From blazing sun and wind-blown debris to ice dams, chimney leaks, and roof holes, there are many things that can damage a roof. Luckily, homeowners insurance typically covers most of these repairs if the cause is considered covered peril like fallen trees or severe storms.
Nonetheless, nobody wants to be doing roof repair in howling winds or torrential rain or under the threat of an incoming blizzard. Taking the right steps at the right time can help keep Roof Repair to a minimum.
If you’ve got a roof leak or a few missing shingle pieces, it’s easy to repair them yourself. Just grab a ladder, a pair of rubber gloves, and a tool belt. You’ll also need a pry bar, a hammer, and a utility knife. Once you’re on the roof, locate the damaged shingle. Then, pull up the old shingle and pry out the nails that hold it. Be careful not to tear off the glue strip that holds it to the roof. You can use a tarp to catch the old nails for disposal later.
Once you’ve removed the old shingle, lay down a bead of roof sealant along the glue strip and then press your replacement shingle into place. Use roofing cement to seal the nail heads. Be sure to match the hue, texture and style of your new shingles with the existing ones. Mismatched shingles look like a patchy haircut, and they can also allow water to seep underneath, leading to further damage and costly repairs.
You can find roofing sealant in tubes for a caulking gun at most home improvement stores. It’s best to use this over roof shingle adhesive because it provides a stronger and longer-lasting seal. It’s a good idea to do an annual inspection of your roof to ensure that it’s watertight. Clear out cobwebs and other debris, recaulk areas where the caulking gas has shrunk or failed, and repaint flashing if it shows signs of corrosion.
Many homeowners are tempted to try to save money by repairing a roof themselves rather than hiring a professional. However, a reputable roofer has the experience and knowledge to do a quality job that will last for years to come.
A professional can also help you with roof shingle installation. In fact, this is the preferred method for a roof because it offers a more attractive finish and protects the underlying structure from moisture.
This thin sheet of metal is placed around the edges and joints on a roof to help protect it from water damage. It can be made of metals like aluminum and stainless steel or other materials, including plastic or lead. It’s typically installed at joints and other areas where leaks are prone to occur, such as around chimneys, plumbing vents, skylights, dormers, roof valleys, eaves, and ridges. Roof flashing also helps prevent ice dams in cold climates by blocking cracks and crevices where ice may form.
When installing a new roof, flashing is usually applied as part of the roofing process, often being placed between the underlayment and shingles. However, it is possible for flashing to become damaged or loosened after years of exposure to weather elements. If left untreated, these leaks can cause significant water damage to the underlying structure of your home.
If you notice a problem with your roof flashing, it is best to call in the experts for a professional repair. This is not a project that you want to take on yourself as it can be extremely dangerous and requires extensive safety equipment including a sturdy ladder, safety harness, and closed-toe shoes. In addition, you should always have a spotter to help you out and be sure that you’re wearing the proper gloves for working on a roof.
Depending on the type of flashing that you have, it may be fixed in place with caulking or roofing cement. In some cases, it will be necessary to replace the flashing altogether if it is significantly damaged or corroded.
Flashing is typically created from metals such as copper, galvanized steel, or aluminum. These durable materials can be used in conjunction with other types of roof materials such as shingles or tile. They can also be used to line up window and door openings with exterior walls.
In some instances, the flashing that is installed around a chimney will be held in place with mortar, so it’s important to examine this area for damage. If the flashing becomes cracked or loosened, it should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to your roof and other structural components of your home.
Gutters are a necessary component of your roof system because they channel water flow away from the siding and foundation of your house. Without gutters, rainwater may overflow your shingles and cause damage to the outer walls and windows of your home. In addition, if your gutters are clogged with leaves and branches, they will be unable to effectively drain away the water that flows from your roof. Regular gutter cleaning and maintenance can prevent these problems.
Most homes have a gutter system that is attached to the eave of the roof. These gutters catch the water that flows off the roof and then channels it down into vertical sectionals called downspouts. Downspouts then redirect the water into your yard or a drainage system to ensure that it does not overflow into your house. In addition, these gutters help to reduce erosion of the ground around your home and decrease the risk of basement flooding and foundation damage.
The most common problem with gutters is clogs caused by leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clogged gutters can be nearly as damaging as having no gutters at all. In addition, if the gutters become so clogged with water that it begins to overflow, it will cause the soffit and fascia to get wet, which can lead to mold.
If your gutters are leaking, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Gutters should be inspected after storms as flying debris can damage them or knock a section off entirely. A gutter repair contractor can fix any leaks or holes in the gutters with a patch kit that is available from most hardware stores.
You can also choose to have your gutters replaced with a different material than the original. Copper gutters are a good option for those who want to add an elegant touch to their home, and they are more durable than aluminum and vinyl gutters. Different materials come with varying maintenance needs, so it is best to discuss your options with your roofer. In general, it is a good idea to have your gutters cleaned and maintained twice a year.
The soffit is a wood or aluminum board that covers the area beneath your roof’s overhang. It helps ventilate your home and prevents moisture buildup, mold, and mildew in your attic and roof structure. It also helps support your gutter system and improves your home’s curb appeal.
If you notice signs of soffit damage, such as gnaw marks or droppings, it’s important to repair it as soon as possible. If the soffit is severely damaged, it may need to be replaced altogether. Roofing contractors can inspect the area to assess the damage and make recommendations.
You should also pay attention to the fascia, which is a long piece of wood that runs along your roof’s edge. It acts as a last line of support for the bottom row of shingles or tiles and can help your gutters hold up to heavy rain. The fascia is a vital part of your roof and should be kept in good condition to help protect your home from moisture and mold buildup.
Often, soffits and fascia are made of the same material, such as vinyl or aluminum, but each has its own benefits and drawbacks. You should consider your options carefully before making a decision. For instance, wood is inexpensive but prone to rot and warping, while aluminum is more expensive but less susceptible to damage from the sun.
While soffits and fascia are not as visible as the shingles and gutters on your roof, they are essential components of its health. They keep your home well-ventilated, help prevent moisture and mold buildup, and support your gutters. They should be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good shape and do not need repair or replacement.
If your soffit is rotting or shows signs of mold, it’s time to contact a roofing contractor for repairs. Similarly, if you notice any cracking or loose paint on the fascia, you should have it repaired immediately. In addition, if you find any critters living in the space or hear strange sounds in your attic, it’s likely because pests have taken up residence and need to be removed.