While some roof problems are best left up to the professionals, others can be tackled by the average DIYer. Minor leaks, broken shingles, and similar repairs require just a few basic tools and materials. If you are planning on performing a roof repair, you may be wondering what products you actually need to complete the repairs successfully.
Best Roof Repair Products
Some of the most common roof repair products used by homeowners include the following:
1. Asphalt Shingles
If you have asphalt roofing shingles that are broken, curled, or have excessive wear and tear, they may need to be replaced. If only one or two shingles need to be replaced, you may be able to complete the task on your own. If you are overlaying an existing roof, opt for architectural shingles over standard 3-tab shingles to help disguise any high spots on the roof. Try to use leftover shingles from your original installation so that they blend in well with the surrounding roof.
2. Roofing Nails
Galvanized roofing nails, or steel nails that are coated in zinc, are best suited for use with asphalt shingles. These nails are resilient against rust, which is important due to direct contact with rain and snow. However, your location and the type of roof you have will play a part of the type of nail you need. For example, aluminum nails are a good choice for metal roofs, but are not recommended for use if you live in a coastal area due to exposure to salt.
Sealant helps ensure that your roof is able to withstand the elements without causing damage. A roof sealant is a type of fluid that is applied to the roof as a protective layer. It prevents your roof from absorbing moisture and can cut down your energy bill due to its reflective and emissive properties. Sealant is most commonly used around areas where water can penetrate, such as the roof vents, flashing, skylights, and chimneys.
Flashing is a crucial component of your roof that secures joints and areas that tend to accumulate water, such as the valleys that form between slopes. When there is adequate flashing, water is directed away from these vulnerable areas and into the gutters. Flashing are pieces of metal that are installed under shingles and siding to encourage water to move towards the edge of the roof. Without flashing, you risk any water on your roof penetrating the roofing materials.
Underlayment provides your home with an additional layer of protection. When in place, it prevents moisture and precipitation from permeating the roofing deck, which could result in wood rot and attic leaks. There are two main types of underlayment, including one made of felt and the other of modified bitumen or synthetic material. While felt paper is a more affordable option, it is often harder to work with. Synthetic underlayment is lighter and thinner, making it easier to install. However, it is also more costly.
6. Plywood or OSB
While in the attic examining the decking of your roof, you may discover soft spots or wood rot. When this occurs, it may be necessary to replace the damaged wood. Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) are often used by homeowners for most roof applications. To install the new wood, you will need to temporarily remove the shingles and cut out the rotted deck material. You can then measure and cut a new panel of the same thickness to replace it.
7. Drip Edge
While a metal drip edge is not always a requirement for roofs, it can prevent your shingles from curling over the edge, while also keeping water from running down the fascia boards. In addition, it gives your roof a clean edge. As the name suggests, a drip edge should be installed near the roof’s edge. While holding it snug against the fascia, fasten it into the decking using roof nails.
8. Extension Ladder
While a ladder is a must-have tool for roof repair, it is a product that many homeowners overlook. Climbing out windows or accessing the roof some other way can put you in harm’s way. Having an extension ladder and the right safety equipment is crucial to prevent roofing injuries from occurring. Ideally, you want a ladder that extends to the height of your roof to prevent you from having to strain to get on top.
Fixing Your Roof Problems
While some roofing jobs can be accomplished by a knowledgeable homeowner, such as fixing roof leaks, others require the experience of a roofing contractor. Professional roofers have the tools, materials, and skills needed to complete the job safely and accurately. If your roof is too steep or unsafe due to rotted or damaged materials, always have a professional perform the repairs. You should also hire a contractor if the damage is severe, such as a large hole, extensive rot, warping or sagging materials, or if numerous shingles need to be replaced.
There are countless other benefits to hiring a professional contractor to perform your more complex roof repairs. A qualified roof repair contractor in Northern Virginia will perform a full roof evaluation to ensure that there is no other damage that you may have overlooked. This can save you significant time and money later on when the problem is eventually found. Hiring a roofer is also cost-effective for a number of reasons. First, you can ensure that the job is done right the first time around. In addition, roof repair contractors typically use high-quality materials that are not easily accessible to the average homeowner. Most contractors also provide a warranty which can give you peace of mind for years to come.
Contact A Roof Repair Contractor
While it can be tempting to take on roof repairs on your own, this is not always the safest or most cost-effective option. When you hire the right roof repair contractor for the job, you can have your roof repaired quickly and without risk of injury. For more information about roof repair products or to schedule a free roof repair consultation, contact the roof repair contractor at Beyond Exteriors.