Roof Repairs and Replacements

Roof Repairs and Replacements

A roof’s primary function is to protect a house’s inhabitants from outdoor elements and weather conditions. Damaged roofing material compromises this functionality and leaves the house vulnerable to moisture damage, mold growth, and other structural issues.

Homeowners with the tools and niche expertise can perform some roof repairs themselves. However, for the most comprehensive and durable repair job, it’s best to hire a professional. Read on to know more.

Repairing Damaged Shingles

As the winds whip through your area, shingles can become damaged. In some cases, it is necessary to repair or replace them. Mismatched shingles are unsightly and create a patchy appearance on your roof. In addition, if water gets in behind them it can cause other problems such as leaks and rot.

Using a ladder and safety equipment, slide a pry bar beneath the row of shingles directly above the damaged section. Gently lift to break the sealer strip and expose the first row of nails.

Remove the nail and then pull out the damaged shingle. Place a replacement 3-tab shingle in its place. Apply a thin bead of roof sealant to the glue strip. Sprinkle a few shingle granules over the wet sealant to camouflage it. Nail the new shingle down with four roofing nails. Repeat this process to repair any other damaged areas of your roof. Make sure to check with your local city building department to find out if you need a permit to do this work.

Repairing Damaged Flashing

Flashing around chimneys, roof windows, and other penetrations is a common source of leaks. This flashing can degrade from exposure to weather, extreme temperature changes, or the sun’s UV rays, which can weaken the metal. If a leak develops, it can enter the roof and damage shingles, rafters, siding, and interior living spaces.

A skilled roofer can repair this damage, but the fix isn’t always as simple as nailing new flashing in place. Often the flashing is nailed in place with mortar joints, which can crumble or decay over time. These joints must be cleaned and re-sealed, or replaced if they have already deteriorated.

If the flashing is intact, you can try to reattach it with roofing cement or caulk. Make sure you have a ladder that is sturdy and secure before trying this, and be sure to wear gloves, closed-toe shoes, and a harness or spotter.

Repairing Damaged Vent Boots

The vent boots that encase the pipe vents sticking up from your roof often crack over time due to constant exposure to weather elements. This allows water to penetrate your roof and home causing damage. This type of damage can be very costly as it impacts the shingles, interior ceilings, attics, and even plumbing systems.

The best way to protect your home from leaks caused by damaged vent booting is by repairing it immediately. The first step is to safely access your roof by using a ladder and inspecting the area around the damaged vent boot. Check for cracks, tears, or shifts in the rubber seal as well as rust or corrosion on the metal portion of the boot.

A new rubber piece can be easily installed on top of the existing one by applying a generous amount of silicone sealer. This can be purchased at your local hardware store. Be sure to clean up any excess sealer that squeezes out during installation.

Repairing Damaged Gutters

Gutters can develop holes over time from exposure to the elements. Steel gutters are susceptible to rust, which can puncture the metal. Copper and aluminum gutters can suffer from corrosion, too. Inspect your gutters periodically and patch any holes as soon as possible.

Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow, which damages the siding of your home and causes soil erosion around the foundation. Overflowing gutters also encourage mold and mildew. Gutters are held in place by sleeve-and-spike supports or fascia brackets nailed to the face of the wall or roof. The nails connecting the gutters to the fascia boards can loosen due to standing water or extreme weather conditions.

You can repair this problem by installing gutter aprons, which are L-shaped lengths of flashing that attach to the bottom edge of the roof under the shingles with roofing nails and angle down over the inside of the gutter to eliminate any gap between the gutter and the house walls. Gutter aprons are available at most home improvement centers for less than $10 per section. Discover more interesting articles.