When you’re faced with repairing or improving your roof or windows, what comes to mind?
“Big job” “Expensive” “I’m afraid of heights!” “Leave it to the professionals”
“Special orders” “Messy” “Dangerous” “Tedious” “I don’t have the tools”
Well there is no need to worry. Yes, many roof and window jobs require an expert, but industrious do-it-yourselfers can solve a few of the larger problems all on their own. From cleaning and repairing roof shingles to improving the look and functionality of windows, we’re here to help you say, “I’m ready for the challenge.” In continuing to check items off your fall checklist, conquer these two tasks with ease by following the outlined steps below.
Repairing Your Roof
1. Get up on the roof: If you’re going to tackle a roof job, it’s important to follow a few safety rules to avoid free falling.
- Choose a good-weather day. Wet and icy conditions make it difficult to see dark patches on shingles, increasing the chances of slipping.
- Prevent any additional damage to the roof by stepping on it lightly, and as little as possible.
- Use a high-quality extension ladder to climb up, secured to the house in at least two places.
- When up there, protect yourself from falls with a safety harness or belt secured to something stable, like the base of a chimney.
For extensive roof repairs and maintenance, consider renting a ladder that includes a platform hoist lift. These nifty helpers are not only made for safety, but for efficiency. Not to mention, they feature a platform strong enough to lift materials and tools up to the skies with ease.
Ladder lifts operate by hand or mechanically, using electricity or gas. And even though gas-powered versions could be noisy, the power source needed for an electric hoist lift may be difficult to access or non-existent near the work area. Either way, a highly efficient hoist is more cost-effective than a crane, forklift or boom truck. If your roof is in good condition and you’re secure in your ability to work well in high places, then by all means, take the challenge.
2. Clean your roof well: Is moss growing on your roof? Have trees deposited too much sap and debris up there? You can hire a professional cleaning service, or you can rent a pressure washer and get ‘er done in short order.
3. Inspect for extensive damage: Do you see shingle damage from a storm or general wear and tear? Have you found evidence of a leak? Roof life lasts about 20 years, so if your roof is aging, it may be time for a replacement –a steep expense, but how much do you value a warm, dry, comfortable home?
To keep your existing roof sound through the teenage years, fix minor leaks and shingle damage yourself. Roofing experts are generally in awe of how a shingle system works. A typical three-tab shingle is made from asphalt and felt, or fiberglass, and covered by mineral granules. However, they are also made from wood or tile. When nailed to the roof deck, one shingle is placed on top of a shingle below, protecting the nails. The mastic tabs on top of each shingle help seal them together, improving wind resistance. When installed properly, water travels smoothly across the roof and down to the gutters.
4. Compile the necessary tools: Depending on the type of repair, you’ll need new shingles, shingle nails, roofing cement, aluminum flashing, a hammer and protection for your hands and face. A pry bar or shingle remover that’s lightweight, versatile and designed to reduce worker fatigue can also be your best helper.
5. Get to work: A shingle remover helps to loosen and pry away the damaged, worn material from the roof deck, without causing more damage. Using roofing cement together with flashing fixes leaks, without the need for a new shingle. Eventually, this fix will need to be replaced, and that’s where the new shingles and nails come in. Be sure to remove both the offending material and the nails (which may need to be cut with a hacksaw or utility knife). Fit and hammer a new shingle in place, and you’re golden.
Preparing Your Windows
Tired of peeping toms peering in your windows? Is the fabric on your furniture fading? Want to seal up those drafty spots? Installing window film on your windows may be the quick and stylish answer. Window film continues to let light shine in while adding privacy to your home, and keeps uncomfortable temps out, whether hot or cold. A tinted film can protect furniture, rugs and artwork from sun damage, while a decorative window film adds freshness and style, just like new curtains can.
Window film products usually come with an installation kit and instructions, but in general, follow these steps:
- Make sure the windows are clean and dry.
- Cut the pieces of film to measure about 1/2″ larger than each window pane.
- Spray each pane with clear water, which makes it easier to position the film pieces on the window.
- Remove film backing and place it to the window.
- Burnish the film in place with a squeegee, pushing air bubbles to the edge and out.
- Trim the film edges with a sharp utility knife.
About the Author
Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.