Roof Repair Fundamentals
To Repair or To Outsource: How to Determine
Roof repair, while unwanted, is a necessity in the life of every homeowner. Thanks to the weather, you will face the prospect of roof repair at some point, or even an entire replacement. Sometimes, you may be able to do it yourself, but it depends on the type of roofing you have, as well as the extent of the damage you’re facing. Before you do, the best course of action is to hire a roofing contractor to come by and give a diagnosis. This way, you’ll know what type of repair has to be done and whether you can do it on your own. Here are some things to look for:
Types of Roof Damage
Most of the time, roofing problems are caused by leaks or loose shingles. Sometimes, these are caused by the elements (wind, rain) or an improper or shoddy installation by a previous contractor.
Finding Roof Leaks
If you find you have a leak in your roof, you’ll need to start by identifying where the leak is coming from, as well the extent of its damage. This can be a very hard task, as leaks generally show up as wet stains on your ceiling. The leaks travel down through your roof trusses right before they pass through layers of insulation and drywall.
Sometimes you can spot the leak by walking on the roof and looking for loose shingles or weather damage. If you don’t, you’ll have to dig deeper. Climb into your attic during the day, close it up, and look for any light that could be penetrating through the ceiling. If you see sunlight, you’ve found your problem. If not, you’ll need to find someone to bring the hose on the roof and spray until you see the spot where water comes through. It seems painstaking, but if you relax and take the steps, you’ll find the source of the problem.
Fixing the leak depends on where it originates from. If you have wood or concrete shingles, you may just need to replace a tile or two. However, if you have asphalt or slate roofing, you’ll need to repair a larger area (the rule of thumb is 10% more than where you current roofing has failed, just to provide additional protection). Of course, this all depends on whether there aren’t any larger issues going on with the roof, which often leads to leaks. Bringing in a contractor is a good first step, as he’ll assess the condition of the roof and determine whether you need to replace the entire roof or whether you can just lay down a couple of shingles and walk away happy.