The Beginner’s Guide to Roof Repair and Replacement

roof repair and replacement

Across the United States, about 36 million people will make improvements to their property this year. That’s more than a quarter of homeowners. Many of them will be considering roof repair and replacement.

A recent study shows that roof replacement can be well worth doing as it typically retains 71.1% of the investment. That compares to bathroom remodeling at 65.7% and major kitchen remodeling at just 64.9%.

Read this article and you will learn about roof repair and replacement for your home.

Roof Repair and Replacement

Roof repair and replacement are two sides of the same coin. They’re both about extending the life of your house. You need to care for your roof because it stops water and the weather from attacking the fabric of your home.

A well-maintained roof reduces heating and cooling costs. When thinking about the cost of roof repair and replacement keep in mind the energy and maintenance costs. An investment in your roof may save you money in these other areas.

Causes of Roof Damage

Before we talk about roof repair and replacement. We first need to understand the causes of roof damage. Here are the four main causes.

1. Lack of Maintenance

When a roof is not regularly inspected and maintained, small amounts of damage can become major problems.

Preventive maintenance means:

  • Clearing drains
  • Stopping debris from building up
  • Addressing any pooling of water
  • Checking for small amounts of damage
  • Having minor damage repaired before it develops into a major problem

These problems are especially true if your roof is flat or has very little slope.

2. Wind

Fierce or persistent winds can loosen roofing materials. A single storm can do enough damage to initiate a problem. Once a small amount of damage has occurred low winds can work away at a weakness in your roof.

3. Other Weather

Various weather conditions can damage your roof.

Is your roof adequately supported to stand the weight of the snow that accumulates on it? Do you live in an area with high snowfall? Is your roof sloped enough so snow does not stay on the roof for too long?

Hailstorms and heavy rain can cause major roof damage. If you have low rainfall and little or no snow, don’t be complacent. Even sunshine and heat can damage roofing materials.

Snow has the added risk of forming an ice dam. This is when the snow melts and refreezes on your roof stopping meltwater from draining away. The result can be the backup of water leaking into your roof and causing further damage.

4. Leaks Around Joints and Flashing

Roofing contractors use flashing to prevent water from penetrating a joint or a junction between different parts of the roof. It can be made from many types of material including plastic, roofing felt, or metal. The most common material is galvanized sheet metal but aluminum and copper are also used.

Flashing creates a water-tight boundary. If it fails then it can result in water damage to other roof materials and even the interior of the house.

Problems can arise around any joints. Regularly check the flashing and immediately address any damage.

Repairing Roof Damage

You can plug or patch small pinholes in flashing with roofing cement. Patch tears or holes of up to one inch with the same material as the flashing.

  1. Roughen around the hole with sandpaper or a wire brush and then clean it well.
  2. Use a patch of flashing material which is bigger than the hole and attach it using roofing cement.
  3. Seal the whole area with roofing cement.

Larger areas of damage will need flashing to be replaced and perhaps the removal of several rows of shingles. If this is beyond your skills or if the roof is actively leaking then talk to a qualified roofing contractor.

Health and Safety When Working on a Roof

Always take care when working on a roof. If you do not have the right equipment or safety training a roof can be a very dangerous place to be. Falls are some of the most common causes of work-related injuries and even deaths.

Repair or Replace

When thinking about roof repair and replacement from a cost point of view, a repair may seem attractive. It may be the best solution if the roof is in an otherwise good condition and the repair is going to extend the life of the roof. If the roof is old or if it has extensive damage a new roof may be a better option.

A qualified roofing inspector will:

  • Meet educational requirements
  • Have work experience
  • Get on-the-job training
  • Hold a license.

Consider having an inspection by a qualified roofing inspector.

Cost

There are several things that affect roof repair and replacement costs.

  • Scale of the repair
  • Complexity of the repair
  • Choice of materials (tiles may be more expensive than asphalt shingles)
  • Other roofing materials such as sheathing, gutters, flashing and insulation.

If your roof damage is because of wind or other weather damage check your roof warranty if you have one. The cost of roof repair may be covered.

Does your homeowner insurance cover you for storm-related roof damage? If it does, all or some of the cost of roof repair and replacement may be covered.

Roof repair and replacement may not be covered by warranty or insurance. The long-term cost of not acting may far exceed the cost of doing something now.

Do It Now

As John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining“. Waiting could cause further damage and your costs could go through the roof! A leaking roof in a rainstorm is no laughing matter.

Contact us to discuss how we can help.