A Starter Guide to Home Roof Repair

July 28, 2020 by No Comments

Updated 5/16/22

If you are not sure whether you need roof repair or replacement, it is time to call in a professional. You may already know how to repair your roof, but it is not always easy to tell whether a repair is sufficient or if you need a complete replacement.

There are several factors to consider when making this decision, and a professional roofing contractor will be able to help you make the best decision for your home. They can show you pictures of before and after roof repair or replacement projects they have completed, answer any questions you have, and give you a free estimate.

Usually, the best type of asphalt shingles to repair or replace your roof is key to getting the job done right. Small roof shingles that are not properly installed can easily come loose and cause leaks. Ask your roofing contractor for advice if you are unsure about what shingles to use.

Once you have decided to repair or replace your roof, the next step is to choose a professional roofer. When selecting a contractor, it is important to do your research and ensure they are licensed, insured, and have a good reputation.

There is quite a bit that is worth knowing about roof repair. For example, a roof is much more important than many people realize. It not only keeps rain and snow out of your building, but it also provides protection against intruders. This is why the job of roof repair contractors is extremely important.

You want to make sure that if you are hiring a roofing contractor, that you hire the most competent and experienced professionals that you can find for the job, whether you are in need of roof installation or roof repair. They will be able to use their years of experience to serve you in the best way possible, and you can live in a happy home with a strong roof over your head.

It is possible that you will have many questions about roof repair. For instance, how does a roof work? How much does it cost to replace a slate roof? How much does repairing a roof cost? How much is a roof leak repair? If you have questions such as this, it would be a good idea to consult with a roof repair professional, who will be able to provide you with the best answers.

UPDATED 12/29/20

Clawed shingles, otherwise known as curling shingles, are a sign of your roof’s age and/or damage, like that caused by excessive heat. Even if you have clawed shingles, this doesn’t mean your roof is comprised. However, it’s always best to know for sure. If you find curled or clawed shingles on your roof, it’s time to call some roofing companies to determine if you just need the shingles replaced or if you need work done on the roof. When inspecting your roof, it’s possible to discover you will also need broken shingle repair. The best roof repair company will be able to tell you exactly what you need to repair your roof with the best roof repair products we have. And then we’ll get to work. Clawed shingles are a common roof leaks cause so if you don’t want your house to succumb to water damage, it’s important to get roofing companies on the job as soon as possible. Your roof is one of the most important repairs you may have to ever make.

One of the most expensive repairs a homeowner has to face is the full on replacement of a roof. As most roofs can last for 20 years or more, not every homeowner has to face this possibility.

However those who have prioritize the maintenance and repair of their roof in order to ensure it lasts as long as possible. By enlisting the services of a reputable local roofing service, a homeowner can proactively address any potential problems. Small issues can be patched and repaired before they become major issues.

One thing homeowners need to learn is the difference between the roof and shingles. Shingles may fall off the roof and need to be replaced, although the roof is in fine shape. If you have been asking “are shingles permanent” or “how long will my shingles last”, you may need to talk to a roofing expert to learn the best thing for shingles.

how long will me shingles last

Owning a property is an exciting stepping stone in life, but it comes with a few unpleasant caveats – home repairs.

Repairs on your home are not only pricey but aren’t the kind of things you can ignore. Opting to let home repairs go unchecked can create even worse issues over time.

One of the most common home setbacks is the need for roof repair. In fact, it is not just common, but a growing trend. Some estimates predict that the need for roofing will increase by nearly 5% through 2021.

However, there is no need to let the fear of a damaged roof keep you from purchasing your dream home. We have put together some advice to help you learn roofing as well as make the best choices when reaching out for professional help. With these tips and tricks, you will be mastering home improvement in no time.

Assessing Damage

The first step to repairing a roof is the same whether you are a homeowner or a roofing company. You need to assess the damage.

Investigating for damage is as easy as knowing the signs. Here are a few things to look out for:

Interior Signs of Damage

  1. Stains and Streaks: Walk through the rooms of your home or property and gaze up at the ceiling. Check the joints between the ceilings and walls as well. Do you see dark spots or streaks? These are likely a sign of water damage, which is definitely something an intact roof should be preventing.
  2. Daylight Coming Through the Ceiling: Another thing a roof should keep out of your home is sunlight. It seems obvious, but small streaks of leaking light might be difficult to see in a brightly lit room. Try shutting off all the lights to see these stray sun rays. If you have an attic, you will need to enter the attic to search for this sign of damage.
  3. Visible Sagging: A sagging roof and ceiling is another sign of water damage. That is because the materials that make up their structures become logged with the water and weaken, causing an inward bowing. You don’t want to ignore this sign because it can easily lead to a cave in.
  4. Animals in The Ceiling: If you hear the scurrying of rodents or the chirping of baby birds inside your home structure, that is a sign of damage. It may not necessarily be roof damage, but a fully intact home should be impenetrable to these large creatures.
  5. Other Signs of Water Damage: Water from a defunct roof can cause other signs of damage as well. Caved in ceiling tiles, black mold, interior rot, and other mysterious forms of ceiling damage are tell-tale signs.

Exterior Signs of Damage

  1. Decaying/ Rotting Roofing Materials: Depending on the roofing material used on your home, decay can be a common issue. The signs of rotting are missing or broken tiles, noticeable mold, tiles that break apart when touched.
  2. Shingle Debris near Roof: If you see pieces of shingles or other roofing material littered around your property or clogged in your gutters, that is a glaring sign of a damaged roof.
  3. Damaged Flashing/ Chimney Stack: Check your chimney stack and flashing for gapping, decay, and visible damage. This might require walking on the roof, which can be dangerous. To protect yourself, consider looking into local roofing services to evaluate your damage instead.
  4. Gapping in Your Valley: The valley of your roof is where two separate angles of the roof meet one another. In those areas, the roofing materials have to be applied in a particular way to keep out moisture. It is something those who learn to roof take years to master. Be sure to check these areas in particular for damage because they are often the first places to show signs.

What Kind of Roof Do You Have?

Having trouble determining what materials or techniques you will need? First, determine the material was used to construct your roof.

If you don’t have quick access to the receipt, contracts, or other paperwork from the construction of your roof, don’t fret! Most places require a building permit for the construction of roofs, which is a public record.

Contact your city or county clerk’s office. They should have access to all the public records regarding your property. With those records, you can search for the materials used to construct your roof. Here are some keywords to look for:

  • Asphalt/ Composite Shingles: The most popular roofing material in the US, these tiles are made from fiberglass, asphalt, and other mineral fillers. They are popular, despite being less hardy than other roofing materials because replacing individual tiles is easy and cost-effective.
  • Rolled Roofing: Rolled roofing is a mineral surfaced oil-based asphalt product that’s similar to asphalt shingles, but is cheaper and less durable. It can be used for the roof of a house, but is more commonly used for smaller buildings like sheds.
  • BUR (Built-up Roofing): BUR roofing is common for flat roofs. It is a mix of roofing felt and asphalt that must be applied by someone who has taken the time to professionally learn roofing.
  • Standing Seam Metal Roofing: A standing seam roof is the most popular choice of metal roof in North America. The material is made of steel and interlock to keep a tight seal against moisture.
  • Metal Shakes/ Shingles: Metal shakes are also very sturdy and stand up well against heavy precipitation and snow. However, they are made from a shaped metal that gives a more aesthetically pleasing look to a home.
  • Wood Shakes/ Shingles: Wood roofs are popular for their beauty and natural appeal. However, they are both expensive and easily damaged.
  • Clay Tiles: If you live in a desert area, it is far more likely you have a clay tile roof. These molded tiles are fantastic at keeping out heat and resisting damage from salt. The tiles are expensive but can be acquired in many custom colors and designs.
  • Slate Shingles: Slate tiles are basically the Cadillac of roofing materials. This option is chosen for its durability, look, and status. However, no matter how much effort you use to learn roofing, you will need a true professional to handle a slate roofing job.

Which Roofing Materials Can You Repair Yourself?

Realistically, if you want to learn roofing for DIY home repair, you need to have an asphalt/ composite shingle roof. Asphalt shingles are easily purchasable at most home repair stores. The damaged pieces can be removed individually and replaced.

If you have a more complex choice of roofing material, consider researching roofing contractors to get the best deal on outsourced repairs. A professional roof contractor can quickly assess the level of damage and determine the most cost-efficient way to improve the integrity of your roof.

Repairing Leaks on Asphalt Shingle Roofs

roofing companies

There is a reason Asphalt shingles are so popular in North America – they are so easy to repair. Modern versions of the tiles are made with fantastic materials that are graded for weather and wind, fire resistance, and more.

They truly are much hardier than the tiles being used a decade ago!

However, an asphalt roof can last up to 20 years, which means your roof might have some of the lower quality tiles attached. This might mean you need to replace several tiles to get your roof water-tight.

Here are four tips to learn roofing repair for your asphalt shingle roof

1. Locate Leaks

Water stains and sagging ceiling tiles can give you a good idea where there might be leaks in your roof, but what are the signs on the roof itself? Typically, the tiles near a leak will be missing, heavily damaged, or curled up and away from the rest of the tiles.

Don’t forget to check the end caps of your roof. Those are the covers that go over the angled, top-portion of your roof. These caps won’t show signs of damage as easily, but an up-close look can reveal decay and damage.

Once you locate the leak locations, write them down somewhere. You don’t want to be dangerously getting up and down from the roof unnecessarily, so noting the locations can save you extra trips up the ladder.

2. Secure Shingles

Shingles that are curled away from the roof are typically fine to simply secure. As long as the shingle has no additional damage or decay, you can take advantage of a quick and easy glue repair.

To do this, purchase a good quality asphalt roofing cement and apply a thick layer beneath the curled shingle. Then, simply press the shingle down firmly into the cement until it has set.

If you can’t find asphalt cement in your area, there are rubberized patching agents made for asphalt shingle repair. These products come in tubes that can be used in a caulking gun and act almost identically to the cement.

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3. Replace Shingles

If you want to learn roofing, hands-on experience is the way to go. There’s no easier and more rewarding task than replacing asphalt shingles.

This is an important part of roof leak repair and takes just a few tools and materials. You’ll want to have:

  • Safety Gear (goggles, gloves, gripping boots)
  • Prying Tool (crowbar, pry bar, clawed hammer)
  • Shingles and Nails
  • Asphalt Cement or Appropriate Adhesive
  • *Optional* Roof Jack

Once you have your gear and materials gathered, consider choosing a temperate day to work. Asphalt adhesive is heat sensitive and can take longer to set on hotter days.

Shingles can be replaced in three easy steps:

  1. Use the pry tool to slowly remove damaged shingles.
  2. Clear debris place the new shingle exactly where the old one rested. Nail the shingle into place through the existing guide holes.
  3. Secure shingle edge with chosen adhesive, holding firmly in place until set.

If there are loose asphalt shingles on your roof, use your nails and adhesive to quickly secure them.

4. Repair Damaged Shingles

Some shingles may look a little worse for wear but are still salvageable. These shingles might have cracks or splits in them. Use your favorite asphalt adhesive to repair the shingles instead of spending money and effort replacing them.

6 Easy Roof Maintenance Ideas

No matter what type of roof you have, taking the time to learn roof maintenance is important to its longevity. Here are 6 ways to maintain your roof:

Check for Leaks Regularly

Use our tips and tricks for locating leaks regularly. The best way to avoid extensive damage from a leaking roof is to discover the problem early.

Wash Your Roof

Keeping debris from building up on your roof is important to maintaining its integrity. A pile of sticks and leaves can cause a breakdown of roofing materials or a cave in. Moss and algae build-up are also bad for your roofing materials as they can stimulate early decay.

Maintain Trees

There is nothing better than a big, mature tree to shade your yard. That is, until the tree drops heavy limbs onto your home, causing damage.

To avoid this, have your trees checked for damaged branches and other issues regularly. If any branches are overhanging the roof, trim them back.

Clean Your Gutters

All homeowners should know the importance of cleaning the gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to expensive water damage, degradation of the home’s structure, and injury in the event of a collapse.

Check for Visible Damage

You don’t necessarily have to climb up onto your roof every few months to check for damage, but using a nice pair of binoculars from your yard is a good idea. If anything looks suspicious, pull out the ladder and give it a closer look.

Get Biennial Roof Inspections

Though maintaining your roof can help extend its life and lets you spot problems before they get out of hand, it is important to get a professional opinion, as well. No matter how hard you try to learn roofing, a professional inspector is going to be able to spot things you aren’t able to see.

Professional inspectors can also tell you how much longer you can expect your roof to last, which can help you prepare for the expense.

Reaching Out For Professional Help

roofing company

Roof replacement services are the best way to improve the quality of your roof. If you have followed this guide to learn roofing techniques, you know that not all roofs are created equal.

If your roof is consistently ending up damaged or is costly to maintain, you may find that having your roof replaced by a professional is the best option for you. The roof is the most important part of your home, be sure to give it the care it deserves.

Researching contractors nearby is always important for people who need residential repairs of any kind. However, finding a good roofer is especially important for anyone. Almost all roof repairs will be at least somewhat costly. People who are planning on getting entirely new roofs could spend five thousand dollars at least. Individuals who hire the wrong roofing company might ultimately spend even more money.

Reputable roofers will help people make more informed decisions regarding their damaged roofs. People will know whether or not their roofs need to be modified or updated. Professional roof repair services will all offer different recommendations. People just need to make sure that they can trust those recommendations. They have to confirm that the roof repair service is reliable enough before they can do so.

Reading reviews related to the roof repair service can certainly help. Many of these companies will also have references that people can check. People who know at least something about roofing themselves will also be more likely to make decisions about their roofs successfully. People don’t have to learn how to repair their own roofs to get to that point. They just need to have any sort of a background related to roofs and repairs.

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