Repairing a roof can seem simple, especially if it doesn’t involve many shingles. But most homeowners don’t know a lot about roofing so a DIY solution may be trickier than it seems. The same goes for inexperienced or sloppy roofers. Whether the problem is due to ignorance, poor workmanship, or just cutting corners, you don’t want a roof repair that is less than perfect. So before you hire a roofer (or try to do it yourself), you should know about these common roof repair mistakes to avoid. Of course, if you really want to be sure your roof is fixed correctly, there’s no substitute for experienced roofers. Eagle Watch Roofing is ready to help with any roof repair, large or small. Then you don’t have to worry about any potential problems.
Is Roof Repair a DIY Project?
Roof repair is one of those home improvement projects that many homeowners think they can do themselves. On the most basic level, purchasing a new shingle and nailing it in place seems simple. But many factors go into roof repair that go beyond just replacing a shingle. So if your roof needs repair, think twice before undertaking the repairs yourself.
1. Misdiagnosing a Leak
A leak is the most common sign that there is a problem with your roof. Often, it’s the first sign that something is wrong. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that a leak in your ceiling is not always a sign of a problem directly above the leak. Water is sneak, and it can flow along pipes, joists, or even electrical systems. When it finds the lowest spot, it pools and drips down onto your ceiling. All you see is the final spot where the water ended up, but not its source in the roof.
Diagnosing a roof leak is as much of an art as it is a science. An inexperienced or underqualified roofer may think they’ve found the problem, but next time it rains the homeowner is in for a nasty surprise. We’ve seen cases where a roofer opens up the whole ceiling to find a leak and replace the damaged drywall. But after a large and expensive fix, the leak comes right back.
2. Ignoring the Root of the Problem
Even once you find the source of the leak, just slapping on a new shingle may be ignoring the root of the problem. Yes, a leak can start with a broken or damaged shingle. But by the time the leak has worked its way into your dining room, there’s a lot more damage. Also, the damaged shingle may not be the source of the problem. Sometimes the decking or underlayment was installed wrong or has become damaged.
To get to the root of your roofing problem requires a thorough inspection. Many cut-rate roofers can’t or don’t do that. When Eagle Watch Roofing comes to fix a leak, we take a look at your decking, underlayment, and other structural features before we make the final repair. Sometimes it’s just a shingle, but sometimes it’s more.
3. Skipping the Attic
If there’s a problem with your roof, there is often a problem with your attic. Sometimes the damage to the roof is a result of what’s going on in the attic. And sometimes whatever started on the roof can have an effect on your attic. Either way, choosing to ignore the attic can cause problems down the road.
If you have a leak that has made its way into your living area, it has to get past the attic. You may only see a small water stain or a little peeling plaster in your living room. But in the attic, you may have more extensive water damage. If decking or framing has been exposed to water for a long time, you could have rot. Another danger is mold, which can grow in the attic and quickly get into your ventilation system. Mold spores can get all around your house, causing respiratory issues and other illness. If you have insulation, the insulation can become waterlogged. Wet insulation is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Even if you don’t have water in your attic, the problems with your roof might be caused by your attic. Specifically, poor ventilation in your attic can do serious damage to your roof. An inadequately ventilated attic can become oppressively hot in the summer, literally cooking your roof from underneath. In the winter, when the air is cold, moisture can collect in an inadequately ventilated attic. The moisture gets into your framing and decking and can cause rot.
4. Sloppy Installation
There is no excuse for shoddy workmanship. If you can’t correctly install roofing, you shouldn’t be selling your services as a roofer. Unfortunately, many roofers haven’t gotten that message. They cut corners to save themselves time and labor, even as they cost you money and damage down the road. When installing new shingles, there are plenty of places you can go wrong. Let’s look at two of the most common.
First, some roofers try to save time and money without thinking it through first. Installing shingles over the existing layer is acceptable in some situations. But it’s not always the best way to make a repair. And it’s never appropriate to build up more than two layers of shingle. If you are doing an extensive repair, laying down a second layer of asphalt shingle over the existing one can save on time and labor costs. But before you do that, you need to make sure the decking and frame of the house can support the weight of a second roof.
Second, some roofers just aren’t very good at what they do. We’ve seen installations of crooked or misaligned shingles. In other cases, roofers have used the wrong type of fasteners, like nails that aren’t long enough. Sometimes shingles were nailed in improperly. These problems aren’t just aesthetic. If a shingle isn’t installed in the right spot with the right technique, it is susceptible to wind damage, leaking, and curling. It could also void your warranty for the entire roof, costing you thousands of dollars for a few bad shingles.
5. Poorly Matched Shingles
When you repair your roof you want it to look like it was never broken, right? The problem is that it’s actually quite hard to match shingles. Think about how hard it is to match paint when you have to fill a damaged spot on the wall of your house. There are hundreds of different types of shingles, and the shingles on your roof don’t look the same as they did when they were installed. Years of weather have changed them.
While it’s nearly impossible to get an exact match—weathering makes it really hard—it is possible to do better or worse. A sloppy roofer who is more interested in saving time than doing the job right will pick a shingle that doesn’t really fit with your roof. On the other hand, experienced roofers like Eagle Watch Roofing will do everything we can to make the patch as unnoticeable as possible.
Experienced, Quality Roofers Make a Huge Difference
When you try to save a buck with a cut-rate roofer, think about just how many ways it could go wrong. Sometimes you’ll save a little cash on the front end, only to find out you have thousands of dollars of damage not long after. That doesn’t mean roof repairs have to be costly. Eagle Watch Roofing provides highly competitive rates for top-notch work. If you are making an insurance claim, we’ll work with your insurance the whole way to make sure you spend as little out of pocket as possible. Just know that when you go with Eagle Watch Roofing, you are getting great quality, a great price, and great customer service. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Check what our customers have to say. If you need roof repairs, call us today .