Not every problem at home can be resolved properly with your own two hands; you might be able to fix the superficial problems, but between the risk to your body, the risk of running afoul of regulations, and the risk of missing a crucial part of the repair, it’s best to leave these sorts of situations to professionals. When it comes to your roof, getting things right is incredibly important. Here are ten problems you should almost always entrust to a professional roofer:
Depending on how far along it is, mold can completely decimate your roof and demand a total replacement of not only the surface—the shingles or other covering—but your entire deck. This is why it’s crucial for a homeowner to respond quickly to gaps in their roofing, as it becomes very easy for mold to take hold when the raw deck is exposed directly to the elements. Given its ability to undermine your entire roof’s structure, you should always have a professional take a look at mold damage to your roof, to be certain that every vulnerability and weakness has been properly accounted for, lest bigger problems occur down the line.
Dips in your roof aren’t necessarily a major problem, but they do indicate a problem that’s going to demand a lot of work, one way or another. In a better case, sags and valleys occur as a result of several layers of roofing compressing; you’ll need to strip the old roofing and replace it to keep the valley from becoming a weak point, but it’s not indicative of serious damage. In worse cases, such a valley results from damage to the underlying roof deck, and will require major structural repairs. Get a roofer out to take a look as soon as possible, as either needs to be resolved quickly before it gets worse.
In a lot of cases, a slanted roof results from the same root causes as valleys and other dips. If you can see structural damage causing the problem, however, you should absolutely not attempt DIY repairs—better to not even risk climbing up for a better look under such circumstances, as even a minor slant can indicate major structural problems or, at best, weaknesses that can result in major damage. Certainly not something to want to be on top of as a non-professional.
4) Roof deck damage
If you spot damage to your roof deck, it’s already a pretty bad situation. This can be detected in a number of ways; heavy slants and valleys, exposed deck, sunlight visible through gaps in your attic, water damage, etc. You’ll need a roofer out ASAP to fix the problem and cover the exposed section of roof to protect against further damage. Roof deck damage can come from any number of sources, especially if you allow gaps and lesser damage to sit unattended for too long—to avoid this, make sure you act quickly upon the other problems on this list.
5) Coverage gaps
Missing shingles, loosened metal sheets, destroyed tiles; whatever type of roof you have, you should take coverage gaps extremely serious. While some can be fixed without professional assistance—a shingle here and there isn’t necessarily a job for a professional—other demand more attention. If you’re looking at big or consistent missing sections, you might be looking at a roof reaching the end of its natural lifespan, meaning it’s time for a full replacement. This sort of damage will spread itself over time, and might ultimately compromise the underlying structures, requiring far more extensive repairs.
6) Water damage
Water damage can be extremely insidious, resulting not only from obvious leaks but from mere exposure to over-moist environments. The potential of this sort of damage to warp the structure of your roof and thus undermine its stability should be considered a top tier threat to your home, meaning you should absolutely have a professional in to look things over before you shrug off even apparently minor water damage. You don’t want to find out the problem was serious because something serious occurred—far better to head it off completely and totally at an early stage.
7) Complete replacement
If you need a total roof replacement, either to deal with damages, because it’s reached the end of its lifespan, or because you want something different, you’ll probably at the very least want a quick consultation with a professional roofer. If you’re pulling your current roof and replacing it with an identical roof, you might be able to do it yourself with a lot of time, care, and caution. But if you plan to make any changes at all, you’re almost certainly going to want professional eyes to make sure everything is sealed properly, supported properly, and all-around sound. This is particularly crucial if you’re increasing the weight of your roof by adding another layer or moving to heavier materials such as ceramic or concrete.
Not everything you do to your roof must be left to a professional, but it’s always going to be somewhat dangerous and somewhat risky to your property to handle things yourself. If you have even the slightest doubt about anything to do with your roof, it’s worth it to seek a consultation from a licensed, well-reviewed roofer. If it’s nothing, you can always proceed with DIY solutions, but if it’s something, you’ll want to know and react appropriately from as early a time as is possible.