With the popularity of home improvement shows designed to capture viewers with amazing renovations, more homeowners are taking on DIY projects. Going the DIY route offers significant savings if you have the time, tools, and expertise to handle projects on your own. But there are some projects that are best left to professionals no matter how handy you might be.
One home improvement project that is beyond the expertise of most homeowners is roofing. Unless you are a professional roofer, you should never attempt to repair or replace your own roof.
Roofing Is a Dangerous Occupation
Roofing is one of the most hazardous occupations in America because of the numerous hazards involved. Here are five safety risks associated with DIY roofing:
1. Unstable Ladders or Scaffolding
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year there are over 160,000 ladder accidents in the United States that end up with emergency room visits. Roofing professionals understand the importance of ladder safety and take steps to ensure that ladders and scaffolding are correctly assembled and properly secured before work begins.
2. Slippery Conditions
Your roof may appear to be dry but rain, ice, snow, and even high humidity can make roof surfaces extremely slippery. A steep roof that has recently been rained on can become especially hazardous. Wearing safety harnesses and proper footwear is important anytime you climb on a roof.
3. Extreme Temperatures
Roofers often have to deal with extreme weather conditions, including hot summer temperatures. Heat-related illnesses can make people dizzy and lightheaded if they don’t remain adequately hydrated, leading to slips and falls. Working on roofs during winter months often means dealing with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.
4.Trees and Power Lines
Tree branches and power lines often hang closer to a roof than what it appears from the ground. Trees can also hide power lines, so it’s important to make sure you know exactly where power lines are located at all times. Scaffolding and ladders should never come within 10 feet of power and service lines.
5. Tripping Hazards
Most roofs have several intake or exhaust vents that help circulate air inside the attic. These vents and ducts can be trip hazards. When removed for ease of installation, they create an open area that is easy to step through. Skylights pose similar problems. All vents, ducts, and skylights should be clearly marked for visibility.
Additional Reasons to Hire a Professional Roofer
In addition to safety concerns, there are other risks associated with DIY roofing projects. These liabilities warrant hiring a professional for your roof repairs or installation.
If you are thinking of recruiting friends or family members to help with a roof repair or replacement, you need to understand your legal responsibilities. Your homeowner’s insurance will normally cover you if part of your roof accidentally falls on a visitor's head. However, if you’ve invited your friend to climb on the roof and an accident occurs, your insurance may not cover you. That’s why reputable contractors carry worker’s compensation insurance.
Some insurance companies will not pay the full claim unless you can show that you have used a qualified contractor to complete repairs or roof replacements. Owner-caused roof damage is not covered by most insurance policies. If you damage your roof while attempting to make DIY repairs, it could even render your entire insurance policy void.
Professional roof installations come with a warranty on your home’s roof and shingles. If you attempt a DIY repair or replacement, you will void the warranty because most specify that repairs and replacements be done by a certified installer.
Roofing repairs, even replacing shingles, are not simple tasks. Professional roofers make it look easy when they're up on a roof but it takes training and experience to do the job properly. If the work is completed without proper permits or was not done to a professional standard, your insurance company likely won’t cover further repairs if something goes wrong.
Home Value and Resale
When you put your home on the market, the roof is one of the most visible exterior features to buyers, building appraisers, and inspectors. A professionally installed roof can improve the value of your home by about $12,000. Without the warranty that comes with a professional roofing job, you won’t see the same financial benefits. And many potential homebuyers will pass on a home that has a DIY roofing job.
Quality roofing materials and expert installation are essential for a long-lasting roof replacement. When it’s time to install a new roof, it’s important to work with an experienced contractor who has the equipment, training, and experience needed to safely and properly install a new roof that will protect your home and family for decades.
Work with a Trusted Local Roofing Company
Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing & Construction has been installing residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and we are fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.
Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.