Many ambitious homeowners try to save money by tackling roof repairs on their own. However, roofs that aren’t repaired correctly are more likely to break down in the future and put you at risk of water damage and other related problems. Roof repair can also be dangerous, which is one of the biggest reasons these tasks are usually left to the professionals. Here are 5 common mistakes amateurs make when repairing their roofs.
Covering Old Shingles
It may seem easier to nail new shingles over the old ones, but it’s not recommended by professionals. That’s because the weight adds up over time and puts too much strain on the structure of your house. Also, the old shingles are often moldy, and the layers of shingles create pockets where dirt and water can get trapped. All of this can cause your whole roof to be taken over by mold before you know it.
Uneven Shingle Alignment
Your shingles should be installed in even rows according to the manufacturer’s directions. It’s also important that you don’t use different types of shingles on different sections of your roof. Both of these mistakes can weaken your roof and make it less likely to stand up to the elements. Your home will be less energy efficient and you’ll be at a higher risk for water damage and mold.
Even something as apparently simple as nailing can have a drastic effect on the quality of your roof. The way you nail your shingles can make the difference between a flimsy roof and one that’s prepared to weather the toughest storms. What makes it even more complicated is that different shingles have different nailing requirements, so it’s easy for amateurs to get wrong.
Reusing Old Materials
It’s all too common for homeowners to try to salvage some of their old roofing materials during the roof repair process. This is especially common with metal pieces such as gutters and flashing. However, these pieces don’t last forever and need to be replaced on a regular basis for your roof to be as weatherproof as possible. Using old, worn-out pieces will increase your chance of weather damage and will probably cost you more in the long run than just replacing them.
Ignoring Safety Precautions
One of the biggest concerns with DIY roofing repairs is that homeowners often don’t know how to stay safe when working on their roofs. Some roofs have steep slopes and slippery footing and should only be tackled by trained professionals. Even relatively mild slopes can be dangerous under certain conditions, or if you lose focus. Never take a chance with your safety!