Most homeowners know that regular maintenance is key if they want their house to be comfortable and maintain its resale value. This is especially true for those who live in the Greater Toronto Area, where snowy winters and humid summers place great strain on single-family homes.
Every season brings its own specific tasks, and once you’ve welcomed spring by cleaning your flowerbeds, putting in window screens, and fixing any winter damage, it’s time to start thinking about larger projects that can only be done during the warm summer months.
Given how hard Canadian winters can be on roofs in particular, many homeowners will be considering whether or not this is the summer to finally get around to replacing their aging roof with a one that is guaranteed to keep the rain out for decades to come.
Re-roofing a house is a complicated process, and one that involves significant financial investment in materials. For this reason, some homeowners may be tempted to take it on themselves as their big DIY project of the summer.
While this can seem like a smart way to save money, the truth is that roofing is one of those jobs best left to the professionals. If you want to take advantage of the summer months to replace your current roof, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t try to do it yourself:
1. It’s Harder Than It Looks
It can be easy to look at a roofing job and wonder if it is really as difficult as all that. After all, doesn’t it just involve removing the old shingles and replacing them with new ones? Like many household renovation projects, roofing is theoretically straightforward but difficult in practice.
First, you need to decide what roofing materials you want to use. Should you install simple three-tab shingles or more advanced roofing materials like laminated shingles that will cost more, but offer better performance and extend your roof’s lifespan in the long run?
This decision will have a major impact on the total cost of your project, and one of the benefits of having a professional take care of the job for you is that they will have a much better understanding of where costs can be cut in ways that won’t compromise the integrity of your roof.
When it comes to installing the roof itself, not only do you need to have basic knowledge about using tools like roofing spades, nail guns, chalk lines, and hammer-tackers, you also need to understand how roofing materials like asphalt shingles, tar paper, and ice and water shield are applied and what purposes they serve. Furthermore, you need to understand how to work around dormer windows, and valleys — not to mention roof vents, plumbing stacks, and chimneys.
And then there are all the little problems that crop up along the way, which can present a challenge even to experienced roofers (what to do, for example, if you discover that parts of the roof deck have sustained heavy water damage, or that the chimney needs to have new flashing installed?).
Finally, you don’t just have to worry about purchasing materials and having them delivered to your house. You also have to figure out how you are going to dispose of waste. Most roofs generate quite a bit of garbage, and you will need to rent an industrial sized bin and arrange to have it disposed of.
If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, that’s because it is. Fortunately, Professional Roofers is here for you — from selecting and delivering materials to handling the installation and removing the garbage when the job is done, we take care to make sure the work is done right every step of the way.
2. Replacing a Roof is Dangerous
Every year, homeowners are injured and even killed due to accidents on their roofs. Even a simple job like cleaning gutters or removing fallen branches can be risky, but when you are spending all day moving heavy materials onto a pitched roof, the chances of an accident increase exponentially.
For this reason, beware oversimplified DIY YouTube videos — there are lots of things that can go wrong when you are on the roof, which is why roofers are trained to use safety equipment that will protect them in the event of a fall or accident.
Don’t take chances with your wellbeing just to install a new roof: go with the experts who know how to do the work safely as well as efficiently.
3. Incorrect Installation Can Put Your House at Risk
It isn’t just your own safety that you have to watch out for when replacing your roof: an improperly installed roof can put your entire house at risk. This is because the roof is an essential component of the entire system of the house, and issues with the roof are bound to translate into larger problems with the entire structure.
For example, one of the most important things a roof system does is channel water away from the home — the shingles make sure it flows off the roof, the gutters keep it from falling close to the foundation, and the downspouts transfer it safely away from your foundation.
If any of these components are improperly installed, not only is your roof deck in danger, excess water can end up pooling beside your walls, seeping into the soil, and threatening the integrity of your foundation. If the problem is not addressed, this can eventually lead to basement flooding. Good drainage is important for your entire house, and good drainage starts with your roof.
In order to install a roof properly, therefore, you need to understand how all the components work together to manage water flow. Knowing where the stress points are on a roof is essential to providing the extra protection that is needed, and it is also important to know how good roof installation can help combat problems like ice damming and attic condensation. This means accessing the kind of expert knowledge that only professionals can bring to the job.
If you want to know more about how your roof system works, get your questions answered by roofing professionals who have experience working with a variety of different roof types, and can help you avoid mistakes that can cause a lot of problems with other parts of your home down the road.
4. DIY Roof Installation Can Impact Resale Value
Most professional roofers will be able to tell you at least one story about a nightmare job where they had to replace a roof that had been installed by a homeowner. These roofs are full of surprises: shingles nailed down incorrectly, too much (or not enough) flashing along with dormer windows and valleys, incorrectly applied caulking, insufficient ventilation and even — in the worst cases — situations where the previous homeowner simply roofed over the old shingles.
When shopping for a home, people are rightly wary of roofs that were not professionally installed, and even if you believe you have done the job correctly, the simple fact that you did not hire a contractor can raise red flags for some appraisers and buyers.
For this reason, it’s best not to take chances with the future value of your home — call us today to get more information about how you can get your home re-roofed by experts who know how to deliver quality workmanship. Our team of roofers will apply their extensive knowledge of how best to replace shingle roofs and flat roofs alike to make sure that your next roof is one that will continue to raise the value of your home for years to come.
One of the great pleasures of owning your own home lies in improving it — taking a space and making it your own, and in the process learning how all the different components come together to create a functional, comfortable, and attractive living space. DIY work not only makes renovations more affordable, for many homeowners it is a labour of love.
But there are limits to what DIY projects most homeowners can reasonably attempt on their own. Just as it would be foolish to try to re-wire your house on your own, trying to replace your own roof is simply not worth the risks involved. Instead, call Professional Roofers for an appraisal today.
Our roofing experts will help you decide what repairs are needed and can provide you with detailed information as to what the best approach will be. Best of all, we will take care of the job from start to finish, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Get in touch today, and find out just how easy getting a new roof can be!