Repairing a roof is more than just laying down new shingles in a straight line. There is a process to it. Roof repair is also a commitment and an investment, so you want to make sure you are doing it the right way (or hiring someone who can). Regardless of how you choose to go about repairing the roof, by familiarizing yourself with the roof repair process, you can ensure success.
Here is everything you need to know about repairing a roof from start to finish:
What Do I Need To Repair a Roof?
Depending on the scale of repairs that you need, it may be wise to get up there and do some immediate repairs instead of waiting for someone else. Here are some materials you should have prepared to smooth the roof repair process from start to finish:
- A ladder, shingle lift, or scaffolding
- Fall protection kit – usually contains a shock-absorbing lanyard, rope, safety harness, and roofing anchor
- A dependable friend or professional roofer
- Tools: Chalk, crowbar, hammer or roofing nailer, utility knife, roofing nails, sealant
- Shingles or roofing materials: Drip edges, flashing, plywood or OSB, underlayment
That said, hiring a professional roofer for inspections and repairs is always highly recommended. Even experienced DIYers can make mistakes or overlook something vital.
Do I Replace The Shingles or The Whole Roof?
The first step to the roof repair process is understanding what has to be done, whether by doing a visual inspection yourself or hiring a roofing contractor to help. There are many cases where you do not need to replace the entire roof. Sometimes, all you need to do is replace a few damaged shingles if the rest of the roofing system is in otherwise decent condition. Here are some of those instances:
- Missing shingles. You will have to replace missing shingles ASAP. Any shingle that is missing is a window to the underlayment and roof deck. You don’t want those vulnerable to the elements.
- Cracked or torn shingles. Since this is minor, you can replace ripped or cracking shingles individually. Sometimes, you can even repair the shingle itself with some sealant.
- Broken shingles. If a piece of a shingle is missing, it is as if the entire shingle was removed. You will need to replace the entire shingle and check the surrounding area for damage as well.
Now, what kind of assessment leads to you deciding to repair a vast section of the roof? Or when do you have to replace everything? Here are some visual clues:
- The roof shows signs of aging. Whenever a roof shows signs of aging, whether from discolored roofing, sagging, mold growth, or sitting water, it means you could have larger problems. Be sure to inspect the roof to see if anything is damaged.
- Shingles are curling. When asphalt shingles curl, it means they are long past their life expectancy and are no longer protecting your roof from the elements.
- Shingles have lost granules. Those pebbly parts of shingles are meant to keep UV rays from penetrating the interior of your home. Shingles without granules need to be replaced.
Steps To Repairing a Roof
Now that you know what goes into the roof repair process even before the project begins, let’s have a look at how a repair project would progress:
As mentioned earlier, inspection is the first step to roof repair. However, it doesn’t just happen once but several times throughout the duration of the project. You have the initial inspection, the one that makes you decide repairs are needed or to hire a roofing contractor. Then, after the second and third steps, another inspection of the roof deck is done to ensure nothing needs to be replaced. Once the new roofing materials are installed, the roofer will go back over the roof and give it a seal of approval.
There are a few kinds of protection you need for the second step. The first is protection for your property, such as a tarp and a dumpster for disposal (if the contractor doesn’t provide one). Next, if you’ve hired a contractor, make sure they are insured and have a formal contract for you to sign.
Remove Old Roofing Material
If you have a lot of damage, you might have to replace a section of the roof instead of just repairing it. If that’s true, you need to remove the old shingles and underlayment. You need to do this to inspect the roof decking.
Prep For Shingles
Before applying the new roofing materials, an inspector will need to check for rotted wood, missing nails, and other problems with the roof decking. Any repairs to the roof decking will be accomplished before moving on. This includes re-nailing.
New Roof Material Installation
Once the base has been laid out, nailed down, and checked for any problems, the roofing material is ready for installation. Again, this depends on the type of shingles that need to be repaired or replaced and the contractor’s strategy.
Clean Up and Final Inspection
Lastly, the site is cleaned up. The roofing repair job then receives a post-project inspection. This ensures that everything has been secured and will perform optimally.
Final Thoughts of the Roof Repairing Process
The roof repair process can be extensive, especially if the damage is more than just a few scratches or a slow leak. That is why it is important to know what is involved. That way, if you need to DIY something quickly or hire a contractor, you can be better prepared and do what needs to be done with more confidence.
Now that you know about the repair process for roofing, what else do you want to learn about? If you need professional help or want more information, fill out the contact form.