Need a new roof? Thinking about tackling your roof replacement yourself? Think again! There are major reasons–from safety to roof performance–to leave installing new shingles to the pros.
Roof shingles are just one of those things that eventually need to be replaced. Even with today’s highly engineered roofing materials, you’ll find the average life span of an asphalt roof is typically only about 35 years. When the time comes to replace your roof, many avid do-it-yourselfers tend to take the “how hard can it be” approach and tackle their own roof replacement. But if you’re considering that route, make sure you think it all the way through before grabbing the nail gun–roofing installation/replacement gone wrong can have some serious repercussions for your health and the safety of your home.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that between 2008 and 2009 (the last year for which statistics are available), some 890,000 people went to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. The simple truth is that getting up on the roof to replace your shingles is dangerous. Especially if you have a multi-story home or a steep roof, you’re putting yourself at risk for a major fall if you try to handle your own roof installation. Professional roofing contractors are both trained and experienced, and they have the know-how to handle the heights safely. If you’re still not worried about the safety risks, remember, that you’ll be doing a lot more than just walking around on the roof: tearing off the old shingles, rolling out new felt, handling the new shingles and nail gun, etc., are all hard jobs that can easily throw your balance off. And just a momentary shift in balance can mean you’re headed to the ER with a broken leg or worse!
Beyond the safety aspects, it’s also important to keep quality in mind. Your roof is what protects your whole house from the adverse effects of water damage caused by precipitation, so it’s particularly critical that this project be done right. Roofing installation has many steps, from putting down the felt underlayment to actually nailing down the shingles themselves. Add in ridge vents and installing flashing around chimneys and vent stacks, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. Each step has to be done correctly and at the right point in the process or you risk making a mistake that could lead to water penetrating your home.
With do-it-yourself projects like painting or gardening, typically the worst side effect of a mistake or incorrect approach is aesthetic (dripped paint or dead bushes, for example). However, when roof installation isn’t done right, it can mean water leaking into your home. And with water comes possible structural concerns as well as mold and its related health issues.
So it’s just not worth it. Instead of trying to be a weekend warrior with your roof, call in the pros instead. You’ll reap the benefit of safety for your home as well as yourself by letting professional roofers handle the project. Roofing contractors have the training and tools to get the job done right, so don’t hesitate to call them in for your roof replacement today.
Flat Roof Repair Advice
You can cut out much of the repair work needed for your roof if only you follow the maintenance tips for various kinds of roofs. Roofs made of different materials require different kind of maintenance. However, regardless of the material used to make a flat or slanting roof, debris and weather are two major culprits behind damage and deterioration of roofs, especially in the city of Richmond.
Whether you have a roof made of asphalt shingles or wooden shakes, you can ensure that it not only lasts longer but keeps looking beautiful for years if only you follow the under mentioned roof maintenance tips.
- Clean off any debris from your roof on a regular basis. You should trim the tree branches that hang over your roof.
- Get professional roof repair specialists in Richmond, VA to do a through inspection of your roof in early spring and late fall. This way you can replace loose shingles and cracked tiles before they allow any form of water damage to take place.
- Pay special attention to the flashings around vents, skylights and chimneys while checking for any sign of damage.
- Make it a point to clean gutters and down spouts every month so that they are not choked with leaves, sticks or other debris.
- Do not walk on the roof while conducting an inspection or some roof repair work. Use an extension ladder for the purpose.
- Do not commit the mistake of painting your shingles as it reduces their life span drastically and they start looking shabby in a few months time.
Roof Maintenance Tips for Asphalt Shingles
One of the most common problems of having an asphalt shingle roof is that it easily grows algae and moss the can cause moisture entrapment and hence resultant dampness and leaking. To prevent this from happening, you can install zinc control strips along the ridges and joints of the roof surface. You can also check the problem of replacing missing shingles by applying some roofing cement under loose shingle tabs. Do not forget to check the caulking from time to time and keep the same debris free.
Roof Maintenance Tips for Wood Shakes
Wood shake roof maintenance calls for taking steps to prevent the growth of mold, rot and insects that can cause considerable damage. In addition to that, do not forget to use a coat of water proofing material and a spray on fire retardant on the roof surface.
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