In an age where information on every conceivable topic is available within seconds to anyone with a PC, laptop or smartphone, there’s an abundance of do-it-yourself manuals on everything from fixing cars and computers to septic tanks and roofs. A lot of this advice, however, can be made to seem a lot easier in writing than it would actually be in real life.
Can You Fix Your Own Roof?
People often Google questions like, “Can I fix my own roof?” upon discovering they have problems with their rooftops. Whether the problem involves holes, leaks, damage or other forms of wear, a lot of people wonder and often hope it will be quick, cheap and easy to fix.
However, quality work that lasts — the likes of which provides your family with warmth, comfort and safety for decades — is not the sort of thing anyone can whip together in 10 easy steps.
It would take a very thick hardcover book to sufficiently cover everything you’d need to understand and master before you could single-handedly accomplish a DIY roof repair or replacement. Fortunately, you don’t have to because there are roofing specialists who come to houses and do roof repair and replacement work at reasonable rates.
DIY Roof Repair: Why It’s Not a Good Idea
Even when step-by-step walkthrough tutorials draw likes on YouTube, selective editing can make the job look easier on camera than it actually would be for someone with no prior experience in said repair work. Simply put, some jobs are better left to a professional — and roof work is one of those jobs.
Granted, the thought of doing roof maintenance yourself can seem like a good idea for various reasons. For one, you could save money you’d otherwise have to invest in hiring professionals. Secondly, you might learn skills that could be helpful down the line if further roof problems emerge — then again, your DIY roof maintenance might be the source of further, ongoing problems, which would negate the purpose of forgoing help to save money. The fact is, in so many cases of amateur repair work, problems multiply and become far costlier than they would have been if they had been placed in the hands of maintenance professionals in the first place.
Time is also an issue. Faulty amateur roof repairs can take days or weeks, whereas professional roofers can usually finish superior work in just a fraction of the time. All the time that’s spent looking for the problem source, checking over manuals and bumbling with tools could instead be spent crossing other items off your to-do list as roofers handle things with your roof quickly and masterfully.
With all the roofs that roofers work on during a given week, chances are they’ve seen your exact problem many times before, and will know exactly how to make things as good as new. Why teach yourself how to fix a complex, one-time problem when there are people with years of experience fixing that very issue?
Then there’s the issue of safety. As with buildings, roofs of houses are a bit too high off the ground for comfort, even on one-story homes. Think about it for a second: Are you even comfortable with the thought of climbing up on your roof? During the course of an average residential occupancy, a homeowner will never ascend their roof.
While it’s a no-brainer that you must be careful as you climb up and down the ladder, the awkward task of keeping balance along the steep slopes of the roof trusses can be even more difficult than you might imagine. Even if you’re confident about your balance, you could slip, fall and seriously injure yourself. Professional roofers, on the other hand, spend significant portions of the working day on these steep, high trusses — it’s second nature to them.
Reasons to Hire a Roofing Professional
While homeowners normally take great pride in the time and effort that goes into various home-improvement projects, there are certain undertakings that shouldn’t be attempted by anyone who doesn’t have a background in the work in question, and roofing is a prime example. Not only are roofs too high off the ground and too awkward to tread for the inexperienced, but roofing also requires an eye for detail and an able-handedness that only comes with experience. The results of roofing are also very critical since any mistake could render a house vulnerable to leaks or even rodent infestation.
There are numerous reasons to hire professional roofers instead of attempting such work yourself. Two of the most important reasons involve money and safety:
- Professional Roofers Cost Less Than DIY Roof Repair.
You read that right. Despite the assumptions of many DIYers, roofing — unlike indoor/outdoor painting — is not among the home improvement jobs that can be adequately performed by following a tutorial. Roofing involves precision work in awkward places, and it takes experience and skill to perform this work to perfection.
With roofing, imperfections cost money. A novice at this type of work could easily burn through hundreds of dollars trying to patch up leaks but miss most of the problem spots, thus wasting numerous amounts of supply materials all for nothing. Furthermore, roofing supplies are generally expensive. An initial investment in DIY supplies — before all the extra costs come into play — could roughly equal the price of flawless, professional repair work.
Unless you plan to become a roofer yourself, DIY roofing supplies would be an investment that’s not only costly, but futile. Roofers typically get their supplies at wholesale discounts and are, therefore, able to pass that savings onto homeowners by providing immaculate repair work at reasonable costs.
- DIY Roof Repair Is Far Too Dangerous.
Out of all the home improvement projects a homeowner might attempt, none are more dangerous than roof repair and maintenance. Roofs aren’t suitable surfaces on which to tread. Trusses are designed to prevent rainfall from forming puddles on the tops of houses. Given that roofs are designed for architectural necessity and not for human access, the only people really suited to walk around on rooftops are licensed roofing professionals.
Even if you have braved grand heights in the past through activities such as rock or mountain climbing — where the focus is on safely ascending and descending — it doesn’t matter here because the objective behind roofing is completely different. In roofing, the focus is on fixing roofs while standing, squatting, sitting and walking up and down the truss slopes, as if roaming such terrain is second nature.
Granted, a slip from a rooftop is nothing like a freefall from heights of more than 1,000 feet, but even if you only fall from a height of 15 to 20 feet, you could still wind up seriously injured. From the roof of a two or three-story house, a fall could even be fatal, especially if you’re positioned badly at the moment of impact. Inevitably, the combined abilities of rooftop balance, safety and roofing skills can be a lot to master for the average homeowner when a house is in need of urgent roof maintenance.
Roofing professionals, on the other hand, have firm grasps on all of these skills through years of field experience. When licensed roofers come to work on rooftops, they not only have the proper balance and experience for working on such terrain, but they also come equipped with proper safety gear in case an accident does arise.
The dangerous aspects of amateur roofing aren’t just limited to potential falls from rooftops, either. There’s also the matter of climbing up and down safely. Roofing involves balancing ladders and hauling heavy work supplies to the tops of roofs and back — all without slipping or dropping materials along the way.
The heavy lifting and safe climbing in this context are mutually reliant, yet they are separate skills that most people would have great difficulty mastering in the first or second go around, regardless of strength or manpower. Professional roofers, by contrast, arrive at each house with vast experience coordinating the tasks of lifting and climbing.
Why You Should Hire a Roofer the Moment You Notice Problems With Your Roof
When your roof is marked with holes, your house is left to bear an assortment of undesired consequences, including rodents, rain and ravaging weather conditions. If the problem is left un-remedied, even the comfort inside your home could be severely compromised.
The longer the problem persists, the more difficult it becomes to fix things up and restore your home to its prior condition. Basically, failure to act on a roof problem is a form of neglect on the part of a homeowner. On the real estate market, homes become depreciated after periods of neglect.
Rodents Enter Homes Through Holes in Roofs
Infestation is a serious concern for any house that’s situated in an area where populations of rats or mice are known to exist and spread. Rodents can cause plenty of trouble when they make their way into yards and garbage cans, but problems escalate tenfold once they find their way indoors.
A common point of household entry is on rooftops, which can be quite inviting if holes or cracks exist around the vents or chimney, or along the eaves and shingles. The thing to bear in mind here is that even the slightest hole or crack could serve as an entry point — rats can slip through holes the size of a quarter, while mice can squeeze through nickel-sized circumferences.
Rats and mice are more than just a nuisance. They can pose serious threats to the structure and sanitation of your home, as well as to the physical health of your family. Some rodents carry diseases, traveling as they do through garbage cans and sewers. As they sneak through homes in the dead of night, they track those germs onto carpets, into food bins and along wall sides. Their trails are also often marked with saliva and droppings, which are ripe with allergens that can infect people and household pets.
Once inside, rodents typically nest in the dark spaces, such as attics, crawl spaces, vents and wall cavities. In some cases, a rat or mouse will get trapped in a wall cavity and die inside. This leaves a stench that never disappears since it’s often hard to find the corpse and uproot the problem.
Rats and mice can also compromise the insulation, electrical power and physical structures of houses. In attics and basements, rodents are known to chew away at wiring and cellulose, which can lead to power failure and loss of heat during wintertime. Rodents even chew at wood beams and panels, which can render homes structurally less secure and further vulnerable to outside elements. If extensive evidence of rodent damage is found during the reappraisal of a property, it can seriously lower a home’s value on the resale market.
Holes in Roofs Expose Homes to Leaks
A hole in your roof is a small yet significant problem that deprives your living space of a barrier from the clouds in the sky, and the issue must be rectified as soon as possible. Discomforts and exposures aside, indoor spaces are simply not made to bear the outside elements.
As everyone knows, leaky roofs allow puddles to form on the floors of living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, but situations such as those are end results of other problems. When rain first gets into, say, your attic, it can drip onto the walls, attic floor and support beams. After a few days, allergy-triggering mold and mildew are liable to form along the wet areas. Your attic could grow even more rank and contaminated as molds start to saturate the insulation behind the drywall as well. As the roof-hole spreads, more rain comes in, and before long, the problem becomes impossible to ignore from the living areas.
If rain filters into your living room, discomfort would only be the most obvious problem. On your furniture, carpets, and hardwood floor, rain could leave the same marks and mold formations as those in the attic. If drops or leaks land on your computer, television, stereo or lamps, the water could leak into the circuitry and cause the equipment to fail and/or short circuit. Running streams of rain could also drag germs through the attic and onto the food in your kitchen. Furthermore, saturated areas and mold formations can serve as magnets for cockroaches, fruit flies and other pests.
Obviously, it’s only in worst-case scenarios that roof holes grow large enough to let in enough water to damage electrical equipment. However, if a hole is left un-fixed — or is fixed improperly — the issue can escalate to that level.
Holes in Roofs Lead to Higher Energy Costs
When unwanted holes exist in your home’s roof, insulation capability is lost. When outside temperatures hit either extreme, this reduced insulation causes energy costs to skyrocket. During the coldest months of the year, your house becomes harder to heat because warmth leaks out through the holes in the roof. In the hottest weeks of June, July and August, the impact of fans and A/C units get diluted because coolness leaks out, while outside heat and humidity comes in. Consequently, energy consumption rises significantly because heating and cooling systems get overused to compensate for the drain of roof holes.
For obvious reasons, a leaking roof should be repaired as soon as it’s discovered, but that doesn’t make roofing a suitable task for the average homeowner. Considering how most amateur roof repairs lead to more leaks, more insulation loss, higher energy bills and repeated repair costs, it’s a whole lot wiser, safer and more financially sound to have roofing work handled by professionals.
How to Hire a Good Roofer
Whenever a house is in need of roof repairs, a commonly asked question is whether the whole entire roof will need to be replaced, or just a portion. If the problem is down to the ravages of age, then the whole roof is likely due for a replacement.
Nothing lasts forever, and just as carpets need replacing and walls need repainting, roofs eventually bear the toll of too many harsh winters. Generally, the lifespan for asphalt shingle roofs is 15 to 25 years. However, if the problem is due to something more localized — such as a tree crashing down over one of the eaves — then it’s probably something that can be rectified with a partial roof replacement.
Regardless of how much repair work you need, or the style in which you want to have your roof replaced, it’s important that the job be handled by a professional team with a proven track record for roofing houses the right way. In order to find the right professionals to come and re-roof your house, consider these tips for hiring a roofer:
- Ask the roofing specialists for references.
- Ask to see their roofing licenses.
- Ask about their insurance policies regarding guarantees and safety issues.
If harsh November winds or freezing December temperatures grip your area this year, you won’t have to worry about the heat being drained from your house if your roof is secure and free of holes. If pouring February rains or scorching July heat make the outdoors rough to bear, you won’t be burdened by water leaking in or coolness seeping out if your roof is as it should be. Furthermore, you won’t have problems with rodent invasions if the critters can’t even find a way into your home.
Medina Exteriors & Remodeling Fixes Roofs in Northeast Ohio
Homeowners are all too familiar with the harsh realities of extreme weather. Residents are often in need of roof repairs and replacements as the impacts of hail, water and falling branches take their toll. For homes in Northeast Ohio, we provide professional roofing services to houses large and small. As a recipient of the CertainTeed Select Shingle Master award, Medina Exteriors & Remodeling shares an honor with only 38 other roofing companies nationwide for providing excellence of service on vintage and modern homes alike.
When you first realize that your roof might be due for repairs, you’ll likely have plenty of questions to ask about the situation at hand. At Medina Exteriors & Remodeling, our crew has long been assessing the roof conditions of homes that have spanned a vast range of design styles and construction dates. We’ll come out to your home, examine your roof free of charge and let you know the state of your roof. Once we apply new roofing to your home, your rooms will feel as comfortable and secure as the day they were first built. With our professional-roof servicing, your home will be safe, secure and sealed off from the elements of winter, summer, spring and fall for many years to come.
At Medina Exteriors, we are roofing professionals that serve homes in the Northeast Ohio area. Additionally, we do kitchen and bathroom remodeling, window and door replacement, deck and railing construction, and various other types of home improvement. To learn more about our roofing services, visit our roofing page and fill out a form to get a proposal.Share