Simple Roof Repairs: Do You Really Need a Roofer?

We’ve been asked this question on a number of occasions, so we felt that it would make perfect sense for us to give a few accounts of what could happen if you attempt a DIY roofing repair project and don't manage to get it quite right …

Roofing is a specialist field. Those in the roofing industry will usually have trained for many years, under the careful eye of fully-qualified and accredited roofers, before they will even be allowed to perform the most basic of repair tasks. They will have learned about a number of different roofing materials, although may have an “expert” interest in just one or a few types. They will also have learned about structural information, weight bearings, and what kind of roofing system would be best for homes with north-facing homes, or south-facing homes, or homes in very hot/cold/dry/wet conditions … In fact, they’ll have learned a lot, and they’ll know just what to look out for when something has gone wrong and needs putting right. The average home or property owner will not have quite the plethora of knowledge or roofing systems, repairs or installations, and this means that they will be more likely to put a foot wrong ... quite literally. We have encountered cases of homeowners falling through their own roofs, flooding their own basements with incorrect gutter installations, and have even installed a roof with the wrong angle, increase the problems they had with standing water.

Unless you have researched the aspect of roofing you're attempting to care of, there's a chance that you could do all manner of things wrong, without even thinking about it. Removing moss from the roof can cause issues with some properties, mostly because the removal action usually dislodges or breaks shingles. Although quite strong in one sense, the entire roof system is fairly fragile in another, and it doesn’t take a lot to go wrong before things really do go wrong. Things like this — knowing how hard you can bear down on a roof tile with a scrubbing brush — is something that comes with experience, although we're definitely not saying that you can't do the roof maintenance job yourself. There’s just an increased risk of further problems, especially if you don't do enough research beforehand. Always do your research. And then, when you think you’ve done enough, do a little more.

Professional roofing contractors and companies are fully insured to do whatever repairs and installations on your roof, providing you have hired a reliable and reputable one. If they undertake work on your roof and it all goes wrong, they’ll be insured to cover the cost of putting it right. If you do the same thing, however, you may find that negligent activity causes your insurance policy to become redundant. Home insurance does usually cover the cost of repairs to the roof, but the cause of those repairs are going to come into question. If it could be proved that you did something you shouldn’t (to make things worse, for example), you may find that the worst happens and you are not covered.

Professionals are going to get the job done a lot quicker than someone who needs to persistently refer back to an article thy found in a website, using Google. Letting a professional take control of the reins also means that you are not left with all the really stressful and potentially dangerous jobs to do. Shopping for equipment, tools and ladders, etc., takes time out of your schedule — time that you could better spend with the kids or family, perhaps? And then there's the risky business of crawling around on your roof. Which brings us nicely to our next point …

It is dangerous to hang around on your roof, repair your roof, or even stand on your roof if you don’t know where you can put your weight and where you can’t. One wrong move is all it takes for things to go horribly wrong. Your roof isn’t designed to be walked on or stepped over, and it might not be able to hold a lot of extra weight. If you have more than one of you working up there (if you managed to get a team of people together), the weight risks increase further still. You will also need to bear in mind that you are on a surface that isn’t known to be 100% stable. Those roof tiles could slip, shatter, or move at any time, especially if they’re already a little damaged or the roof hasn't been inspected or maintained in a long while. This isn't a job you should attempt to do when everyone else has gone out. We recommend having at least one other person on the property, preferably not too far out of earshot. It is all too easy to fall from the roof, and this is definitely the case with roofs that have fallen into disrepair or during bad weather.

It is obviously your decision whether or not to DIY your roof repairs, but we strongly recommend that you at least speak to a couple of roofing companies or contractors first. They can offer you helpful advice that might just enable you to get the job done properly first time, or you’ll get a quote that you find affordable, allowing you to get the job done by a trained expert. You've got nothing to lose by calling around first!

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