How to Fix a Roof Yourself

It’s really not surprising to find your roof damaged every now and then. After all, it’s your home’s first line of defense against the harsh elements of nature, especially water, when it’s raining or snowing.

We have dealt with different types of roof damage in our home ourselves (yeah, even with regular check up and maintenance – I told you it’s unavoidable). And the last one we had to deal with involved watermarked and damaged wood. It was also starting to leak inside the house because the seal on the sunroof was also damaged and worn out.

If you’re having similar problems with your roof, fear not, because I will tell you how to go about fixing your roof by yourself. Well, if it’s a big job like ours, you will need a little help from your friends.


Grab Some Friends

So actually, that’s the first thing you need to do. Grab some of your DIY friends and “invite” them for the job. We all know that hiring professional contractors can be really expensive, so “inviting” some good friends to help you out is the best technique.

If you have some super friends like I do, consider yourself lucky. We help each other out every time there’s a need for some home repairs. It’s also a good excuse to have an informal bonding and share some good food too.


Prepare the Tools You Need

Ok, now that you have enough friends/ workers to tackle on the job at hand, make sure that you have all the tools that you need. Organization is the word here, because not having everything you need before starting your work can really delay your progress.


Be Ready With the Materials

Just as important as the tools would be the materials. Before starting the work, order everything that you need first. You wouldn’t want to run back and forth to the store, right? So the best thing to do is make a list of all the materials that you need before buying them from the store. This will save you time and energy while working on the project. And if you ever need something else, the trips back to the store will be minimal.


Get to Work!

So now that everything is ready, get to work! Make sure that you have a plan on how to go about it and work on days with good weather condition. Your goal is to work continuously until the job is completed because this is the roof of your house – delaying work and prolonging the procedure can lead to more damages because the internal components of your house will be exposed to external elements too.


Where’s the BBQ?

And lastly, prepare for a BBQ. Yes, you heard me right. Serve your friends good food while they’re doing the work on your house. It’s only right to feed your “invited” workers with good food and it will also make the working environment more enjoyable. Who wouldn’t feel inspired to finish the job quickly when there’s always that BBQ aroma in the background? I rest my case.

Below, you will see how our roof problem was fixed in just a matter of days. Hey, I took these photos myself. 🙂 It's a good day to fix the roof. With a little help from our friends, we were able to complete the job in just a few days. They were stripping down the roof of old materials in this  shot.

It’s a good day to fix the roof. With a little help from our friends, we were able to complete the job in just a few days. They were stripping down the roof of old materials in this shot. Next time, I’m sending you guys a cape. Thanks for your superhero-ness

Pieces of rotting wood on the roof need to be replaced immediately. Otherwise, your roof will fall down. Here's one of our friends working on the roof.

Pieces of rotting wood on the roof need to be replaced immediately. Otherwise, your roof will fall down. Here’s one of our friends working on the roof. (Thanks J.)

See that rotting wood? We had to replace that.

See that rotting wood? We had to replace that.

Stripped down roof materials were lifted away from the work area so that the guys can work more efficiently.

Stripped down roof materials were lifted away from the work area so that the guys can work more efficiently.

Having an accessible window to get to the roof makes roof maintenance safe and easy.

Having an accessible window to get to the roof makes roof maintenance safe and easy.

Our house has a window safety step so that we can easily get to the roof.

Our house has a window safety step so that we can easily get to the roof. One of our friends installed this for the steep part. You need one of these, they come in really handy.

Here's how the roof looked like before we installed the ice shield.

Here’s how the roof looked like before we installed the ice shield.

Layers of ice shield are now installed on the roof to prepare for another cold season.

Layers of ice shield are now installed on the roof to prepare for another cold season. The great Canadian Winter.

Before we had anyone on the roof, we made sure that safety ropes and other safety gears are in place. Always think "Safety First" especially when working on the roof.

Before we had anyone on the roof, we made sure that safety ropes and other safety gears are in place. Always think “Safety First” especially when working on the roof. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We actually love our friends.

My brother used safety equipment to ensure his safety while on the roof.

My brother used safety equipment to ensure his safety while on the roof. Is there no limit to your awesomeness? Thank you bro. I’m glad you made it.

Here's Matt hanging on a safety rope while working on the roof.

Here’s Matt, the Australian Stud Muffin hanging in his “I am Canadian” shirt on a safety rope while working on the roof.

Here's my bro nailing shingles on the roof.

Here’s my bro nailing shingles on the roof.

Finally, we were able to install new wood on the side of the roof with the help of DIY friends.

Finally, we were able to install new wood on the side of the roof with the help of DIY friends.

Here's our friend helping up with the installation of ice shield on our roof.

Here’s my bro again helping us with the installation of ice shield on our roof.

Installing Ice shield on the roof can be quite demanding. Here, we were only partially finished with the project.

Installing Ice shield on the roof can be quite demanding. Here, we were only partially finished with the project. Notice the ice shield all around the sun roof. Yeah you have to do that too.

This is how the sunroof looks like after having the roof repaired.

This is how the sunroof looks like after having the roof repaired. You are meant to go around it with that pattern. Use lots of caulking around it to keep water from coming in. You need to put flashing and lots of caulk all around it to make your sunroof window waterproof.


…And It’s Done!

Yes, I know the work looked hard and complicated, that’s why you need to recruit some super friends for the job. With a little bit of know-how, you and your best buddies can do this too. Yes you can! And I’ll tell you how.


Ripping Off the Shingles and Cleaning Up

First of all, you have to rip off all the old shingles from the roof. You have to make sure that everything is clean so that you can layer up the new materials properly. So if your old roof has some old tar on it, scrape these off first. And if you find that the plywood underneath are already damaged (like ours), remove and replace these too.


Your Special Mission: Working on the Sunroof

Special care should be exercised when working on the sunroof because this is a delicate portion on your roof. It can be the passageway for water leak when not worked on properly – and that can cause A LOT of problems. So go around the sunroof and work on it by following its pattern.


Installing Water and Ice Sheet

With clean and undamaged pieces of plywood installed on their places, you can start applying sheets of water and ice shield on your roof and around the sunroof. The shields come in sheet form and they have sticky backs so they are really very easy to install. Just line them up one after the other and your whole roof and sunroof will become waterproof. Hurray!

By the way, you also need to integrate step flashing to the edges of the sunroof because this area is really prone to leaks. Nail these properly and you can also apply sealant on the nails just to make sure it’s really waterproof. Also, put lots of caulk around the sunroof to really keep water out.


Installing the Shingles

The last layer that you need to install would be the shingles. Start at the bottom and finish up at the top of the roof. Yep, that’s the way to do it!

You see how we finished up with the job with smiles on our faces. Although this project involved some hard work, it was all worth it.


Working and Bonding with Good Friends

Our roof is now ready for another cold season and we had time to bond with some of our favorite friends. The BBQ, snacks and lemonade during breaks always lifted our spirits up and renewed our strength in getting the work done.

Great googly gratitude. Thanks so much for your help friends!

You know we are always here to help out with your home renovation projects too, so see you again soon!

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