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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Fixing Your Roof: Can You Do It Yourself?

The roof of the home is the most important element in order to keep the house safe, secure, and dry from the elements outside. In order to keep your home dry and cozy all year long it is important for you to maintain a good roof and carry out repairs whenever they are needed.

But did you know you can carry out many roof repairs yourself at home instead of hiring someone to do it for you? Like most small DIY jobs, fixing the roof in small ways can actually be simple and today we want to guide you through a few different repairs you can do today.

Stop damp getting to the house...

The first thing to consider before you concentrate on the roof itself is the guttering around the roof. The job of guttering is to divert rainwater away from your home and ensure it doesn’t seep into the brickwork. However if you don’t maintain the guttering it will clog and make the whole home damp. To stop this happening, be sure to clean out the gutters at least twice a year.

How to patch a tear:

Your roof is comprised of more than just tiles, and there is a layer of felt underneath the tiles that helps to keep the tiles straight and also block out water. Now and again this might tear and you need to fix this to ensure that the roof stays secure.

Start by lifting the torn felt away and once you have done this spray some roof and gutter sealant underneath and in the surrounding area.

Cut a patch of felt to match the missing piece and ensure it is large enough to cover the area. You will want to slide this patch into place below the torn area, and stick it down.

Spray some sealant to the upper face of the pitch and stick the torn piece on top.

Press firmly and spray sealant all around.

How to repair a roof tile:

Sometimes a small issue will arise with one of your roof tiles such as a chip or a crack, and if you are unable to replace this immediately you can repair it like this:

- Clean the area around the crack with a wire brush and ensure that there is no debris around the area. Apply a coat of flashing strip primer to the crack and in the surrounding area.

- Get a piece of flashing strip which is the same length as the tile in need of repair.

- Peel the back from the flashing strip and lift the edge of the tile above the broken part. Stick the strip over the crack and ensure it is totally covered.

- Press the flashing strip into place.

How to replace broken roof tiles:

If you are able to replace your roofing shingles right away this is always a better idea than simply repairing the broken ones because it is a more long term solution and a new tile will be more effective at guiding water away from the home. If you have never seen how tiles on the roof are laid, they are hooked in place over wooden battens. This is why now and again in high winds or with the presence of pigeons on the roof, tiles can fall off and become wonky. Here’s how to replace tiles:

Take out the highest broken tile you can see. You will need to do this by gently sliding the neighbouring tiles up and tilt the broken one to the side to move it.

Once you have removed all the broken tiles it is time to get your new ones and install them. You can do this by lifting the neighboring tiles and wiggling it into place onto the hook. Pay attention to the way the tiles overlap as this is designed specifically to drive water away from the roof and not into the house.

How to repair a slate roof:

Slate roofs are different to tiled ones because the slate is actually nailed to the battens below rather than hooked. If site becomes cracked and you cannot find a replacement, you can perform a repair in the meantime to keep it secure.

- Clean the crack and the surrounding area.

- Cut a piece of self adhesive flashing strip that will cover the slate.

- Raise the lower end of the slate and insert a chisel to hold it in place. Add the strip on to cover the crack.

- Press the flashing strip into place.

How to replace a roof slate:

To replace roof slate instead of repairing it this is what you should do:

Remove the broken slate by wiggling it side to side gently. Repeat with all other broken slate.

Once you have removed the slate correctly you should be able to see wooden batten that is two spaces above the one you need to repair. Hammer a galvanised clout nail to a metal strip and fix it to the batten between the slate.

Slide a new slate under the two neighbouring slates and then bend the metal strip up and over the bottom of the slate, then press it flat to secure in place.


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