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Don't Let Your Roof Be a Deal-Breaker When Selling Your House

By Brett Freeman
Don't Let Your Roof Be a Deal-Breaker When Selling Your House

Your roof is your home's first line of defense against Mother Nature, and as such it tends to suffer the most from the elements. Over time, the cumulative effects of rain and snow, wind, and heat can cause roofing shingles to come loose, curl, and tear. Your roof might otherwise be in good shape--but just try telling that to a potential buyer when you're trying to sell your home. Rather than make excuses for your roof, make repairs: it's easier than you might think.

Step One: Be Safe
Use common sense to avoid the obvious dangers when working on your roof. Avoid windy, rainy, or icy conditions, and wear sneakers or other shoes with thin rubber soles so you can be sure of your footing. A less obvious danger comes from heat. Roofs are designed to repel heat, which becomes quickly and unpleasantly apparent if you work on your roof on an even moderately warm day. If warm weather is forecast, make your repairs as early in the morning as possible, ideally in the first couple of hours after dawn.

Glue Down Curling Roof Shingles
You can use roofing sealant to glue down any roofing shingles that are peeling back. Gently peel the shingle back, being careful not to crack or rip it (the older the shingle, the more brittle it is). Using a caulking gun, put a small amount of roofing sealant underneath. After pushing the shingle back into place, use a brick to weight it down until the sealant dries--usually at least 24 hours.

Repair, Camouflage Torn or Cracked Singles
Often when roofing shingles come loose and curl, they also crack or tear. You can fix this by putting a generous amount of roofing sealing underneath the crack and pressing it back into place. Next, add more sealant to the top of the crack, and smooth it with a putty knife. Finally, raid the gutters so you can hide your repair. At the bottom of your gutters, you can find an accumulation of texturizing grit that has come loose from your roofing shingles over time. Fill a plastic cup with these granules, and then pour it over the roofing sealant you spread over the top of the crack. If roofing sealant has seeped out from under any of the shingles you glued down, pour some of the granules over that as well. This makes your repairs invisible from the ground. Place a brick on either side of the crack to hold the shingle down, being careful not to set the bricks in the roofing sealant, and leave them in place for 24 hours.

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