Roof Repair Costs
A roof is one of the most essential parts of a home; it keeps out the weather and helps families maintain household budgets by improving energy efficiency. Fixing damaged roofs is critically important, but each job varies in cost depending on the extent of the problem. Here are some tips on budgeting for upcoming roof repairs.
National Repair a Roof Costs
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Roof Size and Design
The size of a roof is one of the most important cost-determining factors. Although some people only pay around $600 for small repairs, other homeowners have spent over $3,000. This range of prices makes sense considering that some roof leaks and shingle loss issues are more widespread than others. To get an idea how many squares your roof would need, see our roofing caculator.
When homeowners catch the damage early on, they're more likely to save money in the long run. In addition to paying less for the material costs and labor upfront, they may be able to reduce the costs of future maintenance. Damage that goes unattended for too long can result in extensive water and ice damage inside an attic or around the flashing that separates structural roofing materials from skylights, chimneys and other fixtures.
Homes with extremely steep roofs are also more expensive to fix because they require more effort on the part of builders. If at all possible, avoid trying to repair a roof during colder months when frost and frigid air may make the work more difficult or hazardous.
The Effect of Certain Features
Different kinds of roofing repair jobs come with unique costs. For instance, the shingles that keep moisture and debris from rotting through the wood pitch of a roof may get blown off in a storm or fall away with time. While the amount of missing material definitely plays into replacement costs, so does the variety of shingle.
Asphalt shingles are the cheapest to replace, followed by wooden and metal shingles, which may cost twice as much per square foot. Tile and slate can run the bill up even more. Homeowners whose roofs include specialized coverings like solar power-generating panels or custom-colored antique shingles usually pay in kind to have them replaced.
Other fixes, such as repairing the flashing around pipes, skylights, chimneys and other openings, also vary in cost based on the size of the job. Flashing can be made of vinyl or metal, and each material is priced differently. Fixture flashing is generally much more expensive to replace than the valley flashing that commonly protects runoff areas.
Inspections & Additional Improvements
If homeowners want leaks to be found, roof inspectors may charge extra. This process can take some time and effort, so it's not uncommon to shell out some money just to get things started. However, most homeowners find that such expenses are well worth it because they are saved from having to redo things later. If the contractor only repairs part of the problem because they weren't paid to discover the full extent of the damage beforehand, total repair costs could easily exceed the national average of $1,708.
Homeowners can also elect to have their roofs resealed while the contractor is doing repairs. There are numerous kinds of sealant treatments and techniques used to improve a home's water-repellent quality, and different methods are priced accordingly. Although these additional services usually result in higher initial costs, they may lead to savings in the long run. Make sure to keep this in mind when comparing roof repair estimates.
How To Find A Roof Leak Yourself
To prevent all these costs, early detection is key. Nonetheless, this is very difficult because water has a tricky way of traveling a long way from the source before you see it. Also, it can come from multiple sources without you realizing it, so you might end up dealing with more than one leak and a more major problem than you first expected.
An attic might be your best chance to spot where the leak is coming from, as it's your direction connection to the roof. Water also reflects light, so bringing a flashlight with you is a good idea. Look through the attic area for anything that could be water and mark it with a colored marker or something for you to be able to find later.
From the outside, you'll need to check for anything around the roof area that might be broken or have holes. Check both sides of rafters because water may run down them to the wall. Look carefully around all vent pipes going through the roof and around the chimney, if you have one.
When the rain stops, inspect the roof from the ground with a pair of binoculars. If you feel comfortable, go on the roof, but wear proper fall restraint equipment. Look for missing shingles or water pooling in certain areas. Leaks often begin around flashing or where two roofs join, particularly if one was added on later. If the valley is clogged with leaves, water can back up beyond the valley flashing and penetrate the roof. This can also happen if the valley is too narrow for the amount of water running down it. You can sometimes narrow the search by running a hose over the suspect area to see if the leak resumes.
If it is a leak during winter in cold climates, ice dams along the eaves can force melting snow to back up under the shingles and into the house.
However, if water puddles around a particular window only when the wind is blowing rain against it, you have a likely culprit. It will be much easier to fix that than the entire roof.
Last updated on Mar 31, 2016
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