Just because you can DIY a project doesn’t mean you should.
Particularly when it comes to home improvement, handling certain tasks on your own—say, replacing an electrical panel, removing insulation, or teaching your Alexa how to code a guided homing missile—is neither advisable nor safe.
Roofing is one of those tasks. So, before Googling “how can I fix my roof,” searching for shingling videos on YouTube, or Facebook messaging your father-in-law for advice, consider these eight compelling reasons you should leave roofing to the professionals.
Consistently rated as one of the most dangerous professions, roofing contractors have a work fatality rate of more than ten times the national average, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What’s the reason behind the scary number of roofing fatalities? Even for highly trained professionals, roofing can be a perilous undertaking. In addition to falls, roofers face hazards like electrocutions, burns, weather, heat exhaustion, structural collapse, and wayward frisbees.
And while a professional roofer has the safety equipment, tools, training, and experience needed to navigate these risks, a typical homeowner does not. To avoid serious injuries to you and people inside your home, it’s worth hiring a professional roofing contractor.
Roofing manufacturers have finicky warranty guidelines. These typically include very specific instructions regarding installation that, if not followed, can cause things to go awry. This can include seemingly mundane details like the number of nails per shingle, the required length of each nail, or super-specific ventilation requirements. To ensure you receive warranty benefits, roofing repair and installation is best left up to experienced, licensed roofing contractors with a solid reputation and local references.
Any roofing company worth its salt will back roofing and repair services with a warranty. A warranty gives you peace of mind and provides protection if problems do occur due to workmanship or materials. On the other hand, if you handle the roofing yourself, you won’t have this safety net—which will be a total bummer if an issue with your roof comes up in the future.
Homeowners insurance typically protects your roof in the event of damage and destruction from the elements and acts of nature. However, your insurance won’t cover any damage that arises from negligent repairs or installation mistakes. If you were to replace the shingles on your roof, let’s say, and leave behind a few crooked ones, you might find that water damage starts to seep in through the cracks. If your homeowners insurance provider discovers the mistake you made while trying to install your own shingles, they are likely to deny your claim.
A stain on your ceiling could be more than an aesthetic problem. If you try to merely patch the leak or shingle over an existing roof, you might overlook underlying damage that could spread across the rest of the structure. Over time, widespread water damage could cause molding, rotting, and eventual structural failure. In this way, a cheap, DIY fix could result in costly, long-term issues. An experienced contractor understands your roof’s complex, layered system and knows how to spot serious problems and solve them before they cause significant damage to your home.
Without extensive training and experience, the process of roofing can be incredibly time-consuming. Between diagnosing the problem, acquiring materials and equipment, and performing the actual roofing job, a project that would take a professional roofer a couple of days could end up taking you a month. The time out of your schedule and delays will ultimately translate to higher expenses.
Like attempting to decipher and assemble your most recent furniture purchase, your roof can be complex, multilayered, and hard to figure out. A deceptively simple-seeming job like matching new shingles to existing ones can be challenging. In the end, if you end up with mismatched, crooked, or haphazardly installed shingles, you can dramatically impact the curb appeal of your property. Only a professional can install roofing in a way that preserves the structural integrity of your home while upping the aesthetic appeal.
So, that was the long answer to the question “Should I DIY my roof.” The short answer to the question “Should I fix my own roof?” is “No” (we probably could have told you that before you read all the way to the bottom, but hey, at least you learned a lot, right?). The bottom line is that repairing or installing roofing is a highly skilled project that can be dangerous without the knowledge, experience, and proper tools.
Spare yourself the risks, headache, time, scraped knees, and sunburn. Instead of trying to DIY your roof, we encourage you to get in touch with IES Roofing Services in Greenville, SC. We’re a local team of roofing Greenville professionals with more than 20 years of experience. We’d be thrilled to help you with your roofing project—call or email us today for a free inspection.