If your roof is leaking or looking rough, it can be tempting to crawl up there are take a look or even try to fix it yourself. However, this is a bad and possibly dangerous idea. Depending on the situation, you could make the damage worse, fall off or even fall through.
You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
Where is the roof leaking? Is the flashing around the chimney in good shape or is that where water is getting in? Do you know what kind of sealants adhere best to brick, metal and roofing paper? Roofing is a highly specialized area of construction. Depending on the age of your home and previous roofing methods, there may be several layers of decking, tar paper or shingles in place. Building codes also come into play. Can your house take the weight of another layer of shingles or do you need to strip it down to the decking and start over? Do you have the proper tools for fixing a roof? Chances are, you probably don’t.
It’s Incredibly Unsafe
YouTube videos can provide a lot of information on many topics, but they can’t actually help you step from the ladder onto the roof, or more importantly, from the roof to the ladder. They can’t help you regain your balance if you stumble or feel your ankle twist when a rotted piece of decking gives way. One misstep could badly damage your home or worse, put you at risk of a dangerous fall. Falling from a roof can be catastrophic. Professionals have safety equipment to take care of them—you most likely don’t. Depending on the pitch of your roof, safety regulations may require anyone working up there to use a safety harness. Do you have access to one of these vital tools, and do you know how and where to fasten it to the house without putting another hole in the roof?
Your Repair May Fail
Often, a repair is simply a patch. If you get up on the roof after a rainstorm and do your own patch only to find that the patch fails and you still have a leak, it will take longer for a professional to fix it. It will also likely cost more than the initial repair would have. Water can do an incredible amount of damage to your home. You may find that mold grows in your roof or that you now have to demo out and replace ceiling sheetrock or plaster. If you hire a roofer and their repair fails, you have options and legal protections. If you do the repair yourself, you just have risk and damage to deal with.
Home repairs can be daunting and you may feel that a professional roofer is not in your budget. However, the risks of doing your own repair and suffering a fall are tremendous. Protect your home and your health with the assistance of a trained professional.