The Ins and Outs of DIY Roof Repairs: When to Call in the Pros


Your roof is a vital home component, protecting you and your family from the elements. Over time, wear and tear can occur, leading to leaks, drafts, and other issues. While some minor repairs can be tackled as do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, sometimes it’s best to call in the professionals. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of DIY roof repairs and when it’s time to seek professional help.

Assessing the Damage

Before deciding whether to tackle a roof repair on your own, it’s essential to assess the extent of the damage. Minor issues, such as a few missing shingles or a small leak, can often be repaired by a competent DIYer. However, more significant problems, such as extensive water damage or structural issues, are best left to the professionals.

DIY Roof Repair Basics

If you’re considering a DIY roof repair, there are a few basic steps to keep in mind:

  • Safety First: Working on a roof can be dangerous, so taking proper safety precautions is crucial. Use a sturdy ladder, wear appropriate footwear, and use a safety harness if necessary.
  • Gather the Right Materials: Depending on the type of repair needed, you’ll need the appropriate materials. This may include roofing cement, replacement shingles, flashing, and nails.
  • Repair Missing Shingles: If you have missing or damaged shingles, carefully remove the old ones and replace them with new ones. Use roofing cement to secure the new shingles in place.
  • Fixing Leaks: If your roof leaks, locate the source and patch it using roofing cement or a patching kit designed for roof repairs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Inspect for Other Damage: While you’re on the roof, take the time to inspect for any other signs of damage, such as loose flashing or damaged vents. These issues should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

When to Call in the Pros

While DIY roof repairs can save you money, there are times when it’s best to leave the job to the professionals. Many professionals, such as roofers in Tennessee, will tell you that this is why you should call the pros:

  • Safety Concerns: If the repair involves working on a steep roof or requires special equipment, it’s best to call in the pros.
  • The Extent of Damage: If the damage is extensive or involves structural issues, it’s best to have a professional assess the situation.
  • Warranty Concerns: If your roof is still under warranty, attempting DIY repairs could void the warranty. It’s best to check with the manufacturer before proceeding.
  • Time and Skill: Some repairs require specialized skills and knowledge. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to hire a professional.
  • Cost Considerations: While DIY repairs can save you money if the cost of materials and tools is high, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional.

The Tools You Need for DIY Roof Repair

DIY roof repair can be feasible for homeowners looking to save money and address minor issues. However, having the right tools is essential to ensure the job is done safely and effectively. Here’s a list of tools you may need for DIY roof repair:

  • Safety Gear: This includes a sturdy ladder, safety harness, non-slip footwear, and gloves to protect against cuts and abrasions.
  • Hammer: A roofing hammer or roofing nail gun is essential for driving nails into shingles and other roofing materials.
  • Utility Knife: A sharp utility knife is useful for cutting shingles, roofing felt, and other materials.
  • Roofing Cement: Roofing cement is used to seal gaps, secure loose shingles, and patch leaks.
  • Replacement Shingles: If you need to replace damaged or missing shingles, keep extra shingles on hand that match your roof’s color and style.
  • Roofing Nails: These nails are specially designed for use on roofs and are galvanized to resist rust.
  • Roofing Tape or Sealant: Roofing tape or sealant can repair small leaks or seal seams in flashing.
  • Roofing Felt: Also known as tar paper, roofing felt is used as an underlayment beneath shingles to provide additional protection against moisture.
  • Flashing: Flashing is used to seal gaps around the chimneys, vents, and other protrusions.
  • Caulk Gun: A caulk gun is useful for applying roofing sealant or caulking around flashing and vents.
  • Roofing Pry Bar: This tool removes damaged shingles or pry-up nails.
  • Roofing Brush: A roofing brush cleans debris and dirt from the roof surface before making repairs.
  • Measuring Tape: A measuring tape is handy for accurately measuring and cutting roofing materials.
  • Safety Goggles: Safety goggles protect your eyes from debris and dust while working on the roof.
  • Roofing Shovel: A roofing shovel, also known as a shingle remover, is used to remove old shingles and roofing materials.

Additional Factors to Consider

When considering roof maintenance or repairs, there are several additional factors beyond the technical aspects that homeowners should take into account:

  • Cost: Roof repairs can vary significantly depending on the extent of damage and the materials needed. It’s essential to get multiple quotes from reputable roofing contractors and factor in not just the initial cost but also the long-term value and durability of the repairs.
  • Energy Efficiency: The condition of your roof can impact your home’s energy efficiency. A well-maintained roof with proper insulation and ventilation can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy costs. Consider investing in energy-efficient roofing materials and ensuring your attic is properly insulated and ventilated.
  • Aesthetics: Your roof is a prominent feature of your home’s exterior. When considering repairs or replacements, think about how the new roof will complement the overall aesthetic of your home. Choose materials and colors that enhance your home’s curb appeal and value.
  • Local Climate: The climate in your area can affect the type of roofing materials and maintenance required. For example, homes in areas prone to high winds, hail, or heavy snowfall may need more durable roofing materials. Regular inspections and maintenance can help ensure your roof is prepared for the local climate conditions.
  • Environmental Impact: Consider the environmental impact of your roofing choices. Look for sustainable roofing materials that are recyclable or made from recycled materials. Additionally, proper maintenance can extend the lifespan of your roof, reducing the need for frequent replacements and the associated environmental impact.
  • Regulatory Requirements: Check local building codes and regulations before starting any roof repair or replacement project. Certain materials or roofing practices may be required or prohibited in your area, so it’s essential to be aware of these regulations to avoid potential issues in the future.
  • Professional Recommendations: When in doubt, seek the advice of a professional roofing contractor. They can assess the condition of your roof, recommend the best course of action, and guide maintenance practices to keep your roof in optimal condition.


DIY roof repairs can be a cost-effective way to address minor issues, but knowing when to call in the pros is essential. By assessing the extent of the damage, gathering the right materials, and taking proper safety precautions, you can tackle many roof repairs on your own. However, it’s best to leave the job to the professionals for more significant issues or if you’re unsure of your abilities.