4 pointers for minor roof repairs

July 27, 2015

It's likely that you don't think about your roof much unless something has gone wrong. If something has and there are repairs to be made, these 4 pointers will help you get started.

4 pointers for minor roof repairs

1. DIY vs. professional

If the roof of your home has been damaged, an important question to start with is whether you will attempt to repair it yourself or hire a professional to do so.

  • If you are an ambitious homeowner, you can likely repair asphalt and wood shingles yourself, and some repairs to flat roofs are within the skills of an experienced do-it-yourselfer.
  • You may be able to use roofing cement to make temporary repairs to flashing.
  • Repairs to slate and clay tile roofs should be reserved for roofers who specialize in these materials.
  • If you are uncomfortable getting up on a roof, this is a good indication that you should have all your roofing work done by a professional.

2. Roof repair materials

If you intend to repair the roof yourself, make sure that you have the right materials for the job.

  • Choose roofing nails that are long enough to poke well into the wood sheathing. The more layers of roofing you have to go through, the longer the nails must be.
  • Use roofing cement to make temporary repairs to the joint between flashing and a wall, to glue down a curled shingle, to seal a crack in a flat roof or to patch an area that will not be visible.
  • Roof patch is usually a better choice than the liquid type because it will not run. "Wet and dry" roof cement will allow you to seal a spot while it is still wet and you will actually see the hole being sealed.
  • For very small repairs, buy roofing cement in a caulking tube.

3. Sealing flashing against walls

Flashing is the weatherproofing material used to prevent water from leaking into your home through the roof or walls. To be effective, it is important for flashing to be sealed properly in place.

  • Some flashing has a bent upper edge that is inserted into a wall or chimney. Other types of flashing are simply glued to the wall with roofing cement.
  • Flashing that is pulling away can cause serious leaking problems.
  • You may be able to put the flashing back into place temporarily using roofing cement. However, you will likely need to call in a roofer to make more permanent repairs.

4. Use caution

When it comes to roof repair work, safety should always come first.

  • Anytime you're working on your roof or gutters, be sure that the ladder is securely footed on the ground at least a quarter of its length away from the house and that it extends at least 0.6 metres (2 feet) above the eaves for maximum stability.
  • Always wear slip-resistant shoes.
  • Never work on a wet or cold roof – it's dangerous for you and can harm the roof.
  • Don't use an aluminum ladder near electrical wires; use a wooden or fibreglass ladder instead.

Whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional, keeping your roof in good shape will help keep your home dry, warm and safe.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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