The DIY streak in the average man of the house often compels him to try house repair basics he really shouldn't try. It can all seem easy when you look at the diagrams in a book, or watch a YouTube video on how to do it, but actually doing it can be another matter all together. That's not to say that you shouldn't ever carry out your own damage repair, but you should always be aware of what you can do, and what you should leave to the professionals.
Roofing repair falls into the category of 'best left to the professionals'. Think of it this way; rain will pour into your home if you get it wrong and the roof isn't raintight, not to mention a likely invasion of mice, rats, squirrels, possums, etc, etc. After all that, expect a hefty repair bill from both the exterminators and the roofing contractor who fixes things up for you. There are many reasons why residential roofing repair should be left to the professionals. Here are 5 of them.
1. You probably don't know how to carry out roof repairs properly:
That isn't a value judgment. Most people don't know very much about roofing materials or emergency roof repairs. You may be able to spot a damaged shingle, or a missing one, but there may be a roof problem that you can't see, something underneath that a professional would know to look for. If you tackle the fixing of a leaky shingle roof, for example, you may simply be covering up a bigger problem that will only be obvious later on. If that's so, the sad fact is it will cost you a lot more in the long run.
There's an old saying; "every roof is tight while it's dry." It could be that you will put off repairing your roof during a dry summer, for example. Then one day it rains and you discover you have a leaky roof. This is not the best time to repair a leaky roof as you will probably do everything wrong. A roof leak should be examined carefully, and repaired properly.
2. You may end up using the wrong roofing materials:
You probably decide to do your own roofing maintenance or roof repairs in the expectation that it will cost a lot less and save your money. With this in mind, you will probably choose roofing materials that are not up to the job, or ones that will deteriorate quickly. This usually ends up being a false saving as it often actually costs you more eventually.
Another common problem with inexperienced DIY roofers is using the wrong roofing sealant, or using it in the wrong place. Around your chimney stacks, for example, you need mortar to calk and seal. Sealants can't stand up to high temperatures and as a result they fail if you use them as a sealant around a chimney stack.
3. You will most likely miss spotting some of the important damaged roof areas:
This is simply down to inexperience. A professional roofer can spot thing you will miss, simply because he has been doing the job for decades, most likely. he can spot flashing problems a mile away, and damaged roof shingles with his eyes closed (well, nearly). He's forgotten more than you will ever know about drainage and gutters, the problems with low sloped roofs, and steep sloped roofs, and all the different types of roofing there are too. He knows how your house works, and that's why he's a professional and you are not.
4. You may seriously injure yourself:
Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports hundred of accidents that result in death that involve high ladders and heights. On top of that there are also thousands of injuries sustained, some very serious indeed. Roofing companies employ professionals who have been trained in the use of high ladders, and who are familiar with working high up. A man who spends all week working at the office, then decides to climb 50 feet up to the top of his roof on Saturday to do a bit of roofing maintenance, is really asking for trouble. Working on a roof can be dangerous.
You most likely do not have the right equipment for the job. There are times when a ladder is right for the job, but at other times you may need scaffolding. Do you have the right size and type of ladder? Do you know what it is? Do you have the right protective work clothes, and the right kind of boots for your safety? Most DIY enthusiasts don't. Often they get away with it, but sadly, sometimes they don't.
5. Professional roof repair contractors will do a better job than you will:
Unless you have a lot of experience in roof repairs, this will be the case. You buy peace of mind when you get the services of an experienced, professional roofing company. You will know they have done the job properly, and that's what makes roofing companies worth every penny they get.
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