If you are into DIY roof repair, then you should be careful only to engage in tasks you can handle. Knowing your limitations will help you to avoid mistakes that may worsen your roof problems. For example, if you try to handle your roof's flashing without the right know-how, you can end up making these four mistakes:
Using Cement as Permanent Flashing
If you realize that your roof flashing is damaged, the weather is making a turn for the worse, and it is threatening to rain, then you can use tar and cement to secure the joint temporarily. However, you need to have a proper flashing job done as soon as possible.
Using cement as a permanent flashing material will not work because the material cannot hold all the different roof materials together. Due to their variable thermal expansions, the materials will pull apart and when heated (by the sun), crack the cement and expose the joint.
Nailing Down Flashing When It Sticks Up
One common form of flashing failure is for it to stick up from the roof. If you are tempted to nail down such flashing, then don't expect to do it and have it last. The nail won't hold it down for long, and the hole created by the nailing is an additional weak point that can admit moisture into your roof. Sure, you may increase your flashing's durability by using roof sealant (applied below and above the nail area) – this is what some people do. However, the best thing to do is to remove the malfunctioning flashing and make a new installation.
Using Unnecessarily Long Flashing
If you are using metal flashing (very common), then you should use just the right length to cover the joint. Using unnecessarily long flashing is bad because of expansion and contraction. Due to temperature fluctuations, a long segment will expand, flex and even crack. It's not that short metals aren't subject to temperature effects-- they are-- but they don't expand or contract as much as longer pieces of metal sheets.
Reusing Flashing from Old Roofs
If you are replacing your roof because it is old, then you may be tempted to reuse the flashing, especially if they still appear intact. However, flashing on old roofs are also old, which means you need to replace them too. There is no immediate danger to salvaging old flashing, but you will soon be calling for a repair join because they will likely fail soon.
Did you know about these mistakes? If you didn't know about them, then it's probable that you don't know about many others. Therefore, it's in your best interest to hire a professional roofing contractor, like those at Stevens Roofing Corporation for the job.
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