Roof repair is a type of work that many homeowners will leave to a professional. However, there are a few projects that most people may be able to do to improve the appearance of their roof and fix common problems. Here are three simple roof repairs for you to add to your DIY arsenal.
Replacing Broken Shingles
Wind and falling branches both pose a risk of breaking the shingles on your roof. Broken shingles should be repaired as soon as you notice them to prevent water seepage from rotting the wood sheathing of your roof. If your roof is in mostly good condition with only a few broken shingles, you can easily repair them yourself without having the entire roof redone.
To replace a broken shingle, use a pry bar to gently lift the bottom edge of the shingle above it until the top roofing nails are lifted out of the broken shingle. Then use the pry bar to lift on the bottom of the broken shingle until the bottom nails are exposed. Push the shingle back down and pull out the nails on the top and bottom of the shingle. Now you can slide a new shingle in, lay the top shingle back over it, and hammer the nails back in to secure the new shingle in place.
Locating and Fixing Leaks
Even the smallest roof leaks can cause serious damage over time. Leaks can rot the sheathing and rafters of your roof to rot and can create unsightly water stains on your ceiling and walls. If the source of the damage is not obvious, you will have to learn some techniques to locate leaks before you can repair them.
Areas where the shingles of your roof are penetrated are the most likely spots for leaks to develop. You should look for damaged flashing around roof vents, chimneys, and dormers. To pinpoint the leak, you can get on your roof and spray section by section with a garden hose. Have a helper watch for drips in the attic.
The simplest roof leaks that you will encounter are those where a roofing nail has missed the rafter. To repair these leaks, you can simply clip the nail with pliers until it is no longer visible from below. If you have plastic roof vents that are leaking, a crack in the plastic is usually the cause. You can usually remove the cracked vent and slide a new one into place without removing any surrounding shingles. Screw the base of the new vent into place, and then go around the edges of the base with caulk to create a watertight seal.
Cleaning Roof Stains
While you may not even realize that algae is a problem, it can greatly damage the appearance of your roof. Algae can leave dark stains on asphalt shingles, and your roof is especially at risk if you are living in a humid climate that promotes algae growth.
There are several cleaners that you can use to reduce the appearance of algae stains on your roof. Chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach are common household chemicals that are effective, but you can also choose to purchase a commercial shingle stain remover. To apply the cleaner, use a pump sprayer to thoroughly cover the affected areas and allow them to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. After the roof has soaked, simply spray it off with a garden hose. For best results, do this on a cool, cloudy day to prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly.
While major roof renovations are best left to a professional contractor, like Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. these are just a few of the simple repairs that virtually anyone can do. Always remember to wear slip-resistant shoes and a safety rope when you are working on your roof.