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Although major repairs will require you to call in the professionals in the business, minor roof and gutter repairs can be handled by homeowners themselves. In fact, if you maintain them well, you might not have to patch them up in the first place. The upkeep of your house’s roof is not that hard and you can actually learn how to take care of spouts, tiles, gutters, and shingles like a pro. All you need are a couple of expert tips (do keep on reading) and enough time to build up experience. By the time you’re done sprucing up your roof, friends and family will be lining up for you to take a look of their cracked tiles. Be so kind so as not to charge them.
Spotting the problem
Unless there is a stream of water coming down the walls of your living room, it can be hard at times to realize you’ve got a problem in the first place. It is easy to spot a missing tile blown off during a hailstorm but minuscule leaks are harder to detect. Then there is the issue of how old your tiles are. Shingles, for instance, tend to wash away over time, so you’ll notice black grain called granules in the drains. This is a sure sign that the entire roof will need replacement soon, which is a job for the pros.
Speaking of the damage you can fix on your own, flashings are the best candidate. Their sole purpose is to prevent rainwater and thawing snow to penetrate inside the house. Due to improper installation, they tend to crack in places, creating pinholes that are hard to spot but easy to fix. Go to the attic to see if there are any support beams that have been affected by moisture to locate the hole. Then carefully climb onto the roof of the house to mark the spot where the water is getting in.
After you have pinpointed the troubled area, get a caulk gun and applied it over a surface somewhat wider in diameter than the hole. These areas are more than often located around openings in the roof, such as skylights, vents, and chimneys. If you notice mold or damage underneath the flashing, then you might need to pry open a whole section of the roof and have it replaced. If this is too complicated for you, then roofers will be glad to help for a certain fee, of course.
A helping hand
It might seem like an odd thing to state but calling in professionals at the right time is an integral part of DIY roof maintenance. Sometimes the reaction time is more important than the cost of the repair because water moves fast, especially if it’s propelled by gravity. All emergency roof and gutter repairs should really be left to professionals to handle. In fact, you could use the time roofers are inside your house (and on it) to ask them for some additional maintenance tips and catch up on the latest industry trends.
The importance of cleaning the gutters
Unlike the roof, the biggest problem with gutters is poor maintenance and or structural failure. Brackets, ledges or elbows rarely fail on gutters, unless they are really old, beaten up, and corroded. Because the gutters are high up, you have no way of telling if they are doing their job right until water starts pouring over. This usually occurs because of the occurrence of a clog. They are mostly organic in nature; comprised if fallen leaves that start to rot inside the gutters. Although this problem is natural in origins, the solution is artificial and manual, we are sorry to say.
You will need to lean a pair of ladders against the house and remove the leaves by hand. While cleaning them, don’t be surprised if you find a football or two out there, that’s nothing out of the ordinary. The most important part of the cleanup is safety. There is a whole list of gutter cleaning injuries that might occur if you’re not careful enough. The most important thing to look after is the placement of the ladder. They need to be moved as many times as necessary so you won’t need to lean out too far. It might be tedious to go down every time you run out if space, reposition the ladder and climb back but this way you will avoid getting injured.
As you have seen from the examples provides, cleaning the gutters and taking good care of your roof in general is not overcomplicated. Professionals should be called in only when the entire roof requires replacement or if there’s an emergency.
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.