Help! My Roof is Leaking! A How-To Guide to Roof Restoration
by Guest Post on Jun 18, 2013
Whether you’ve discovered a leak or you’re doing preventative maintenance, there are several points to consider when it comes to roof restoration.
Often considered off-bounds for anyone but professionals, repairs on homes with simpler rooflines can be done by capable homeowners, providing appropriate safety precautions are taken.
If you prefer to leave the task to the pros, you may want to start by calling the National Federation of Roofing Contractors who can provide you with contact information for qualified contractors in your area.
If you’re comfortable with tackling the repairs on your own, wait for a time when someone else is home and preferably able to monitor your progress, for safety’s sake.
Next, keep in mind that the rafters may not be capable of bearing your weight. Roof ladders are available for rental at most home stores and will assist in distributing your weight and not further damaging your roof.
Once you’re up on the roof, it’s time to make some initial checks:
- Are any tiles or shingles loose or missing?
- Are gutters sagging or loose?
- Are all gutter brackets still firmly in place?
- Are plants growing out of the gutters or the roof itself?
- Are there leaks in any gutter joints or downpipes?
- Is any flashing (the lead or zinc sheets used to cover roof joints) loose, warped or missing?
- Is any mortar on the chimney cracked or crumbling?
- Is the chimney leaning?
Once you’ve inspected the roof it’s time to enter your loft or attic and take a look at the condition from the inside, making additional checks:
- Are all the timbers solid, tight and dry with no evidence of rot or insect infestation?
- Is the attic or loft free of vermin or evidence of rodents or birds?
- When looking up can you see daylight shining through? This is a sign of warped or missing roof tiles.
If your roof is flat, there are a couple of additional points to consider:
- Is water pooling after it rains or snows?
- Is there a build-up of leaves or moss?
Once the issues or maintenance spots have been determined, you have another opportunity to determine if your roof restoration job will require a professional or whether you’re prepared to take it on.
Home centers and hardware stores, such as where you rented the roofing ladder, will also sell patching kits, tools for cleaning gutters and supplies like tiles and mortar. They will also be able to rent tools such as compressors and nail guns. Furthermore, many of their employees will be capable of offering advice on which products to buy, how to make repairs or how to treat damp.
It is important to remember that complicated rooflines tend to be trickier to work on and more dangerous to scale. When considering how to best handle your roof restoration project, don’t make the decision based solely on the cost quoted by a contractor and assume you can do it cheaper. Consider your safety, and the value of the time it will take you to purchase supplies, rent equipment and do checks. Often, when the whole task is laid out, hiring a professional contractor can be more cost-effective.
By Danielle Knowles
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