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At-Home Roofing Tips For Beginners

Having a roof over your head may seem like a small pleasure, but you really don’t know how important it is until it starts to fail you. Leaks, creaks, rot, and other dangers can threaten the safety of your home and family, so keeping your roof healthy should be high on your “Honey-Do” list. But if you don’t have the money for a Doylestown roofing contractor, you can fix the problems yourself; be aware, however, that traversing a roof is extremely dangerous and falling can cause serious injury of death, so be sure to take correct safety precautions.

Find The Problem

The first thing you want to do is locate the source of the problem. The location of the problem depends on the severity and type of problem you are dealing with. Leaks are fairly easy to find. Water always travels with gravity, so mark the point where the water falls and check only the area of the roof that is above it; look for damaged, curled, missing, or rotten shingles, cracks in the caulking, and any pest inflicted holes. Sometimes fallen branches can be a factor in removing shingles, so remove any foreign debris. To find rotten joists or beams, look for moss, algae, or other fungi growing on or around your joists. Rotted wood will be soft, almost spongy, so if you take a step and feel your foot depress more than it should, you may have a rotten beam. To test this, take a thin steel or iron rod and gently push it into the soft spot; if it is rotten, there should be no problem pushing it into the wood. Be careful, stepping on rotten wood can cause you to fall right through and get seriously injured. If you suspect termites or other damaging pests, check your beams for small holes, brittle spots, and dry flaking.

Repairs

Once you have found the source of the problem it is pertinent that you make repairs accordingly. To fix a leaky roof there are a couple different options depending on the source of the problem. You may need to replace your shingles; to do this, pull out the nails and lay your new shingle down under the shingles on top, nail it down on the top two corners, and then seal the nails with roofing cement. If the problem occurred because of cracked caulking, simply re-caulk the areas that are causing problems. Rotten beams are a different story, there are many DIY articles about how to replace rotten beams if the problem isn’t too severe, but if the rot has spread to multiple beams, you may need to call a contractor to get the roof replaced.

Prevention

Once you get the problem fixed there is the issue of making sure that it doesn’t happen again. Make regular check-ups on your roof to make sure there are no further problems. Clean out your gutters to prevent fires and other hazards. Seal the edges where structures meet with caulking or roofing cement to prevent more leaks, and if you suspect pests are at work, call an exterminator or set up traps; getting a cat strictly bred for pest control is another great way to keep animals out of your construction. Regardless of how well you think you repaired you roof, call a Doylestown roofing contractor to check your work and fix any mistakes you may have made.

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