Most people don’t want to do repairs on their roof because they feel like getting on a roof is dangerous, they worry about doing a bad job which will cause leaks, or they think it will take too much time. While these can be valid issues, there are many repairs that a homeowner can do on their own to save substantial money. This list will explain how you can save money on three different roofing repairs.
- Flat Bar
- Utility Knife
Blown Off Shingles
This is one of the most common and easiest repairs to do that won’t cost you a lot of money. Often as your roof ages, shingles will blow off during wind storms. If you see that your roof is missing some shingles you’ll need to do the following
Asphalt shingles have a strip of tar of tar that acts as an adhesive. In order to remove the shingles, you will take the flat bar and go under the shingles to separate them. Once you raise the shingles slightly, you will use the flat bar to get under the nails and remove them so you can slide the shingle out of place. You will want to take one of the shingles you remove to a roofing supply store so you can get the same type of shingle and color. (The shingle will generally look a little different from the shingles on your roof since they have been slightly discolored in the sun)
After the damaged shingles are removed, you will make sure that all the old nails are removed or pounded flat into the roof deck. You will slide the new shingle into place so it lines up with the shingles on either side. It’s likely that you’ll have to cut the shingle so it will be the right size. Once the shingle is into place, you will put up to six nails through the center part of the shingle, high enough so that the shingle above it covers them. You do not want nails exposed.
Finally, depending on the age of the shingles, you may want to put some silicone or tar-based caulking under the shingles to keep them from separating and blowing off again.
Install Roofing Vent
As roofs get older, attic vents can become old and break down especially on plastic vents. When this happens, leaks may occur around these areas. Luckily replacing them is very simple.
First, you will want to loosen the shingles around the vent with a flat bar. This means getting in between them so they are no longer stuck together. You will then want to get your pry bar underneath the vent and start prying it up and pulling the nails. You may need to lift the shingles to see where you’re working. Once the nails are all removed, you will be able to pull the vent out. If you can’t easily remove it, then you probably have some nails you haven’t pulled.
Once the vent is out you will want to buy a matching vent at a home supply store. You will want to avoid anything made of plastic since those can crack and break. You’ll slide the vent up into place with the upper edge and sides beneath the shingles, and the lower edge on top of the shingle below. You will nail it to the roof, and then put some nails through your shingles to secure them. The shingles should lay flat around the vent, and if not you will have to trim them with your knife so they do.
If you are installing a vent, the process will be almost identical, except for removing an existing vent, you will cut a hole for a new vent. While wearing safety goggles you will cut a square hole with a 7-8 inch diameter having the top edge within 18 inches from the peak of the roof. You will separate the shingles with the flat bar and cut a few inches off the shingles on either side of the hole so the vent can slide up into place. You can then nail it to the deck and nail the shingles as needed.
Repair or Replace Pipe Flashing
The pipe flashing is a rectangular piece of metal or plastic that goes around a roof pipe. They usually have a cone-shaped piece of metal or a rubber gasket that fits around the pipe to keep water from entering around the pipe. As time goes on, rubber fittings can break causing leaks to occur. When this happens there are two ways you can fix them.
To repair most pipe flashings with minor damage, you can use silicon caulking or roofing tar to seal around the pipe. This will usually last for several years to keep water from entering around the pipe. You may have to go up every couple of years to make sure they are in good condition.
If there are major holes or splits in the rubber fitting, you will probably have to replace the pipe flashing. This is very similar to the vent replacement. You will separate the shingles and remove any nails from the pipe flashing. Once that is done, you can slip it up off of the pipe. You may want to temporarily remove the shingle above the pipe so you don’t damage it when you remove you flashing.
When you buy a new flashing you should measure the diameter of the pipe so you know what size to buy. Once you have the right size you will slide the flashing down around the pipe and nail it securely to the deck, with the top side and sides covered by the shingles and the bottom edge covering the shingle below.
These are some easy fixes that will help save money on home maintenance. Be sure to take the proper precautions to be safe on top of your roof, and call a roofing professional if the roof is dangerous to get on without the proper equipment. If you decide to hire a roofing company, you might want to see if they offer customers financing since roofing repairs can be rather expensive, and can cost hundreds or thousands if they require major repairs or a replacement of the existing roof. Do your research and find out what path is best for you.