Roofing Repair: Warranty and Injury Risks

At first glance, roofing repair does not seem like a complicated or difficult task to do. The aims of roof installation are pretty straightforward: remove the defective sheets or shingles, apply the adhesive, install the new roofing material, nail them into place, and it’s done. This line of thought is taken by DIY enthusiasts who are all about getting value for their money. However, if executed by a poorly trained or ill-equipped individual with very little exposure to roof replacement, it could end up costing more than if it was done by a contractor with years of experience.

One aspect of roof repair that is often overlooked is the warranty. Most manufacturers offer warranties that guarantee free repair if the roof ends up leaking and excludes any other losses that result from such leaks. A warranty becomes null and void for any number of reasons, such as the improper installation of shingles, the use of the wrong fastening devices, the failure to keep the downspouts and gutters free of clogging or ice damming, or non-compliance with the preventive maintenance schedule (usually twice yearly). If a DIY enthusiast who is not well-versed in the science of roof damage and repair tries to fix his roof, he might end up voiding the warranty. Therefore, it is advisable to contract the job out to an accredited roofing specialist who will comply with all of the requirements for the warranty.

Injury or death due to slips and falls are other risks that are faced by unskilled workers who do roofing repair. It is estimated that one-third of fall deaths was caused by falling from roofs, and roof falls account for more than three-fourths of all roofing industry deaths. Furthermore, roofing contractors are three times more likely to die on the job than other types of construction workers.
The size of the construction firm, surprisingly, is correlated with the likelihood of dying from a fall, as 67 percent of deaths encountered by contractors with only ten employees or less come as a result of falling from roofs. The risk could be higher for DIY enthusiasts who are not properly educated on safety procedures and do not wear the correct personal protective equipment such as helmets, pads, and harnesses.

Therefore, it is much safer to let a roofing contractor, preferably one with years of experience and with a good safety record, perform the job. The contractor will assume all the risks for the job, granted that the homeowner gives it enough right-of-way and all the pertinent information, and will be able to prepare the roof replacement site to prevent injury resulting from falls.