Roofing repairs are not DIY projects.
DIY improvement shows on TV can make renovation projects look easy, especially for a skilled DIYer. However, if your project involves a roof repair, squash those thoughts immediately. Roof repairs should be left only to licensed roofing professionals. And by roofing professionals, we don’t mean maintenance technicians, building supervisors, handymen or even general contractors.
In Florida, roofing is an occupation that requires registration and licensure through the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. It’s important to only work with companies listed as a “Certified Roofing Contractor” through the state.
Many residential communities, condo associations and commercial developments employ maintenance workers who handle basic repairs like plumbing, electrical, HVAC and appliances. If a tenant or occupant notices a roof leak, maintenance workers often are inclined to attempt a DIY repair. There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, with safety being the top concern.
Sloped roofs are inherently difficult to walk on, and your footing is never solid on shingles or tiles. One wrong move, and you’re tumbling 15 feet or more to the ground. If you have a leak, it’s likely that water penetrated the roof decking and could have caused rotting. Again, one wrong step, and you’re falling inside the building. Then there are power tools, chemicals, fumes, blistering heat and heavy materials. It’s no surprise roofers have the fourth-highest rate of workplace fatalities among all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Target Roofing contracts with a private firm to create safety training programs and we request job site safety evaluations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our roofing crews always use safety harnesses and have spent many hours undergoing safety training.
Beyond safety, here are nine additional reasons why you should not have a building supervisor or maintenance worker tackle roof repairs:
(1) Warranties: Most roofing materials come with a warranty, often in the 15- to 20-year range. However, the fine print may contain disclaimers noting that any repairs and service calls must be completed by a licensed, certified roofing professional. Trying to repair or patch a roof by yourself might invalidate the warranty.
(2) Further damage: Walking across roof tiles can cause cracks or chips, and walking on shingles can create friction that causes granules to come loose. On flat roofs, attempting to patch or seal a leak might create bigger problems elsewhere on the roof. Patchworked repairs by unskilled laborers might actually cause more damage, costing you more money in the long run.
(3) Code requirements: Many jurisdictions require permits for roof repairs. If it’s a significant repair, you might need to bring a roof up to current code.
(4) Insurance: If a torch-down roof repair is done incorrectly, this could cause an even bigger problem with a roof possibly catching on fire. You may also risk invalidating your property insurance if an issue occurs when hiring non-licensed roofers. In hiring a licensed commercial roofing contractor, you also have peace-of-mind knowing that you are adequately insured for liability claims if needed.
(5) Materials: If your roof is 15, 10 or even 5 years old, you might not be able to purchase the same brand, color and style of roofing materials. Roofing companies, however, have access to a full selection of choices and can find a near-perfect match.
(6) Installation: Target Roofing’s field crews are highly trained and experienced, and use far more tools than just a hammer and nails. It’s likely that a building supervisor or handyman’s toolkit doesn’t have everything needed for the project.
(7) Weather: DIYers move slower than experienced roofers, and during rainy season, that spells trouble. Professional roofers know exactly how much time a repair job will take and plan accordingly. Target Roofing abides by the Rainy Season Rule, which is that roofers roll out when thunderstorms roll in.
(8) Aesthetics: If your roof is 15, 10 or even 5 years old, DIYers might not be able to purchase the same brand, color and style of roofing materials. Roofing companies have access to a broad selection of “professional” roofing material choices available only to licensed roofers, and in most cases, they have the ability to find a near-perfect match in all types of materials. Professional roofing companies can also customize materials to fit or repair complex designs by not using off-the-shelf big box home store materials.
(9) Money: Tackling a project with in-house staff might save on labor costs, but roofing companies buy materials in bulk with contractor discounts. Target Roofing doesn’t pay full price at the hardware store, and those savings ultimately are passed on to the customer.
Although maintenance workers are trained to handle many types of repair jobs, roofing is not one of them. Their time and your money are best spent elsewhere.
Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements. Under that roof can be millions of dollars’ worth of technology, products and furnishings, as well as commercial tenants, residents or employees whose livelihoods depend on that roof. It’s not a DIY job. Contact us today at 239-332-5707 for your next roof repair – no project is too large.