Weather damage, aged materials, and decay are all a natural part of a roof’s life. However, many man-made problems arise from bad installations or DIY projects that went wrong. A licensed roofer will be able to fix most problems for you, but there are a few things they suggest you avoid doing to your roof, to help yourself in the long-run.
1. The Problem With ‘Doing It Yourself’ (DIY)
You may think that you’re pretty handy with power tools, and you’ve seen tons of videos—DIY seems like an attractive option. But the reality is that attempting to fix your roof without a licensed professional can have disastrous implications for you and your home.
Professionals will have all of the necessary tools and safety know-how to protect your roof and their workers from any accidental damage. Most importantly, a trained roofer will be able to properly access your roof and pinpoint any weak spots or potential hazards that an untrained eye could miss.
Additionally, if you choose a roofing DIY project, you will not receive the guarantee of a warranty on your building materials. If you miss any underlying issues, you’ll have to hire someone to come and fix them. This will require more of your time, and of course, more of your money.
Do it right the first time and don’t do it yourself.
2. Pressure Cleaning Too Often
While pressure cleaning may seem like a quick and simple solution for making your roof look brand new, it actually has long-term damaging effects. The concentrated pressure of water can seriously damage your roof tiles and cause more rapid wear-and-tear damage that significantly shortens its lifespan.
Shingles and tiles are made to withstand constant rain, but not at the high velocity that a pressure cleaner disperses water. Power washing your roof too often strips the surface granules that are meant to protect it.
By spraying pressurized streams of water onto your roof you run the risk of having water damage or flooding in your home. Calling a professional is always the best option. They use chemicals that are safer for your roof and can be performed less often. Having a professional clean your roof will also come with the added bonus of an impromptu roof inspection.
3. Incorrect Skylight Installation
Installing a skylight is more complicated than it seems. A professional roofer will be able to assess the room you want to install a skylight in and will factor in water-tightness, wind resistance, ventilation, energy efficiency, size, shape, and drainage of your roof. All of these factors are important. If you do a poor DIY job, you may leave your roof with less integrity than it started.
A poor-quality installation will not come with a warranty which isn’t very helpful in the event of a leak or break. Bad window placement can also result in excessive amounts of heat entering your room. Professional roofers will know how to most efficiently survey your living space and will be sure to place your skylight in the most optimal position for your home.
4. Walking On Your Roof
Walking on your roof is incredibly risky. It’s made to withstand a shared weight load over the whole roof, concentrated weight on singular tiles could crack and damage them. Cracks allow unwanted moisture to penetrate beneath the tiles.
If you don’t know how or where to walk on your roof, the outcome could be devastating. Excessive foot traffic can also result in the erosion of the protective layer covering your roof and make it more susceptible to damage from the elements.
5. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Your… Roof
I know, that guy on YouTube made it look so easy. Spoiler alert: It’s not.
Installing add-ons like gutters or solar panels yourself, unless you’re a licensed roofer, is not recommended. For example, professionals cut gutters specifically for your home. When you buy materials yourself, you’re typically working with the standard sizes that need to be altered before they can be installed. Installing gutters incorrectly can leave you with seams that have the potential to leak or sag—an expensive problem to have that will have to be completely redone by a professional.
As for solar panels on your roof? The same rule applies: Leave it to the professionals.
Local, state and federal rebates in some states require a licensed professional to install solar panels. The reasons for this can be seen in all of the potential risks involved in a bad installation. A professional will make sure that the sizing, tilt, specific solar technology, and load-bearing of the panels are customized for your home. Poorly installed solar panels can cause you to lose-out on optimal energy savings, which can end up costing you more than you saved on your DIY install.
At the end of the day, it’s pretty clear that you shouldn’t trust just anyone to work on your roof without sufficient training or expertise. If you need an inspection or need to make improvements to your roof, trust Aabco Roofing to make sure the work is done right, the first time.