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Homeowners insurance may cover roof damage, but circumstances vary. In most cases, damage from serious weather events or other unforeseen circumstances is usually covered. However, a roof that needs to be replaced due to normal wear and tear most likely isn’t included under standard coverage.
A leaking roof can become an expensive issue, so an immediate repair is necessary. Contact a professional roofing company to assess the situation as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can temporarily stop leaks by replacing shingles or the materials surrounding a vent, or applying fresh caulk around a dormer window or other opening.
Holes in a roof are generally a bad sign, but minor holes can be patched without hiring a roofing company, which is only a good idea with the right safety procedures in place as well as the right tools. First, identify the location of a leak by surveying the attic and looking for signs of damage. Once the spot has been located, you can repair the hole by cutting out the damaged wood, using plywood to fill the void, applying roofing tar to prepare the roof, and attaching new shingles to seal the space. If a hole is large, rotting is suspected, or shingles around the hole look damaged, a professional roofing company is strongly recommended.
Repairing roof shingles can be an excellent way to extend the overall life of a roof and prevent significant damage down the road. When wear is in the early stages, it may be possible to replace shingles without professional help, depending on the accessibility of your roof, your experience with the necessary tools, and the safety precautions you undertake before beginning any roof repairs. Shingles and roofing nails can be easily removed using a flat pry bar. Attach a new and undamaged shingle to replace a worn one; however, this may not be the right solution in all cases. If a roof is over 20 years old and shingle damage is prevalent and severe, a full replacement done by an experienced roofing company is likely a better choice.
Roof flashing or galvanized metal strips that divert water away from critical parts of a roof are an important part of preventing water damage. Flashing is typically used around skylights, chimneys, and venting. In some cases, damage to roof flashing can be repaired, but that depends on the extent of the degeneration. If minor damage is present, a sealant can be used to patch holes and prevent leaks. However, if flashing is rusted, no longer flush with the roof, or missing, a full replacement handled by a professional roofing company is necessary to avoid further issues. Because flashing must be soldered in place, it’s not an easy DIY job for most homeowners.
In some cases, basic repairs aren’t adequate to address problems with a roof. A full replacement is usually warranted. Replacing a roof can be beneficial by:
Ignoring a roof that’s in need of replacement can cause major issues and drive up numerous home-related costs, so replacing as soon as necessary is always better than waiting until serious problems come to a head.
In general, a roof should last around 15 to 20 years. However, this is dependent on how well a roof is maintained, the area’s climate and precipitation trends, the materials used in roofing, and whether any damage is addressed as soon as it occurs. Some may last 10 years, while others may surpass 20 years.
Roof repair costs can vary based on several factors—the size and pitch of a roof, the roofing material used, and the scope of the repairs are the most significant. Common roof repairs include:
Roof repair costs can range anywhere from around $150 to over $5,000 but typically cost between $850 and $900.
Depending on the age of the roof when repairs are needed, homeowners may have to choose between going forward with repairs or replacing the roof entirely, which will cost significantly more up front but save money in the long term. To install asphalt shingles on an average-size roof of around 1,700 square feet, the cost would likely be $6,000-$8,500 plus labor and disposal. The actual cost will vary based on factors like roofing material, roof size, and the company handling installation.
Repairing a flat roof without professional help involves finding the source of the problem and assessing how far reaching it is. If there's a leak, it may be simple to find the area where water is permeating the top layer of the roof material and coming into the home. There may be visible damage to the surface, or the issue may be with the seams at the edges of the roof. To avoid unnecessary risk, it's always a good idea to have an inspection carried out by a qualified roofer.
When a roof has minor leaks or damage, a handyman may be able to help with the repairs. Handymen are proficient in basic repairs and can typically tackle minor shingle replacements, spot repairs, and localized damage to the flashing and underlayment. For more extensive repairs and full replacements, however, it's best to hire a certified roofing company to get the job done.