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Roof Repair Tips For Homeowners

Roof repair is not necessarily something most homeowners want to tackle on a DIY basis, but for smaller repairs and for those with at least basic construction and roofing experience, there are times when a quick do-it-yourself roof repair task makes sense.

For speed, effectiveness, and safety, it pays to be aware of the following 7 roof repair tips:

1. Always Use Matching Shingles You may only need to replace a few shingles and think that an exact match in color, style, and brand won’t matter. Think again. Even slight differences in shingle type are often quite noticeable from a distance. An exact match is key if you want to maintain “curb appeal” and not hurt your property value.

2. Wear Rubber-soled Shoes On Roof Tops If you are agile enough to keep your balance on a rooftop to make roof repairs, be sure you are dressed for the occasion. Long pants (preferably jeans) and a long-sleeved shirt are recommended. But the most important thing is to wear rubber-soled shoes that will grip the roof – poor traction can lead to dangerous slips and slides.

3. Do What You Can To Salvage Shingles Sometimes, you can save old shingles and avoid buying new ones or ending up in a situation where you can’t match the shingles because the product has been discontinued. You can use roofing cement, along with roofing nails, to keep curled-up shingles down. And if they are brittle, you can often soften them with a heat gun so they won’t break when you push them to the roof.

4. Know When To Replace VS Repair If only isolated areas of your roof are damaged, you can do a quick roof repair job. But don’t waste time and money repairing what needs to be replaced. There are many ways to tell the difference, including shingles that look bare, gutters full of shingle dust, shingles that easily break or are curled up and won’t come back down, and the mere fact of age and an expired manufacturer’s warranty.

5. Pay Close Attention To Flashing & Vents If flashing is loose or has gaps around it, it has to be secured to the roof with nails and/or roof cement. Even if caulk is in place but is cracked, it can let leaks in. Don’t fail to seal around vents, flashing, and chimneys to avoid a costly roof leak!

6. Don’t Leave Nail Heads Exposed

First of all, use aluminum or galvanized steel nails that won’t easily rust. But also be sure to keep all nails underneath the shingle just above the shingle that they are in. When that can’t be done, make sure you put caulk or roof sealant over the nail heads.

7. Know When It’s Time To Call The Pros Prudence is the better part of valor, and biting off more than you can chew is never heroic. When you don’t know how to fix a roof problem, don’t have the time or skill to do it, or don’t feel safe doing it – don’t hesitate to call in the professionals! Be sure to check with the BBB and read online reviews to find a reliable, local contractor in your area.


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