Roofing DIY & Homeowner Tips Exteriors

10 Ways a DIY Roof Repair Can Go Wrong

There's no way around it; fixing a roofing issue can be expensive depending on a variety of factors, including the pitch and slope of the roof, square footage, and the materials used. So, it's no wonder why some homeowners consider DIY roof repairs and even replacements.

But working on a roof is more complex than just replacing shingles and hammering down nails. Every roof is a system of layers that also interact with air circulation and insulation. And when a DIY roof repair goes wrong, the homeowner inevitably has to call in a professional roofing company – which may cost even more than the original problem!

Here are some of the most common ways a DIY roof repair can go wrong:

  • Safety's Not First
    More important than anything on this list, DIY roofing projects can be incredibly dangerous. Professional roofers follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and guidelines set in place for their own safety. It is unlikely that the average homeowner will have – and correctly use – the safety equipment employed by a contractor.

  • The Cover-Up
    It is tempting to simply nail down new shingles over the old ones. But your roof is composed of different layers for a reason. Overlaying shingles can cause a series of issues, including the new shingles not laying right, the old ones degrading and causing fly ups, and nails not working correctly. All of these lead to shingles that no longer function how they should.

  • Nails, Nails, Nails
    Many nails are used when replacing a roof, but those nails are put in precise spots. If too few or too many nails are used, and if they are placed incorrectly, shingles can rip off of the roof and fail much earlier than they usually would. Additionally, nails can be over and under driven, which creates space for water to seep through the shingles.

  • Things are Heating Up
    Your roof works with your attic ventilation and insulation as a system. If ventilation is not properly calculated, your home will not be able to regulate the temperature meaning high energy bills and even worse issues such as ice dams. In the worst DIY scenarios, some homeowners even cover up the existing ventilation because they think any airflow at all is a bad thing.

  • Ignoring Insulation
    As with not calculating ventilation, ignoring the insulation can cost you. Even if everything works out with the roof, your home will not be able to regulate temperature without proper insulation. That means higher energy bills and uncomfortable temperatures.

  • flashingFaulty Flashing
    Flashing is installed around elements that intersect with the roof, like the chimney, to protect against rain. When flashing is not installed correctly, it leaves those areas open to the elements. Even a small rain shower can cause water damage, mold, and mildew, when flashing is not working properly.

  • Exposed to the Elements
    Any professional roofer will tell you that sometimes delays in a project are inevitable. This reality is multiplied if it is a DIY project. Sometimes things just go wrong. And while a professional has solutions for this myriad of problems, usually DIYers don't. Maybe an unexpected storm rolls in, you need a different tool, or it took longer than expected. That means the roof will be sitting open to the elements for an extended period of time.

  • Passing on Permits
    Even simple roof repairs will require at least a local permit. A professional roofer should know the local regulations, be licensed and insured, and should pull permits for you.

  • Waving Goodbye to the Warranty
    Manufacturer's warranties almost always require the materials to be installed in a particular way by a licensed professional. If you choose to do anything yourself, your warranty may be voided, even if the materials aren’t faulty.

  • Cutting Costs
    The main reason that homeowners choose to DIY their roof fixes is due to the price. So, it is tempting to then select the least expensive material. A shingle is a shingle, right? Not really. As with most things, you get what you pay for. A professional roofer has access to the highest quality materials in bulk. So even if you save some cash up front by purchasing lower-quality materials, they will fail faster, and you will be stuck with the cost of another repair or replacement.

If you need work done on your roof, you can trust the roofing experts at Brothers. We've been working on Maryland roofs for over 30 years, and our professionals can handle anything from a small repair to a full replacement. That's right, if all you need is a small repair, we won't try to sell you a new roof. Schedule a consultation today with one of our roofing specialists.


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