Roof shingles are just one of those things that eventually need to be replaced. Even with today’s highly engineered roofing materials, you’ll find the average life span of an asphalt roof is typically only about 35 years. When the time comes to replace your roof, many avid do-it-yourselfers tend to take the “how hard can it be” approach and tackle their own roof replacement. But if you’re considering that route, make sure you think it all the way through before grabbing the nail gun–roofing installation/replacement gone wrong can have some serious repercussions for your health and the safety of your home.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that between 2008 and 2009 (the last year for which statistics are available), some 890,000 people went to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. The simple truth is that getting up on the roof to replace your shingles is dangerous. Especially if you have a multi-story home or a steep roof, you’re putting yourself at risk for a major fall if you try to handle your own roof installation. Professional roofing contractors are both trained and experienced, and they have the know-how to handle the heights safely. If you’re still not worried about the safety risks, remember, that you’ll be doing a lot more than just walking around on the roof: tearing off the old shingles, rolling out new felt, handling the new shingles and nail gun, etc., are all hard jobs that can easily throw your balance off. And just a momentary shift in balance can mean you’re headed to the ER with a broken leg or worse!
Beyond the safety aspects, it’s also important to keep quality in mind. Your roof is what protects your whole house from the adverse effects of water damage caused by precipitation, so it’s particularly critical that this project be done right. Roofing installation has many steps, from putting down the felt underlayment to actually nailing down the shingles themselves. Add in ridge vents and installing flashing around chimneys and vent stacks, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. Each step has to be done correctly and at the right point in the process or you risk making a mistake that could lead to water penetrating your home.
With do-it-yourself projects like painting or gardening, typically the worst side effect of a mistake or incorrect approach is aesthetic (dripped paint or dead bushes, for example). However, when roof installation isn’t done right, it can mean water leaking into your home. And with water comes possible structural concerns as well as mold and its related health issues.
So it’s just not worth it. Instead of trying to be a weekend warrior with your roof, call in the pros instead. You’ll reap the benefit of safety for your home as well as yourself by letting professional roofers handle the project. Roofing contractors have the training and tools to get the job done right, so don’t hesitate to call them in for your roof replacement today.