DIY or Call in a Professional: Common Roof Problems and how You Can Fix them


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Would you believe that about 90 percent of roof leaks happen at flashings (flashing stops water from coming through the roof around chimneys, vent pipes, and attic fans)?

Often, you can fix flashing leaks yourself if you’re handy. More about that DIY repair to come. Read on to learn more about common roof problems and which ones you can tackle yourself.

Some roof solutions require licensed professionals. Though, a few are simple enough to tackle yourself over a weekend.

Next, are some common roof problems and their solutions.

Damaged Flashing

As we discussed, flashing surrounds those components that protrude from your roof. Often, flashing splits off from the chimney or skylights. These leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and give rainwater a clear path into your home.

Here’s how you can repair the flashing around your chimney.

1. Clean out any debris that may be in the gap between your chimney and the flashing.

2. Remove any old roofing cement with a chisel.

3. Apply an ample amount of roof cement behind the flashing.

4. Use screws or masonry nails to reattach the flashing. Be sure that it’s tight against the chimney.

5. Cover exposed screw or nail heads with more roofing cement.

6. Apply additional roofing cement to the joint between the brick and the flashing.

7. Smooth the cement with a putty knife.

Damaged or Missing Shingles

Asphalt shingles often fall away due to strong winds or heavy storms. Other times it’s just age and wear. Even animals can crack or knock shingles loose.

Whatever the cause, compromised shingles are one of the most common roof and flat roof problems.

Tip: Keeping your gutters clear helps to extend the life of your roof’s shingles. Though, you will eventually need to replace them. Missing asphalt shingles are easier to handle than metal roof problems.

You can replace the shingles yourself with new ones. You can also replace a single tab by cutting the shingle into sections. Here is an overview of your task:

1. Use a putty knife under the damaged shingle to break the seal.

2. Next, pry up the damaged shingle with a flat bar. Remove the nails. Take care to protect the healthy shingle above the damaged one.

3. Remove the damaged shingle and slip another in its place. Use 7/8” roofing nails to secure it.

4. Once you get the new shingle in place, lift the tab. Apply roof cement to seal the new shingle to the roof.

Of course, professional roofers handle smaller repairs. Call one if you’re not comfortable tackling this project.

Total Roofing Solutions

If most of your roof is damaged, your best bet may be to re-roof the entire roof. This usually involves stripping off the worn-out shingles to prepare for the new ones. Doing so yields better coverage.

For such a comprehensive repair, contract with a reputable roofing company. Here are some tips for finding quality roofers.

Don’t Wait to Address Roof Issues

As soon as you notice a leak or other problems, don’t put off finding the proper roof solutions. The longer you wait to deal with your roof issue, the more your risk further damage to your home.

If this article about DIY roof fixes was helpful, please visit our blog again to read more home improvement articles.