To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question. While roof repairs and installation are best left to the pros, there are some minor repairs many homeowners can handle— with the right products.
Today we’re going through the highest-rated roof repair products in 2023 that can help even the most amateur DIYer fix minor repairs with their roof. Keeping some of these things on hand can help save you from extensive damage should a freak hail storm damage your shingles enough to cause a leak.
You can’t do any roof repairs without a sturdy extension ladder. Whether you want to examine the repairs or tackle them yourself, this will be vital to getting the job done safely. Be mindful that your ladder must be able to extend at least 3 feet past the edge of the roof to safely mount or dismount the roof. Three of the highest-rated extension ladders recommended by professional roofers include:
- The most functional: Little Giant Ladders multi-positional ladder.
- The best telescoping ladder: Xtend & Climb Pro Series ladder.
- The most heavy-duty: Louisville Fiberglass Extension Ladder.
2) Spare Shingles
Having a few spare asphalt shingles on hand can save you time and money if a storm blows through and damages your roof. Shingles are easy to replace as long as you have the right tools, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your roof. Be sure to match the shingles to your current roof so they’ll be an exact match and won’t stand out. You can order shingles online or pick them up at your local hardware store. The video below outlines some simple steps for replacing a single damaged shingle on your roof:
Your flashing is essential to preventing roof leaks and is often found around chimneys, skylights, valleys, and anywhere your roof meets a wall. Flashing is also one of the most susceptible to damage and wear and tear. As it’s constantly experiencing water running over it and contains rough edges where shingles meet an edge, it can rust, crack, or be lifted from the wind just like your shingles. It’s essential to check your flashing regularly, and if it needs to be repaired, it’s simple enough to repair with just a few tools:
- pry bar or hammer
- roof sealant or caulk
- new flashing
- roofing nails
4) Roofing Nails
You’ll need plenty of roofing nails to complete any roof repairs. These are different from the average nail as they have a larger, fatter head that will better grip asphalt shingles and help prevent them from being blown off in high winds. The ideal size for a roofing nail is 1-1/4 to 2 inches long with an 11-12 gauge diameter. Roofing nails are also galvanized to protect against rust. You can buy these at any hardware or home improvement store.
Roof underlayment is the layer between the shingles and the plywood of your roofing deck. It’s vital to maintain a waterproof seal and also susceptible to leaks the moment the shingle on top is damaged. You’ll need to check your roof’s underlayment regularly during routine maintenance, and if there are any leaks, they can be challenging to find.
The best way to determine if you have a leak in your roof’s underlayment is to look for staining on the underside of your roof decking or your rafters. If you see this, go ahead and replace the roof decking, underlayment, and appropriate shingles in the leak area.
6) Roof Sealant + Patch
Anytime you repair a roof leak or install flashing, you want to finish your project with roof sealant or caulk. This ensures a watertight seal and acts as additional protection at any seal on your roof or flashing. It comes in a spreadable form or a caulk-style gun. You can also purchase it in spray form for quick leak repairs.
7) Plywood or Strand Board
If your roof is leaking, chances are there’s water damage to the plywood or strand board that makes up the roofing deck. These boards support your shingles and can rot if they get wet. You’ll need to replace any damaged boards and then apply roof sealant around the edges where the new board meets the old.
This extensive video shows a large-scale rotted plywood replacement, but the same steps can apply to more minor roof repairs:
8) Drip Edge
The drip edge of your roof is the horizontal metal edge that runs along the lower edge of your roof. Its purpose is to direct water away from your roof and into your gutters, so it doesn’t run down the side of your house and cause leaks. The drip edge also helps to protect the fascia board, which is the wooden board that runs along the lower edge of your roof and is visible from the ground.
You’ll want to inspect your drip edge regularly for any damage or rusting, and if it needs to be replaced, you can do so with just a few tools:
- roofing nails
- chalk line
- tape measure
- drip edge flashing
Now a tarp is not intended to be a long-term repair, but it can work to fight leaks temporarily. Having a tarp on hand can ensure if your roof is damaged in a storm, you can quickly cover the area to mitigate further damage while you want for professional repairs.
The Best Way to Repair Your Roof: Hire a Professional
Ultimately, hiring a professional roofer like Dreamworx Roofing is your best bet at getting your roof repaired quickly and correctly. Our expert team of roofers can inspect, repair, or replace your roof before you can Google “how to repair a broken shingle.” For solid roof repair that lasts, contact us right away.