraction in the decking structure. This will eventually lead to separation of the roofing materials.
If your roof is older, the roof repair situation can be the result of normal weathering. A certain amount of maintenance is necessary to keep a roof in proper condition. If this maintenance is not provided, the roofing materials may deteriorate, allowing moisture and dirt into the home. If you live in an area that receives frequent hailstorms or has a high level of industrial air pollution, your roofing materials will deteriorate more quickly. Another cause of more rapid than anticipated deterioration is exposure to salt, such as a location near the ocean.
No matter what caused the problems that led to the need for roof repair, the process is the same. You must first remove the damaged area of shingles. Once the shingles are removed you can see how expensive the damage is below. The roof deck, or support, will typically be covered in roofing felt. If your roof sustained damage only to the shingles, you can replace the damaged shingles over the existing roofing felt. If the damage is severe enough that you have moisture inside your home, you will need to remove the roofing felt and repair the decking structure.
If you cannot find any damaged area, but have moisture inside your home, look for an area of flashing. Flashing is a waterproof joint, located around areas in the roof that change elevation or where windows or dormers protrude. It is a common weak point in roofs. Even if the flashing is properly installed, water can seep behind the flashing and enter the home.
The most important points to keep in mind when engaging in roof repair are simple. No matter how bad the leak, wait until bad weather lets up before attempting any repair, and protect the interior of the home with buckets or plastic sheeting. If the roofing problem is beyond the scope of what you feel comfortable handling, try to remove any excess water from the roof while waiting for help.
This is a great post about repairing your roof. As I am in the Roof Restoration industry I am always interested in what other people's thoughts are on repairing roofs.
Thanks for this information on roof repair. I always tell my husband that he needs to wait until good weather to complete repairs. This backs up my statements.
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