Roof Repair Guide
Common Reasons for Roof Repairs
1) Roof repairs due to leaks around seams, flashing, chimneys, skylights
Places on the roof where a joint exists or where something sticks up through the roof are the most likely to experience a roof leak. Around the chimney, near skylights, near vent stacks, and where two sloped sections of the roof meet are areas that are the most susceptible to leaking. Roofing contractors install flashing at these spots on the roof to protect against leaks, but improperly installed flashing or flashing that just became vulnerable with extended wear and tear on the roof is common.
2) Roof repairs due to hail, wind, or other weather events
High winds and hail storms are the most common causes of emergency roof repair. Often, your roofing contractor will be able to repair your roof by replacing lost, damaged or blown away roofing materials after a damaging wind or hail storm.
If you require hail damage roof repair or repairs due to other weather related incidents, here's a few quick steps you can take:
- Check with your roofing material manufacturer to see if the damage is covered under warranty
- If the roof is actively leaking, contact a roof repair contractor quickly to prevent further damage to the affected area of the roof
- If possible, cover the damaged area with a tarp to prevent leaks and/or moisture from damaging sheathing and insulation (or have the roofing contractor tarp it for you)
- Contact your homeowner's insurance agent to see if weather-related roof damage is covered on your policy
- If necessary, have your roof repair contractor provide an evaluation of the roof to give to your homeowner's insurance agent
3) Roof repairs due to ice damming
Ice dams can occur in colder climates during the winter. On poorly insulated roofs, heat inside the structure rises to the highest points of the building. When the roof insulation/underlayment is unable to keep this heat from dissipating outdoors, the snow on the roof melts. Water drips down the roof and freezes where the water pools causing an ice dam. Roofs with ice damming will typically have ice built up on the gutters and have large icicles.
Ice dams can cause roof leaks and punctures due to the increased weight and other damage to the roofing system. Proper insulation inside the building and under the roofing system itself is the best way to prevent ice dams. If you notice ice dams, 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.
Roof Repair Cost
For a quick ballpark cost figure, most residential roofing repairs are in the range of $200 - $900, based on the factors below. Roof repair cost depends on:
- Size of the repair
- Roofing material (i.e., tile or metal roof repairs may be more costly than asphalt shingle repairs)
- Additional expenses (if applicable): underlayment, sheathing, flashing, gutters, insulation, interior structural or ceiling damage
- Your geographic location
Considering 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.
If roof damage is storm related, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of the replacement, so definitely check with your insurance agent. In many cases, its a good idea to have your roofing contractor provide an inspection for the insurance agent and work with the insurance company on your behalf.
It's a good idea to get a few "second opinions" from roof repair contractors when trying to answer the repair vs. replace question, especially since roofers financial incentive is to lean toward full replacement. One roofer may believe that replacement is the best option. Another roofer may suggest you can get another 5 years out of your existing roof, so repair is your best option. Getting 3 roofing estimates will help you make an informed decision on the repair vs. replace question.