If you own a ranch house, and you've noticed a leak in your bedroom, then there is a silver lining. It's easy to get onto the roof of a single story house, whereas climbing up onto a two story house roof can be precarious. All you need to do is climb up onto the roof to be able to ascertain if you can resolve the situation by fixing the shingles, or if you need new roof decking. It's a good idea to get a sense of the situation before bringing in roofing contractors so that you know beforehand what they will need to do. Here's how to determine the extent of the roof damage.
Tools Needed And How To Use Them
Ladder and a Second Person
You will need a ladder unless your house has a roof access point. The ladder needs to be steadied at the bottom, so make sure you have a second person help you. Even though you are only climbing up one level, the transition from the ladder to the roof can cause the ladder to shake and you might slip and fall. The most dangerous point is when you are moving from the top or the ladder onto the roof (the transition point). The return trip (where you move from the roof to the ladder) is the just as dangerous so make sure the person sticks around for when you are ready to return to the ground.
Prybar or Shingle Fork
Once you are up on the roof you are going to want to inspect the shingles in the area where you have a leak. If the shingles are in such bad shape that you can move them with your hands, then great, but you might need to lift them up with a tool. Most roofing contractors use a special tool called a shingle fork. These are metal devices that are used for lifting up and removing old shingles during the re-shingling process. However, if you don't want to go out and buy one you can use a prybar, small crowbar, or even a large flathead screwdriver.
You will use this to lift up the bad shingle. The goal here is to see if the underlayment is also in bad shape, and also ascertain if the decking is compromised. Don't worry about prying up a few shingles, they will need to be replaced in any event. What you are looking for is to determine if the underlayment is torn up or dissolved, and if the plywood decking is cracked, moldy, or soft. If there are holes in the decking, then the roofing contractors will need to completely tear up that section of roof. It's no use placing new shingles over bad decking. The decking will rot and this can lead to a collapse down the line. If the decking is sound, and only the shingles and underlayment need to be replaced, then you will know when speaking to roofing contractors and getting quotes about the cost of the work. For more information, contact companies like Rainy Day Exteriors.