The roof is a barrier between you and the elements. When your roof is damaged or needs to be replaced, you may consider skipping professional residential roofing services to try doing it yourself. Sure, it may be tempting to save some money on the repairs by fixing your own NJ roof, but there are plenty of other reasons why you shouldn’t. Let’s explore the five most important reasons why it is a bad idea for a homeowner such as yourself to repair a roof, including safety concerns, lack of expertise, and the risk of costly mistakes.
1. Your Safety is at Risk
There is no denying that roof repair and replacement is a dangerous task. Not only do you have to work at a great height, but you are also navigating potentially treacherous terrain. There could be sunken sections of the roof, loose pieces of metal, uneven surfaces, or even nails. That is why falling off a roof is the leading cause of construction-related injuries and fatalities.
So, while you may think you are prepared to handle the issue on your roof, you have to keep in mind that you are putting yourself at risk. There are no stunt doubles to take your place!
On the other hand, professional roofing contractors have the training and equipment needed to work safely on roofs. They have experience working at heights and can take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of falls and other accidents. They also have access to specialized safety equipment, such as harnesses and safety ropes, that can help to prevent injuries.
Even if you can secure the proper safety equipment, you may not know how to use it, rendering it moot. In short, choose a professional if the job is too risky for you to attempt.
2. Lack of Expertise
Even if you spend hours in a shop every day, you may not have the required skill or experience to solve your roofing problems. Roof repair requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise to ensure that the repairs are done correctly and that they will last for the long term. Professional roofing companies hire individuals with experience working on various roofs and with different roofing materials. These people also know how to diagnose and repair a slew of roofing problems.
Furthermore, many reputable roof replacement services have contractors with additional certifications under their belt. For example, the team at RGB Construction holds the prestigious GAF Master Elite certification, something only a few companies have.
In contrast, attempting to go about repairing a roof without that level of experience and expertise introduces many other issues. You may see the problem but not know how to diagnose or repair it. You may not know how to use the materials or tools necessary to complete the repair. Additionally, it could take you many more hours to complete a task that a professional could do in under an hour.
3. Mistakes are More Costly
So let’s say you are up on your roof, hammering away. Halfway through the repair, you realize you have made a terrible mistake. Now what? Unfortunately, with DIY roof repair or replacement, even the smallest of mistakes can have significant consequences. For example, using the wrong type of roofing material or failing to properly seal a repair can lead to leaks and other problems that can cause damage to your home. And as you are likely aware, a small leak or other issues can quickly turn into a much bigger problem if it is not addressed promptly and effectively.
Do you truly want to risk unleashing havoc on your home just to save yourself a few bucks? When you consider the potential cost of correcting your mistake, the DIY route loses its appeal quickly.
Now, let’s say you hire a professional roofing company to do your NJ roof repair or replacement. Professional roofing contractors have the knowledge and expertise needed to make high-quality repairs that will stand the test of time. They also have access to high-quality materials and equipment, which can help to ensure that the repairs are done correctly and will last for the long term. They are also licensed, and insured, and offer workmanship warranties, guaranteeing that they will do the job right. If they fail to live up to your expectations, the warranty covers their mistake. It costs you nothing extra.
4. You Don’t Have the Same Tools and Resources
Here is another reason why you should not DIY your NJ roof: You don’t have access to the resources a roofing contractor does. If you want to make high-quality repairs to your roof, you will need the best materials and specialized equipment. This includes equipment such as moisture meters, infrared cameras, ladders, hard hats, and power tools.
Without access to the correct tools, you may not be able to make effective repairs. While you can opt to purchase or rent the equipment required for the job, you have to consider the cost. Often, renting the right equipment is far more expensive than you might think, especially if this is a one-time repair.
Additionally, professional roofing contractors often have established relationships with suppliers and manufacturers, which can allow them to purchase materials at a lower cost than homeowners. This can help to reduce the overall cost of the repair and ensure that high-quality materials are used.
5. No Warranty
Many NJ homeowners rely on manufacturer warranties in times of crisis to help cover the cost of roof repair. What if you didn’t have that because you chose to DIY your own roof? Yes, you read that correctly. Doing anything yourself without a certified roofing contractor could potentially void the warranty on your roof.
If you attempt to even make your own repairs, you may inadvertently void the manufacturer warranty. This may leave you responsible for future repairs or replacements, even if the material is defective.
That is a tremendous risk. Furthermore, any roofing manufacturers require that their materials be installed in a specific way in order to be covered by the warranty. This includes requirements for the type of underlayment, flashing, and other materials used in the installation process. If the homeowner does not follow these guidelines, they may not be eligible for warranty coverage.
Out of all the reasons not to DIY your NJ roof, this is the one that you cannot overlook. Protect your investment and hire a reputable roofing company, especially if the warranty is still intact.
When You Should Not DIY Your NJ Roof
If you are still on the fence about hiring residential roof services or doing it yourself, it is important to keep in mind the instances when DIY is out of the question. There are several situations in which homeowners should not do their own repairs.
If the roof has sustained major structural damage, such as from a fallen tree or severe weather, it’s important to have a professional roofing contractor assess the damage and make necessary repairs. You may be able to do an emergency temporary repair, but that is about it. Attempting to make full structural repairs on your own can be dangerous and could lead to further damage or injury.
Electrical or Plumbing Work
When you have to deal with electrical or plumbing on top of a roof repair, it is best to leave the matter to a licensed professional. Working with electricity and plumbing requires just as much if not more specialized training and knowledge as roof repair.
Specialty Moves, Techniques, and Equipment
If the roof is made of special materials, such as tile or slate, or requires specialized techniques, such as steep slope roofing, it’s important to hire a professional roofing contractor with experience working with these materials and techniques. Attempting to work with unfamiliar materials or techniques can lead to costly mistakes and further damage. Furthermore, many specialty materials, such as slate, clay, or even solar panels or shingles, will need specific pieces of equipment to fix. Attempting to DIY a repair without the proper tools and equipment can be dangerous and may not result in a proper repair.
Working on a roof involves working at heights, which can be dangerous for those without proper safety equipment and training. Professional roofing contractors are trained in safety procedures and have the necessary equipment to work safely at heights. Needless to say, if you are afraid of heights, you probably should not be attempting a DIY roof repair on your NJ home.
When You Can DIY Your NJ Roof
While it is generally recommended that homeowners leave roofing repairs to professionals, like the team at RGB Construction, there are some scenarios when you should be able to do roofing repairs on your own. Here are a few examples:
If the roofing problem is small and easily accessible, such as a single missing shingle or a small hole, a homeowner with basic DIY skills may be able to make the repair on their own. However, it is important to remember that even small repairs can be dangerous if you do not take proper safety precautions.
Here is a list of small repairs that homeowners should be able to do with minimal roofing experience:
- Replacing a missing or damaged shingle. To replace a shingle, you will need a pry bar, a hammer, roofing nails, and a new shingle. Carefully remove the damaged shingle and replace it with the new one, securing it in place with roofing nails.
- Sealing up small leaks. Roofing cement can help you seal small holes and cracks on the roof. You will need a putty knife to smooth it out.
- Fixing flashings. Flashing is a metal or plastic strip that is used to seal the seams around roof penetrations such as chimneys and vents. Basic tools are all you need to secure a loose flashing, such as adhesive or roofing nails.
- Cleaning gutters. Keeping gutters clean is an important part of maintaining the roof system. You can clean the gutters with a few tools and a little time. If you do not wish to clear your gutters all the time, consider getting a gutter guard installed.
- Removing debris from the valleys of your NJ roof. You can take a broom or leaf blower and gently remove the branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris from the roof.
Sometimes you cannot wait for a roofer to come your way and provide a roof replacement service. For instance, if the weather is inclement and you need to patch a hole. Conducting these emergency repairs will prevent further damage to the internal structure of your home, as well as the interior. In these situations, you can cover a hole with a tarp then wait for a professional to reach you and do the permanent repairs.
You can perform regular maintenance tasks, such as cleaning gutters and removing surface debris, without any assistance. Doing these things is essential to the health of your roof and may prevent any larger problems from developing.
To make your routine maintenance more effective, here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Damages, such as missing or cracked shingles.
- Broken gutters or downspouts.
- Moisture buildup in the attic.
- Ice dams.
- Signs of pests, including nests, droppings, and other damages.
- Overhanging tree branches.
- Mold or mildew growth on the shingles.
- Dark spots or stains on the roof or inside, on the ceiling.
If you see any of these issues, be sure to call a roofing company as soon as you can.
Call in the Professionals for NJ Roofing Replacement Services
In general, if a roofing repair is beyond your knowledge, skill, or experience, it’s best to leave it to a professional roofing contractor. Attempting to DIY a repair that you are not qualified to make can lead to costly mistakes, further damage, and even injury. Now that you have seen the five reasons not to DIY your NJ roof, why not consider bringing in the professionals at RGB Construction? Our team is highly skilled and knowledgeable in both commercial and residential roofing services. Give us a call today at 856-264-9093 or fill out the contact form.