You’ve seen them on the TV, the avid do-it-yourselfers who renovate their bathroom, gut their kitchen, or even flip a house. But DIY isn’t for everyone. In fact, it probably isn’t even for the folks on TV. (Remember, there’s a lot that goes on that you don’t see.) There’s nothing wrong with a little do-it-yourself spirit when it’s called for. There really is a lot you can do if you’re willing to work hard and take the time to research and learn before you begin. But as professional contractors, one of the best reminders we have for DIY enthusiasts is not every project is a do-it-yourself project. Some projects have potentially dangerous consequences if they are not done by a professional. Roofing is a prime example of a project that requires professional expertise. There are just too many things that can go wrong during a roofing project to risk going it alone. From our own experience, here are our top five dangers of DIY roofing.
Safety Risks Working on a Roof
This is by far the most important point we can make. No matter how cool a project seems, no matter how much you can save doing it yourself, safety should always come first. Your roof is a dangerous place, and when you are walking on a roof, anything can happen. For one thing, you could slip and fall off your house, and that’s no joke. Falling from a height of just six feet can be enough to paralyze you. There’s no amount of DIY gumption that can make up for that. When professional roofers work at a height, we use protective harnesses to keep us safe.
Among the dangers of DIY roofing is the potential damage to people around you. If your tools drop out of your hands and off the roof, you could injure a person who is standing around your home. Even if you don’t hit a person, a falling hammer or other heavy items can damage your property. Just imagine how your car windshield would stand up to a hammer falling 8 or 10 feet.
Another danger is falling through a soft spot in your home’s roof. If you are on the roof to inspect or repair damage, there are likely areas that are unsafe and can’t support your weight. When we inspect a roof, we use harnesses to keep us from falling. We also have a trained eye and lots of experience to help us spot trouble before we fall through.
Unsafe Handling of Roofing Materials
Improper handling of materials can also be dangerous. Replacing roof shingles can expose you to hazardous toxins and chemicals. Tar, adhesives, and other materials need to be appropriately handled. When we work with dangerous materials, we may wear a protective respirator when necessary. We also have the training and experience to minimize our exposure. Also, you don’t know what may lie beneath the shingles. If your home is more than a few decades old, your roof might contain asbestos fibers that cause lung cancer. Don’t risk exposure. Call the pros.
Safety is the most important concern for any DIY project. But the primary purpose of your project is to improve your home and save some money doing it. Making your home better than it was before takes a little know-how. Sometimes you can learn by reading, watching videos, or even talking to experts. But roofing is hard to learn without doing it. All of our technicians started out working with other, more experienced roofers. They took on their own projects only after many hours working under a lead roofer.
One of the dangers of DIY roofing is that even if you’ve done a little roofing, you may not be equipped to handle the latest technologies. With new materials and better techniques, advances in roofing technology are continually developing. Our roofers work hard to stay up to date. By working day in and day out, we have the opportunity to keep up with what’s new. If you’re working with newer materials and your skills have not been updated, it might result in faulty roof work.
Dangerous Mistakes from DIY Roofing
When you work on an interior remodel, mistakes are mostly aesthetic. Poor workmanship results in crooked lines, splattered paint, or uneven tiles. But roofing is much less forgiving. Shingles that are incorrectly installed can lead to some significant hazards. The moisture from rain and snow can get trapped under your roof shingles. This moisture can slowly enter your home through your roof and cause mold damage in your attic and beyond. Long before you can see mold or detect a leak, mold spores are floating around your home, potentially sickening your family. Your home could also experience electrical problems as a result of the moisture. Water and electricity should never mix, and when they do, you run the risk of fires.
In the end, you will have to hire a professional roofer like Eagle Watch Roofing to fix your damaged roof. Any savings you thought you achieved by doing it yourself will be long gone.
Voided Roofing Warranty
A voided roof warranty is not a physical danger. However, it is a financial danger. Your roof has two main warranties. First, there is the warranty from the manufacturer of your shingles. Most shingles come with pretty good warranties that protect you if there is something wrong with the product itself. Professional roofers also offer warranties on their labor.
If you do the work yourself, you have no warranty on the labor, of course. But you could also risk voiding the warranty on your materials. Roofing materials companies have strict guidelines about non-professional roofing jobs. Many warranties can protect your roof for up to 10 years, but only when installed by licensed professionals. If a non-professional installs your shingles, your warranty may be voided the moment you drive your first nail.
Additional issues may arise if you have to make an insurance claim for damage to your roof. Homeowners insurance companies don’t take kindly to rookie mistakes. Even if the damage is due to a natural disaster, if your insurance company can show that the roof was not installed correctly or to code, you may lose out on your legitimate claim.
It’s Probably Not Worth the Dangers of DIY Roofing
Although your desire to save thousands of dollars is understandable, resist the urge to work on your home’s roof. The dangers of DIY roofing probably aren’t worth it. If the project does not turn out as planned, it could cost thousands of dollars in repairs and medical bills. Instead, contact Eagle Watch Roofing. We promise to make the whole process as smooth and easy as possible, and we guarantee you will get your money’s worth. And if you think you have an insurance claim, let us know. We’ll work with your insurance to ensure that you pay as little out of pocket as possible. Homeowners we work with usually end up paying just their deductible and not a penny more. So contact Eagle Watch Roofing today to get your free quote.