When there is a leak in your roof and you need to do something about it right away – but you can’t get a contractor – there are some temporary repairs that you can make. Before you go up on the roof, though, remember that there may be tree branches, power lines, and other hazards. If your roof is wet it’s also going to be very slippery, and that can be a problem. Make sure that you wear good, non-slip shoes, that you move slowly, carefully, and deliberately, and that you also remain aware of your surroundings so as not to get injured.
Never get up on your roof during a lightning storm, no matter how badly you want to fix a leak. Water damage to your home is not worth risking your life over. When you go to repair your roof, the most temporary repair is with plastic sheeting. You use the sheet of plastic to cover the damaged area and you use roofing nails to secure it. If you have 2X4s or other similar wood around you can use the wood to square off the damaged area, wrap the plastic around the wood, and then nail the wood to the roof. If none of these things are available to you, you can use bricks, sandbags, or cement blocks – or even flatter rocks – to hold the plastic in place.
For more than just the most temporary of repairs, many people will just hire a contractor to fix their roof. If you’re determined to do it yourself, though, you’ll need to read up on it and make sure that you understand the process – what is done and why – before you begin. You’ll definitely need roofing paper. This is put down on the exposed roof surface before the shingles.
It can be put down with cement or with nails, and should begin at the bottom of the roof and work upward toward the peak, in overlapping layers. You can buy it in rolls and then just roll it out on the roof after securing one end, so you can do this part by yourself if you need to. You can also do the shingling on your own, but it’s time consuming and having help is better. One person laying out the shingles and another person anchoring them down is usually the way it’s done but there are other options, so feel free to work out your own system.
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