It's great to have a DIY spouse or partner who enjoys learning how to repair things around the house, but the roof is one place that shouldn't be used as a DIY training ground, because a minor mistake could result in major problems down the road. If your spouse or partner engages in any of the following seven behaviors, he may not know as much about roofing as he lets on.
1. He cleans the roof with a pressure washer.
Cleaning your roof with a pressure washer is a surefire way to speed up the erosion process of all your roofing shingles. Sure, a pressure washer works great at cleaning other outdoor structural components of your house (e.g. decking), but blasting pressurized water at your asphalt or wood shingles isn't wise. He could be damaging the shingles or increasing their wear-and-tear.
2. He's always finding reasons to traipse around on the roof.
Walking around on the roof is obviously a dangerous thing to do, but beyond that, it's also not good for your roofing shingles. Every time he walks across your roof's asphalt shingles, granules are disturbed and dislodged. This increases the wear of the shingles and the potential for future leaks.
3. He doesn't keep the gutters clean.
If your spouse allows leaves and debris to clog-up your home's gutters, he's asking for trouble. Gutters are there to direct excess water from your roof to the ground, a safe distance away from the foundation of your home. Once your gutters become clogged, the excess water can wreak all sorts of havoc with your roof, like seeping under your shingles to cause moisture damage.
4. He thinks he needs to pull off shingles to inspect for leaks.
Unless he's a trained roofer, it is never a good idea for him to remove shingles to check for leaks. First of all, this means he's probably spending too much time on the roof (see #2), and in addition to that, he could also be creating new leaks where there were none before. He is likely causing damage to the shingles every time he pulls them off and hammers them back down again.
5. He mounted a satellite dish to your roof.
Satellite dishes have come a long way in the last 20 years or so, which means you no longer need to screw a dish to the roof to get good reception. Those screw holes in the roof create openings for moisture, which could lead to leaks and other damage.
6. He leaves tree branches hanging over the roof.
Tree branches should always be trimmed back so they don't hang directly over your roof. Overhanging branches can drop leaves, pinecones and other kinds of debris onto your roof. If this moisture-attracting debris isn't routinely removed, it creates an ideal breeding ground for mildew and mold growth.
7. He hangs Christmas lights from the roof.
Putting holes through the shingles or edges of your roof is never a good idea. If you live in a snowy climate, consider the fact that there will soon be snow on your roof. As the snow melts, it can easily seep into those holes he drilled to hang Christmas lights and cause unnecessary problems.
If you can relate to at least two of these risky roofing behaviors, your spouse or partner probably doesn't have as much roofing experience as he lets on. Do yourself a favor and call a pro next time you need roofing help. If your spouse is still determined to do some of the work, you can still hire a residential roofing expert at least once and have your spouse use that as an opportunity to learn the proper steps to maintain the roof.