Can I Repair My Own Roof?

One question we often hear from homeowners is “can I repair my own roof?”, but unfortunately the answer isn’t straightforward. While we would advise always opting for professional help when it comes to roof repairs and renovation work, there are some jobs that can be completed to an acceptable standard by DIY-savvy homeowners.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at what roof repairs you may be able to do yourself, and which repairs you should leave to the professionals.

Repairs that may be able to be completed by homeowners with some roofing or DIY experience

As a general rule, all roofing work should be left to professionals (especially if you don’t have any experience in roof repairs), but some smaller jobs may be able to be done yourself, such as:

Small patch repairs

Small patch repairs may be able to be completed without professional aid, providing you can safely access your roof and so long as you use the appropriate, good-quality materials for the job. For a felt or asphalt roof, special sealants are available that can be used to repair splits and blisters.

This sealant needs to be sprayed under the crack in the existing roofing material, and then a new patch of felt or asphalt needs to be put in place underneath the cracked material. The sealant is then sprayed again on top of the new piece and the old felt needs to be pressed back down, and all of the joints can be secured with the sealant.

Replacing individual lengths of guttering

Replacing an entire drainage system may be too challenging for the average homeowner but replacing individual lengths of guttering that have become cracked, warped, or broken should be achievable. Simply buy a new length of the same material cut to the same size as the damaged piece and make the swap.

Depending on the material of your gutter, the replacement method may be slightly different, but with standard uPVC guttering, you simply need to pull on the clips holding the guttering to release it and push the gutter forward to roll it out from the clips. Simply insert the new length of guttering – back edge first – and then roll it into position.

Individual tile/shingle replacements

Replacing individual tiles or shingles is something that most DIY-savvy homeowners should be able to do, providing you can safely access the affected area of the roof. You will need to buy the new tiles you need in the same style as the originals.

If there is still an existing damaged or broken tile in place, this will first need to be removed. This may also involve removing the surrounding tiles to reveal the fixings, which can then be removed with a pry bar. Then place the new tile in position and secure it with the same type of fixing as the surrounding tiles, and then put those back in place too.

Depending on how old your roof is, the new tiles may look different at first, but over time and with weathering they will begin to blend in with the older tiles.

Repairs that should always be left to roofing professionals

As mentioned earlier, the most significant roof repairs should be left to the professionals. These include:

Full roof replacements 

A full roof replacement is a significant undertaking that requires a lot of time and specialist knowledge and shouldn’t be attempted by the uninitiated.

Permanent repairs 

While patch repairs and individual tile replacements offer a temporary solution to roofing problems, the cause of the damage can be indicative of a bigger underlying problem. If you notice cracks or damage consistently, arrange a professional consultation.

Drainage system replacement

Adequate drainage is essential for your roof’s longevity and your home’s safety, so you need to be sure the system you have in place (or are planning to switch to) is the right type for the situation. Just switching to different gutters of a different colour may be achievable, but you should get the health of your roof assessed first.

All structural work

You can’t afford to cut corners to save money when it comes to your roofing structure. Deep-set problems such as rot or sagging rafters need to be assessed immediately by a professional for the safety of all inhabitants.

Hopefully now you are better informed about when you can repair your own roof. If you aren’t 100% sure about any work you are going to undertake, it is always best to contact a professional, as initial savings won’t outweigh the costs of rectifying improper repairs. 

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