Do-it-Yourself
Roof Repairs

There are some minor roof repairs that you may be able to handle yourself.
Read on for some handy hints if you think you are up to the task

Safety First!

Repairing roofs can be a dangerous job if the correct precautions are not taken. The following safety tips should be adhered to attentively:

  • If you’re susceptible to dizziness or fainting spells, or have a general dislike of heights, doing your own roof repair may not be a good idea.
  • Start roof repair early in the morning or wait until later in the evening.
    In the middle of the day you’ll be in direct sunlight, without any shade or opportunity for a break.
  • If you must do your repair during the middle of the day, ensure you take adequate sun care precautions.
  • Don’t do roof repair on your own. Make sure someone is nearby in case you need help.
  • Have a sturdy ladder, for getting onto and off the roof, and ensure someone is holding the ladder as you ascend and descend.
  • If you do metal roof repair and have to cut sheet metal be very careful. The edges are extremely sharp.

Walking on a Tile Roof

There are a couple of different thing to keep in mind when walking on a tile roof. The first is that the tiles are stronger where they overlap. Thus, a good place to keep your feet on a tile roof is where the bottom of one tile overlaps the top of the tile below it. Secondly, curve your step with the arc of the tile. Essentially, with each step place the heel of your foot in the gap between tiles, roll the arch of your foot over the tile and end up with your toe in the next gap.

Discovering Roof Leaks

Homeowners should inspect their roofs for signs of damage on a regular basis. If your roof begins the leak, the first action is to discover where the leak is originating. Common parts of roof where are leak may occur are:

  • Plastic Pipes (PVC Plumbing)
  • Metal Pipes
  • Skylights
  • Chimneys and Masonry Waterproofing
  • Vents and Fans

You will need to inspect the roof either from the interior of the roof cavity,
or from the exterior of the roof.

Repairing a Cracked Tile

  1. With one hand, raise the row of tiles immediately above the one that is to be replaced. Use the handle of a hammer or a couple of small softwood wedges to support the tiles while you work.
  2. If the tile to be replaced is wired to the batten beneath (every second course is) try reaching in under the tile above with cutters to snip the ties. Otherwise, you will need to enter the roof space to free the tile.
  3. Lift and twist the damaged tile to release it from the interlocking grooves in the tiles on either side. Take particular care as old tiles become very brittle with age and are easily damaged.
  4. Carefully brush dust and dirt from the grooves on the tiles either side of the space where the damaged tile was located. Be thorough, as it is these grooves that prevent water entering the roof space.
  5. Insert the new tile at an angle and make sure it engages with those on either side and is firmly locked in. Lower the layer of tiles above until they are back in place and remove your wedges.

Do-it-Yourself Tips

  • Prevention is the best method to reduce the risk of the need for roof repairs. Removing any matter which may cause blockages in your gutter and downpipes will avoid the chance of water flowing into the roof.
  • Water leaks are common around pipe collars - check regularly for holes and install new flashing if necessary.
  • Use tripolymer sealant on the flashing itself.
  • Ensure you use stainless steel screws and fittings, because regular screws will rust.
  • Install tiles over the top part of the pipe, press them down on the sealant.
  • Inspect the valleys where 2 roofs join, the roof directs water down these valleys and is a common place for leaks to occur.

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