Has your home reached the point where its in need of a roof repair? When the time comes, and if you are handy, you might wonder if you can do this yourself. Now the answer to this question is, it depends on the damage itself. Missing shingles, leaks and even hail damage are some of the most common causes of roof damage. But is a DIY roof repair an option as a homeowner?
Looking up the average price of a roof repair for a home in the Midwest is around $400-$3,000 depending on the size and complexity of the repair. This might make you think that it’ll be more cost effective to just do it yourself or do it with help from a family member or friend. After all, the only costs would be the materials. However, a roof repair, in order to be done properly(and with a labor backed warranty) needs to be done by a group of professionals right away.
A professional crew can work effectively and help you avoid even more costly repairs down the road. Keep in mind, if a poor roof repair is implemented, then issues because of it will pop up eventually.
In this article, we are discussing some pros and cons of a DIY roof replacement and which ones we believe are the simplest to do by yourself.
DIY Roof Repairs
The main benefit of a do it yourself repair or replacement is the cost savings(you will still need to purchase the materials, tools and equipment). When you install a roof yourself, you don’t pay anyone else for labor fees and don’t have to rely on anyone else’s schedule.
When you hire a contractor, you will have to pay for their labor expenses, material expenses, hauling of large equipment, etc. Plus, with constant material price changes since the beginning of the year, the cost of the project could vary depending on how long the job takes to complete.
While there are some do it yourself projects that any homeowner can tackle easily or over a couple of months, replacing your roof is more complicated than other projects. A simple YouTube tutorial or how-to page might not be enough. There are many components that go into removing shingles and installations, prepping and inspecting the inside of your roof. Plus, the entire project needs to be done in a quick manner, so as not to leave your roof open and exposed to possible rain or other elements. You definitely do not want to delay before another storm hits. Completing the job on time and correctly requires a whole team and its hard for one single person to take on.
Additionally, while you can do repairs on your own, you run the risk of potential risks if its done incorrectly. If a repair has a minor mistake, it can lead you will most likely have to spend more money and time again. Plus, if let’s say, the problem is a leak and water keeps coming in, then this leads to more damage to your roof.
4 Step-By-Step Do It Yourself(DIY) Roof Repair Tips
We do strongly encourage that you contact a contractor to asses the damage and provide feedback. However, we have gathered some tips for more minor repairs and how to fix these easily.
1. Replacing Shingles
We recommend a DIY shingle replacement if you find that a few(we’d say 5 or less) shingles have been blown off, are creased or have minor damage. Materials needed are: shingles that resemble or are close to the color of the current shingles, hammer, roofing nails, safety goggles and a ladder.
The steps for an easy shingle replacement are:
- Find the shingles you want to replace
- Life the shingles and carefully remove the nails that are holding the shingle down
- Make sure that the area is dry and scrape some of the debris that might have fallen off during the removal
- Make sure to remove any stray nails that are sticking out
- Place the new shingle in the desired areas
- Use a hammer and nails to hold the shingle in place at the corners
We recommend to watch this video on how to fix shingle replacements.
2. Fixing a Roof Leak
Roof Leaks are a trickier fix and not as simple as other solutions on this list. The reason is due to the fact that it can be hard to find the source of the leak. And even if a leak occurs in one spot, it can originate from a different entrance. This is why its hard to determine if leak repairs should be done manually or left to a pro.
Check this in depth article that details what to look for when inspecting your roof for leaks, the type of leaks, etc.
While you can inspect your roof by yourself, we strongly recommend to contact a roofing professional as well in order to make the job easier.
3. Chimney Flashing
Flashings are located around chimneys, vents or skylights. The good thing about this type of repair is that, near the chimneys, the part of the roof is flat. Therefore, it provides better standing ground during the repair. You want to repair your flashing when you see rust forming, its falling out of place or missing.
Typically, a flashing repairs consists of:
- Removing a couple of rows of the shingles that surround the area as well as the old flashing
- Remove the old mortar and caulking that is around the flashing
- Measure and cut the base flashing piece in order to fit it across the chimney, make sure to cut a piece at a 45 degree angle(this part is to meant to be installed around the side)
- Start the actual installation by putting the first piece of the base flashing across the bottom part of the chimney
- Add the chimney flashing and step flashing. Bend a piece of step flashing in order to fit around the corner(front), use caulk to secure the flashing to the chimney
- Once the flashing is fully installed, add the shingle layers. Nail the shingles over the first step flashing, continue by nailing another step flashing over the shingle. Repeat this process until you arrive to the top corner of the chimney
- Make sure to cover the base flashing with the cap flashing
- Install the front cap flashing next
- Secure the flashing
- Finish by installing the cap flashing
- Seal the flashing with caulk
Read our in depth article with more details on chimney flashing installations.
4. Gutter Cleaning
Sometimes the leaks or water spots that show up in certain areas of your home are not due to roofing issues at all. If you notice water spots are showing up in corners or at the edge of your walls, take action. We recommend you check the your gutters to see if they are clogged. If this is the issue, then you’re in luck! This is one of the easiest ways to fix the issue.
Sometimes enough leaves or debris can accumulate and block the flow of water in your gutters. This clog makes the water pool around the gutters and over time, water can enter your house.
The steps to do this are simple. Using a ladder, gloves, your choice of cleaning tool, position the ladder and begin at the corner of the home. To get more tips on which gutter cleaning tool is best, check out our article here.
Pros and Cons of Professional Roof Repair
Pros – Quality Work with Guarantee Warranties
When you work with a roofing company, they take care of everything. From the initial inspection, to providing a quote with full details and having an expert crew, they do it all. A reputable roofing company should be able to provide the best quality work available.
One of the extra benefits that comes with working with a roofing company is that they provide a labor warranty with every roof project. The labor warranties are usually for 2-5 years for the repairs. The material warranties are a separate kind of warranty and the roofer should provide these as well. We do advise to ask your roofing contractor on their labor warranties before the job begins.
Pro – No Additional Risks Taken
Professional roofers are able to take precaution and avoid property damage from the start of the roof replacement or repair. Their crews know where to dispose of the old shingles and other materials, and use the correct equipment to haul the shingle bundles on the roof and work efficiently. A roofing company will also make sure to cleanup after the job is complete and most likely will get done in a day or two.
Con – Cost
An average roof repair ranges from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the size and pitch of your roof. While this is a drawback, in the long run, its more cost-effective to have a professional repair your roof. They take care of everything. The roofer should also provide a labor warranty and you won’t have to expose yourself to dangerous job.
Depending on who you are working with, you might have to make a deposit up front before a project begins with your contractor.
Which One is Best?
The answer is, it depends! If you have noticed that the roof damage is minimal, and a roofing contractor has supported this claim, then you could potential fix the damage yourself. Of course, its best to consult with the roofer first and see if they think a homeowner can potentially do it themselves. However, if the contractor thinks that the homeowner needs their help, then its best to listen to them.
A roof replacement doesn’t look like intensive work, but that is only because 5-6 crew members are working on it at all times. This is why it takes on average 1-2 days at most to complete a project. Not only that, these roofers are knowledgeable. As their full time job, they are extremely efficient and work faster than a person who has no previous roofing expertise.
The Right Roofing Contractor
If in doubt, its best to contact a or even a few roofing contractors. Most contractors nowadays provide free inspections with no obligation. If you are not sure the contractors in your area provide free inspection services, then ask! When contacting their office, make sure you ask the person on the phone or through email if their initial services are free.
We normally recommend to talk to at most, three separate companies in order to get different inputs and ideas of what the cost range is. Another tip includes asking about their experience, certifications and past jobs. Check out their google and Facebook pages as well for reviews and photos of their work.
Also, we recommend not to choose a roofing contractor based on the price alone. Choosing a roofing contractor who is a little higher priced could be more beneficial in the long run. They take better care of your home and have better crews.
Contact Oscar Roofing
Not sure where to get started? Well, get started with Oscar Roofing today. We not only offer roofing service options, we also provide gutters, siding and painting services!
Oscar Roofing gets the job done!