We live in a do it yourself society. In many ways, that’s a good thing. There are YouTube videos that will show you how to do almost any task. That kind of knowledge wasn’t available before the Internet. Sometimes homeowners search online for DIY roofing, wondering if they can save on installation.
In most situations, it’s great to learn new skills and push yourself to try new things. However, that isn’t the case with roofing. Some homeowners try to make repairs or replace roofing on their own and find they’ve wasted time and money to create an unsightly mess. Others have injured themselves, even lost their lives.
It’s not worth it. You won’t save enough doing the job yourself to make it worth your time. You could never save enough to make it worth your future health or your life. Let’s look at why DIY roofing is such a terrible idea.
Roofing Safety Statistics
Roofing is one of the top 10 dangerous jobs in America. Year after year, more roofers die or are injured on the job. Here are the numbers to prove it:
- In 2017, 91 roofers died as a result of injuries they received while doing their jobs. That’s 45.2 workers per every 100,000.
- There were 3,150 additional injuries where the roofer didn’t die, but required medical care.
- Injured roofers spend an average of 20 days off work after geting hurt on the job. That’s much longer than average for recovery time, indicating their injuries are more severe.
- According to osha.gov, the biggest cause of injuries is when a roofer falls. They also get struck by objects, fall through rotted roofing material, burned by hot tars and chemicals, electrocuted and crushed between equipment or objects.
Why is Roofing so Hard?
When homeowners try DIY roofing, it’s because they underestimate the difficulty and complexity of the job. If you’re wondering how hard roofing can actually be, Google a roofer’s job description.
There’s more to roofing than nailing shingles on the roof. Here are a few of the tasks roofing experts perform on a daily basis:
- Inspect roofing that contains wet, loose or rotted shingles
- Remove, load and haul off old shingles and roofing deck
- Repeatedly climb ladders or scaffolding carrying extremely heavy roofing supplies
- Cement or nail flashing to create watertight joints, applying adhesives where appropriate
- Install overlapping layers on roof insulation surfaces, using chalk lines, gauges on shingling hatchets or lines on shingles
- Shape felt, shingles and flashing to fit vents, valleys or other intersections
- Add plastic coating, membranes, fiberglass or felt where needed before installing shingles
- Use brushes, knives, punches, hammers and other tools to cover roof with slate, asphalt, aluminum, gravel, wood or other roofing
- Apply alternate layers of hot asphalt or tar and roofing paper to roof
- Cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement or caulk to prevent water leaks
Roofing requires constantly climbing, lifting, balancing, stooping and handling materials. Roofers who never experience an injury on the job often develop repetitive strain injuries earlier than workers in other occupations because the tasks they repeat are so physically demanding.
At Estes Roofing, we have an extreme amount of respect for our roofers. They have a high level of skill that allows them to safely install roofing all over East Texas. They do it day after day and go home safe, but that isn’t because their job is easy. It’s because we hire for skill and train for excellence, and we’re fortunate to have some of the most skilled experts in the business.
When Homeowners Try DIY Roofing
If you own your home, you almost have to take responsibility for many of your home maintenance needs. Little things come up all the time. Sometimes it takes forever to get a plumber or handyman to even give you an estimate. Over time, you may have become pretty handy when it comes to home repair. When homeowners try DIY roofing, it’s a mistake for a number of reasons.
Falls Can Kill You
Installing roofing isn’t the same as walking around on your roof. You may be pretty steady most of the time with little or no fear of heights. That changes when you’re off balance because you’re carrying a heavy package of shingles over one shoulder.
The average bundle of roofing shingles weighs between 50 and 80 pounds. Architectural shingles weigh more. A 2,000 square foot roof will need at least 64 bundles of 3-tab shingles, 6 rolls of 15 pound felt, plus 320 nails per 3-tab shingle and other materials. If you opt for DIY roofing, you’ll be the one carrying all that around on the steep slope of your roof.
Even if you’re in great physical shape, the work is different from what you’re accustomed to. If you’re off balance or become fatigued, you could fall.
Roofing Surfaces are Unpredictable
If you’re having a roof repair or roof replacement, it’s because there’s a problem. There’s no way at the beginning to know where loose shingles or rotted layers exist. If you step in the wrong place and roofing materials give way, you’re facing a fall or injury.
Even Experts Get Hurt
Remember when we said roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation? That’s for men and women who have extensive training. They use industry-level safety equipment and have experienced professionals show them key do’s and don’ts. They have the right tools for the job and know which ones to use for each step. Also, if they run in to a problem they have supervisors they can ask for help.
They still get hurt.
If you’re anything other than a professional roofer, your expertise is in other areas. You don’t have the tools, the knowledge or the equipment roofing experts do.
DIY Roofing Mistakes Cost More
The main reason people try DIY roofing is to save on roofing installation. It usually ends up costing more in the long run. When critical components are improperly installed, you get leaks. Water damage is expensive to repair.
Most roofing materials come with a warranty. If you don’t install them properly, the manufacturer won’t honor that warranty. If you have a problem, the money you spent could be wasted.
Also, improperly installed roofing looks bad. You could ruin your home’s curb appeal with crooked or unsightly roofing.
Free Roofing Estimate
The most cost-effective way to get a roof repair or roof replacement is to hire an expert. Contact us today, we’ll give you a free roof evaluation and help you make sure your home is protected.