Putting an entirely new roof on a home is a huge undertaking, and probably not a project you're up for tackling on your own. However, if all your roof needs is a few minor repairs, you may be able to handle this yourself with some basic DIY skills and the help of a friend. Here's a look at three simple roof repair tasks you can tackle yourself.
If you see shingles that have begun to peel up around the edges, this is a problem you should address immediately. Otherwise, those shingles may peel off completely -- and you'll need to call a roofing contractor to replace them. You can secure a peeling shingle by taking a 1 ½-inch roofing nail and pounding it into the edge of the shingle. If the shingle is really peeling up, you may need to use two nails, spaced a few inches apart. Pound the nail down until the head is flush with the shingles. Then, use a paint scraper or a popsicle stick to spread a little roofing cement over the nail head. This will keep water from seeping in around the exposed nail head.
If a shingle or two peels off of your roof, but the layers underneath it are still intact, you may be able to get away without replacing the shingle for a while. But what you will need to address is any nail heads that have become exposed when that shingle peeled off. Use a hammer to pound the nail down completely, and then apply a dab of roofing cement. Make sure the cement fully covers all sides of the nail head. Do this on a dry day so the cement has time to dry before it gets wet with rain.
Flashing is the metal sheeting that forms a barrier between the shingle roofing surface and a chimney or other item that protrudes from your roof. Sometimes, it may start to become un-welded, leaving a gap around the protrusion. This gives water the perfect place to leak in. Replacing flashing is a big task, but you should be able to seal the loose flashing well enough to get another year or two out of it. Take a glob of roofing cement, and place it on the protrusion, behind the flashing. Press the flashing against the protrusion, and hold the pressure on it for a minute. Then, let go. The flashing should stick to the protrusion, sealing the gap.