A Beginner's Guide to Roof Repairs

Our guide to roof repairs outlines different roofing repair options as well as costs to install, repair, and replace them, whether a complete replacement is necessary, and more.

On this page, we'll discuss


Roof repairs are inevitable throughout a roof's life

Common Causes for Roof Repair

Cause: Leaks around seams, flashing, chimneys, skylights, etc.

Leaks around the chimney, near skylights, vent stacks, and the valley where two sloped sections of roof meet are common. Leaks are also common in places where a joint exists or where something sticks up through the roof.

Roofing contractors install flashing at these vulnerable points to help protects against leaks; however, if flashing is improperly installed or old and worn, they will need to be repaired or replaced.

HOW TO REPAIR FLASHING LEAKS:

You can plug or patch small pinholes in flashing with roofing cement.

For tears or holes in flashing that are less than an inch in diameter, patch them with the same material as the flashing. First, roughen the area around the tear or hole with sandpaper or a wire brush, then wipe it down well. Next, cut out a patch of the flashing material larger than the existing tear or hole. Then, attach the patch to the flashing using roofing cement, and cover the patch with more roofing cement to ensure a good seal.

If the flashing on your roof is badly corroded, it will need to be replaced entirely. This requires removing the old flashing and several rows of shingles, so if this sounds outside of your wheelhouse, contact a qualified, local roofing contractor to perform the replacement properly.
 

Cause: Damage from hail, wind, or other weather-related events

Weather-related events, like high winds and hailstorms, are the #1 cause for emergency roof repair.

HOW TO REPAIR WEATHER-RELATED DAMAGE:

If you require roof repairs due to a weather-related incident, you'll want to contact the contractor who installed the roof or the roofing material manufacturer to see if the damage is covered under warranty.

If the repairs are covered under warranty, your roofing contractor will likely be able to handle the roof repairs for free. If not, some contractors will contact your homeowner's insurance company to see if weather-related roof damage is covered by your insurance policy. However, not all contractors do this, so be sure to discuss this with the contractors you contact for a quote.

If the roof is actively leaking, contact a roof repair contractor right away to prevent any further damage. If possible, cover the damaged area with a tarp to prevent leaks and/or moisture from damaging sheathing and insulation.

If you don't know who installed your roof, find a qualified, local roofing contractor with Hometown. They'll be able to assess your roof's damage and offer specific roof repair solutions.
 

Cause: Ice dams in colder climates during the winter 

On poorly insulated roofs, heat inside the structure rises to the highest point(s) of the building. When the roof's insulation and underlayment are unable to keep the heat from dissipating, the snow on the roof melts.

The water drips down the roof and freezes where the water pools, causing an ice dam. Signs of ice damming include ice build-up on the gutters and large icicles.

Due to the increased weight, ice dams can cause roof leaks, punctures, and other damage to the roofing system.

Diagram of ice damming causes
Image via Battic Door

HOW TO REPAIR ICE DAMMING:

If you notice ice dams on your roof, contact a roof repair contractor when the weather breaks to have your roof assessed. Waiting too long can turn a small roof repair into a full roof replacement. 

The best way to prevent ice damming is with proper insulation inside the building and under the roofing system.


Find a qualified roofing contractor near you


Roof Repair Cost

Most residential roofing repairs cost $300 - $1,000 on average, but this depends on a number of factors.

Factors that affect roofing cost:

  • Size/complexity of the repair
  • Roofing material (e.g., tile or metal roof repairs may be more costly than asphalt shingle repairs)
  • Additional expenses (if applicable): underlayment, sheathing, flashing, gutters, insulation, interior structural damage, ceiling damage, etc.
  • Your geographic location

See what others have paid for their roof repairs.


Roofer working on repairing roof shingles

Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement

Whether to repair or completely replace a roof depends completely on the particular circumstances of your roof. From a strict cost perspective, simply repairing the roof is appealing; but in some cases, roof repair may not be the best option.

Consider a full roof replacement if the roof itself is more than 10 - 15 years old or if the roof has extensive damage.  

There are two main things to remember when weighing roof repair vs. roof replacement...

Is the damage covered by insurance?

If the roof damage is storm related, your homeowner's insurance may cover the cost of the replacement, so definitely check with your insurance agent.

In many cases, it's a good idea to have your roofing contractor provide an inspection for the insurance agent and work with the insurance company on your behalf.

Second opinions never hurt

It's always a good idea to get a few second opinions from roof repair contractors, especially since roofers' financial incentive is to lean towar full roof replacement. 

One roofer may suggest that replacement is the best option. Another roofer may believe you can get another 5 years out of your existing roof, so repair is your best option. This is why getting 3 roofing estimates will help you make the most informed decision on whether or not to repair or replace your roof.

Hometown Roofing Contractors is one of the easiest ways to find a qualified, local roofing contractor near you. You can read company profiles, see what other customers have to say about their services, and request quotes from as many roofers as you'd like, all in one convenient place.