Why Its Worth Hiring a Professional Roofer
This article from Our Homes Magazine outlines perfectly the challenges a home owner goes through in doing your own roof. Check it out before deciding to do your own roof.
ROOFERS EARN EVERY PENNY THEY MAKE. That’s a lesson I learned while installing new shingles on our house last fall. I set out to do it alone. After all, I was experienced. I had helped roof my dad’s newly-built garage in 1967, then helped re-roof it some years later. Removing the old shingles on our house and nailing down a new layer would take about three days, I figured. Boy, was I wrong.
It took me half a day to just get a start on tearing the old shingles off one of the roof’s four facets. It was awkward work, bending over, prying up shingles with a spade while keeping my balance on the sloping roof. The entire facet took more than a day to clear off.
Then I remembered the house needed new eavestroughs. Its old plastic troughs weren’t installed properly. There was no slope to them. Water had pooled and frozen, cracking the plastic on corners that sprouted leaks when it rained. Removing the old eavestroughs, priming and painting the facia took time.
Back on the roof, removing the shingles revealed some of the 10-inch decking boards were broken. Repairing them required a trip to the lumber yard, some basic carpentry and, of course, more time.
Once I started nailing down new shingles, I used a simple hammer instead of a pneumatic nail gun because by then I knew I couldn’t work fast enough to justify the daily rental cost of an air compressor and nailer. The wear and tear on my knees was painful. They were rubbed raw on the asphalt grit. My gardening knee pads wouldn’t stay in place as I shuffled around, so I’d wrap my knees with tensor bandages before putting on my pants.
When I quit for the day, I’d cover exposed decking with plastic tarps, weighed down with small stacks of shingles, to keep the rain off. That worked well until one morning when violent winds, gusting to 90 km/hr, blew away every tarp and the shingles that had held them. Luckily, I was home at the time and saw everything sail off the roof. I climbed up, stapled the tarps back in place and picked up broken shingles scattered in the garden, flower beds and even on the clothesline.
A couple of neighbours lent a hand, helping to shingle for a few hours and providing a pickup truck and trailer to haul old shingles and other debris to the dump.
The finished job looks great. Getting it done was satisfying, even though it took weeks, instead of days. Next time, however, I’ll hire a pro.
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