Tackling a DIY roof repair isn’t always something your local contractor would advise, as climbing up on your roof can be dangerous. However, it’s still important for homeowners to have an idea of the roof repair basics for the times when it’s absolutely necessary.

When it comes to the smaller DIY roof repair projects that homeowners can handle on their own, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your safety and success. For more DIY roof repair tips, follow along below!

9 DIY Roof Repair Tips You Should Know:

1. Wear the Right Gear

DIY roof repair tips: removing shingles with a crow bar

Dressing appropriately for getting up on your roof is arguably the most overlooked step in DIY roof repairs. However, it’s essential that you wear the right clothing to help prevent mishaps due to debris or hot surfaces, as well as injuries in the event of an accident.

Dressing appropriately for protection means wearing:

  • Long sleeves
  • Long pants — jeans are your best bet
  • Rubber-soled shoes to provide a better grip and stability while walking

Bonus points if you invest in safety gear like a full-body harness and straps.

2. Make Sure Your Roof Shingles Match

One of the most common DIY roof repairs the handy homeowner can take on is replacing shingles. When doing this, however, it’s easy to make the mistake of buying the wrong color replacement roofing materials.

Part of the challenge comes with the age of your existing roof, as asphalt shingles will fade over time due to the sun’s UV rays. The best thing you can do in this instance is to buy new shingles that are the same color, brand, and style as your original ones to ensure they match as much as possible.

3. Try to Salvage Old Shingles

If there’s a chance you can salvage your roof shingles rather than buy new shingles, then do that! 

For example, if you see that your existing roof shingles are just curled, you can use roofing cement along with some roofing nails to keep them down. If they’re brittle, you can use a heat gun to soften them so they won’t break while you push them back in place.

Not only will this help you save money on buying new shingles, but it’ll be more convenient if you can’t find replacement shingles due to the manufacturer discontinuing them.

4. Pay Attention to Your Roof’s Flashing and Vents

chimney flashing next to some roof vents

Your roof flashing is the thin metal sheet sealing adjoining areas that are otherwise vulnerable to water seepage. When addressing your flashing, you’ll want to:

  • Make sure that it’s completely nailed down and lying flush against the roof
  • Look it over to see if it’s cracked, loose, or has gaps around it
  • Be sure to nail it back down and seal it with roof cement if needed

Your roof vents are responsible for pulling hot air from your attic to prevent moisture build-up. Make sure the caulk sealing your roof vents is still intact. If they’re not, you’ll want to apply a new layer of caulk.

5. Cover Up Exposed Nail Heads

The nails used to install your existing shingles should always be underneath the shingles just above the shingles they’re nailed into. (In other words, you don’t want any of them exposed to the elements.)

If you notice any exposed nails, you’ll want to cover them with the proper shingle or replace them — preferably with aluminum or galvanized steel, as these metals don’t rust easily. 

For any nails that cannot be covered (but aren’t rusted), use caulk or a roof sealant over them.

6. Caulk Won’t Solve All Your Problems

While we’ve suggested using caulk several times thus far, it should be noted that you can’t use caulk for everything. A few examples of what not to use caulk for include:

  • Roof flashing
  • Soffits
  • Bottom edge (where your roof meets the siding)
  • Gaps between shingles

It’s best to do a little research and understand exactly what your DIY roof repair entails so you can make sure you’re prepared with the right materials to get the job done correctly.

7. Know When You Should Repair Vs Replace

While some roof repairs may seem like they’re an easy fix, you won’t know unless you’re familiar with the issue at hand. Ultimately, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, which is why it’s necessary to evaluate the situation and make sure you’re not attempting to repair something that actually needs to be replaced.

There are plenty of roofing company blogs out there that discuss this topic at length, and if you’re still unsure, it’s best to call a trusted roofer for an inspection.

8. Know When to Call the Professionals

diy roof repair tips: call a professional when you need it

In addition to the above tip, it’s essential to know when to put your curiosity or ego aside and call a professional roofing contractor. For example, when you:

  • Aren’t sure what the problem is exactly
  • Don’t understand how to fix the problem
  • Don’t feel safe climbing up on your roof
  • Don’t have the proper clothing, tools, or materials for the job
  • Have multiple roof leaks or can’t find roof leaks
  • Notice extensive water damage
  • Can’t address the problem immediately (minor problems can quickly turn into big problems when neglected)
  • Realize that the issue requires a replacement rather than a simple repair

There’s no shame in not having the time or skill to tackle damage like roof leaks. After all, roofing is a specialized skill for a reason, and the most reputable contractors have extensive training and industry experience that allows them to quickly and efficiently address roofing issues.

9. Don’t Hire Just Anyone

When it comes to hiring a roofer to carry out the repairs on your own roof, you’ll need to choose wisely. It might be tempting to call your family handyman or the first roofing company you see online — but your handyman is NOT a roofing expert, and not all roofing contractors are trustworthy.

Be sure to ask around and do a little digging to find a certified roofer in your area that you can trust by:

  • Reading through their reviews to see what others have to say 
  • Checking out their rating on accredited sites like Houzz, Angies List, etc
  • Going over their website to ensure they’re licensed, insured, and certified

Get In Touch With The Pros

Don’t compromise your safety or the quality of your roof, let us handle your roofing needs with precision and care. Your peace of mind is our ultimate goal, trust Andes Roofing for a job done right. Your satisfaction and safety are our top priorities, and we’re here to serve you.

When you want to skip doing the repairs on your own roof, Andes Roofing has the experienced roofing professionals you can trust for a stress-free experience. Give us a call today to schedule your free roof inspection!