3 DIY Roof Repairs Every Homeowner Should Know

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Even homeowners with years of experience in DIY home repair will often leave roof repairs to a professional. However, you should know that there are a few roofing projects that virtually anyone can accomplish without calling a contractor. Here is a guide to three simple roof repairs.

Replacing Shingles

Falling branches and high winds are the two most common culprits behind damaged shingles. Repairing broken or dislodged shingles as soon as possible will prevent water from seeping through your roof and rotting the wood frame beneath it. Large-scale shingle replacements may require the services of a professional, but it is not difficult to replace a handful of damaged shingles on your own.

The first step to repair a damaged shingle is to remove it using a pry bar. Pull the bottom of the shingle directly above the damaged shingle upward until the top set of roofing nails holding it in place are freed from your roof. Next, pull up the bottom of the damaged shingle so that all four nails are loose. Remove the old shingle and slide a new one into place, lay the top shingle back over the replacement shingle, and secure the new shingle with four roofing nails in the corners.

Removing Algae Stains

Algae is an ever-present enemy of your roof that many homeowners are not aware of. This can be especially problematic if you live in a humid climate, as algae thrives on moisture. Algae colonies ruin the appearance of your roof by creating dark stains on asphalt shingles. For the best results, do this on a cool, cloudy day to prevent the cleaner from evaporating too quickly.

Algae stains can be removed from your roof using a variety of commercial cleaners or common household chemicals such as chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach. After choosing your cleaner, use a pump sprayer to thoroughly coat the stained areas of your roof. Allow the cleaner to rest for around 20 minutes and then use a garden hose to spray off your roof. This process should be done on a cool day so that the cleaner can do its job without evaporating off of your roof.

Patching Leaks

With chimneys, vents, and other structures emerging from your roof, you will almost inevitably face a roof leak at some point in the lifespan of your roof. Even if water is not visibly dripping in your attic, you should assume that a leak is attacking the underlayment of your roof if you see water stains on the ceiling or walls.

There are a few tricks you can use to locate leaks that aren't so obvious. One of the most effective methods is to spray down your roof with a garden hose. Take extra care to spray the flashing around your chimney and other penetrations in your roof, and have a helper stand in your attic to watch for dripping water.

Roofing nails that missed the rafters are a common cause of leaking in roofs that have not been damaged. In most cases, you can solve this problem by using pliers to clip off the ends of the nails that are visible from the attic. This will prevent water from running down the nails and into your attic as easily. Another common source of leaks is a cracked plastic roof vent. This problem is easy to solve by unscrewing the old vent and installing a new one, and it can even be done without dislodging any surrounding shingles in most cases.

Even if you don't feel ready to tackle large roof renovations on your own, these simple roof repair tasks are excellent projects to add to your DIY repertoire. Keep these tips in mind so you can keep your roof in good shape for years to come. For professional help with any roofing repairs, contact a company like Roof-Rite Roofing, Inc.