Top Tips for DIY Roofers

A guest post by Grace Bailey edited by Deb Villeneuve

The following top tips for DIY roofers will  help you decide whether you can handle the job or if it’s best to call in the professionals!


Safety First

Fixing a leak will always be a high priority, but the last thing you need to do is rush into it and put yourself at risk. Safety should always be considered, so you never do anything that puts yourself or others in harms way. Walking around on a roof when it is raining or snowing can be disastrous. Also, you should never opt for a quick fix option, as the outcome of such is rarely pretty. Take your time with any repairs, be patient, and do your best to get the job done safely and efficiently.


Take Precautions  

If you’re not a seasoned professional, then getting up on the roof of a property will always be a gamble. By doing so you will be putting yourself in harms way, so don’t take things lightly. Wear the correct gear, including rubber soled shoes and protective harnessing. Wherever possible, try to work with a friend who can look out for your safety.

Address of Dry Rot

Many people believe that dry rot is caused by water damage, but this isn’t the case. A lack of ventilation is actually the core of the problem. If you need to repair a roof in the middle, odds are the plywood is nearing the end of its life. This may even cause the roof to sag in some cases. Next time you look to fix a roof, make sure you install a vent to help prevent this occurring again in the future. Install a soffit vent, so cool air can arrive through the bottom before releasing hot air out of the top, thus working to improve ventilation in the area.

Beware of Ice Buildup

Sometimes the key element of a roof’s damage can be put down to excess moisture and weight. This usually occurs during the winter months due to an ice buildup. When this reaches the line where the house and roof meet a drip is created. In order to prevent this, the roof needs to be properly ventilated along with utilising both rain and ice shields. Installing a drip edge can also help prevent this issue from occurring.

Clean Gutters Regularly

It should almost go without saying, but it pays dividends to keep your guttering clean and clear of obstructions. This is because one of the most common forms of roof leaks comes from clogged guttering, causing harmful rain build up.

Inspect Installation Materials

Sometimes the fault within a roof and the cause of any problem can be put down to the poor installation of materials. In your case there could be faulty shingles that have cracked when being nailed in. Nails and shingles can play a large role in leaks, because if a nail is hit in too low then the roof will start pushing back against it. Before anything on a roof is installed, check any and all aspects of the merchandise being used.

Spray the Roof Down

A simple yet effective way of preventing roof damage is to continuously spray it down to clear away any debris, leaves, dust and more that may be on it. Take a garden hose to the roof from time to time and start spraying it all around in different directions. However, it should be noted this shouldn’t be done during the winter months due to the risk of water freezing and making it impossible to climb up there safely if you need to.

Evaluate Valleys

The valley (or ridge) of the roof is where the two intersections of it meet. When leaks occur, it is no surprise for them to appear here, as this is where the water on a roof is driven too. When excess occurs, it will slosh back and forth, potentially weakening the roof in the process. Always keep an eye on the condition of the valleys of your roof.

Written by Marie-France Roger View all posts by this author →

Daughter of Drummond House Plans founders, I was only 3 years old when my parents started the company, which explain my passion for residential architecture! I love travelling, red wine and HGTV! Mother of three beautiful young adults and co-owner of Drummond House Plans since 2002 with my best friend and husband, Yves Carignan.

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