Do-It-Yourself Roof Repairs
Most people prefer to hire a contractor for any roof repairs in Mesa Arizona, but if you would like to attempt some more minor roof repairs, here are a few tips.
- Never climb on a wet roof.
- Wear safe footwear with good traction.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses.
- Use a sturdy ladder, and stay away from power lines.
- When working on a steeply pitched roof use safety equipment, such as a safety harness.
Basic Roofing Tools
- Tools you will need include a hammer, roofing knife, pry bar, and ladder.
Diagnosing a Leak
It can be more difficult than you imagine locating a leak in a roof. The key factor is that water will always flow directly down with gravity. The next factor to keep in mind is that penetrations, such as plumbing vents, chimneys and skylights are the most common source of leaks. Anywhere there is flashing, such as around eaves and dormers, is a likely place for a leak. Sometimes home owners see signs of leakage, such as algae or mold on interior wood, or wet insulation, when the problem is actually condensation due to lack of ventilation .
Replacing Roof Vents
Attic and roof vents help maintain the temperature inside your home by allowing hot air in your attic to escape during the summer and by preventing the attic air from melting the snow off of your roof and creating ice dams in the gutters during the winter. They also help prevent condensation.
There are different types of roof vents, so replacement involves choosing the proper type and the amount of ventilation needed. Consult your building codes in Mesa, Arizona for balanced attic ventilation requirements. Once you decide on the type and quantity of vents that are needed, install the vents according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Depending on the installation, attic vents may need to be installed from inside the attic or on the roof. Remove the old attic vent from the roof and place the new attic vent in the ventilation hole and fasten securely.
Replacing ridge vents involves working on the highest parts of your roof, the ridges. Always use proper safety equipment to prevent falls. If the vent is on a very steep or tall roof then you should consider hiring a contractor for your roof repair.
If you feel you are able to tackle this roof repair yourself, use a metal pry bar and hammer to remove the old ridge cap that is usually nailed to the top of the vent. Use work gloves and safety goggles, as the metal edges can be extremely sharp.
Also lift all shingles that overlap the lower edges of the roof vent. Lift the top edge of the shingle up to expose the entire metal flange of the metal vent, by sliding a flat pry bar underneath the heads of the roofing nails and then pulling them up without damaging the shingle. Before installing the new vent, cover all bare wood with felt paper, fastening it with staples or roofing nails. Replace any shingles as necessary up to the edge of the vent opening. Place the new ridge vent over the opening. Seal the edge of the metal flange with flashing cement on top and bottom. Then nail the metal to the roof, using a nail about every six inches. Cut and nail the ridge cap to the top of the vent. To finish, you will need to cut roofing shingles into thirds and nail the shingles to the roof at the side of the vent.
Replacing lost or damaged roofing shingles:
If you need to replace a shingle it is helpful to take one of the damaged shingles with you to the lumberyard or home center to match the color and style. Once you are on the roof you will need to remove any damaged shingles. You can slip a metal pry bar between the shingles to separate them. It is more difficult to remove a hot shingle, so if the area of roof you are repairing is in the sun, it will help to cool it down with cold water first. After cooling, use the pry bar to separate the shingles and loosen the sealant. Remove the nails from the shingle you are replacing and from the shingle above it as those nails also go through the shingle you are removing. Remove any remaining pieces of damaged shingle with the pry bar. Then replace the needed shingles with the new shingles, according to the manufacturer’s application instructions. If necessary, use a utility knife to cut the new shingle to match the size of the old one. Nail the new shingle into place, then hand seal, since the old sealant may not seal properly after being broken.
Blog Written By: Alan Monzon
Arizona Roof Rescue
6069 N. 57th Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85301