Every home needs a roof repair at some point. It might not be fun, but if you want to keep yourself, your family, and your belongings safe from the elements, you’ll need to do it. So what are the most common types of roof repairs you can expect to make?
Table of Content
- Most Common Types of Roof Repairs
- How do you Decide Between Repairing vs. Replacing Your Roof?
- FAQ About Roof Repair
Most Common Types of Roof Repairs
Usually, the most common types of roof damage are due to inclement weather, aging, or general wear and tear. Below are several common roof repairs and the problems that arise from not treating them.
Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common roof type, found on about 70% of homes in the U.S. They protect against the sun and strong winds but can only withstand so much damage. Additionally, shingles only last 15 to 20 years, so roof repairs are common.
Here are several indicators that your shingles need repair:
- Broken or damaged shingles: Extreme weather conditions can cause shingles to break, increasing the chances of water entering your home and creating leaks.
- Shrinkage: Shrinkage happens when shingles are exposed to extreme heat or just due to age. When they shrink, nails can pop out of place, leaving holes for water to enter.
- Missing shingles: Shingles can be ripped off the roof by strong winds blowing on them at the right angle.
- Granule loss: Shingles lose granules as they age, exposing the surface underneath. If you see granules lying around, it means your shingles are losing them.
Tile roofs are popular because of their durability, appearance, and longevity – they can last up to 100 years or more. Additionally, they can survive rain, wind, and fire while being resistant to decay and insect damage.
However, tiles aren’t invincible. Strong winds can heavily damage them, as can intense heat or cold, branches falling, and people walking on them. Usually, the damage affects individual tiles, which only need repairing.
Tiles with cracks and holes, underlayment defects, and built-up debris in the roof valley are common issues with tile roofs. Inspect your tile roof every three months for damage. Clean out your gutters every month to avoid accumulating debris.
Flashing is the material that covers the seams and joints of your roof. Its primary purpose is to keep water away from the most vulnerable areas of your home, like walls, chimneys, and dormers (the little rooms that project from the roof).
Usually, problems arise with flashing when it is not installed correctly. For example, the seal might be missing, or cheap materials were used when first installed, causing flashing to come loose or start curling. Sometimes, the age or quality of the flashing is the cause.
It takes time for flashing damage to become problematic, but conducting a roof inspection is the best way to repair the issue quickly. Even minor problems like tears in the sealant can become urgent over time. In the meantime, you can use roofing cement and tar as a temporary leak repair until your roofer arrives.
Cleaning your gutters might not seem like a step you should take to keep your roof working correctly, but gutters are far more important than you think.
A gutter’s role is to drain water, but debris like branches, insects, leaves, and twigs can find their way in and clog it up. If that happens, water can’t flow, starting a pool on the roof and causing the roof to rot. Meanwhile, the gutters collapse under the weight of the water.
Get your gutters cleaned at least twice a year to avoid any roof issues. Additionally, you can install gutter guards, which block leaves and debris from entering your gutters and clogging them.
Missing shingles or poorly installed flashing are the main causes of roof leaks. Leaks develop slowly and go unnoticed until you look up and see a small, dark water stain on your ceiling. By that time, there’s usually a large puddle on the roof, hinting that the roof is at risk of collapsing.
If you have a roof leak, repair it as soon as possible. Consult a professional roofer to diagnose the extent of the damage.
If your roof is poorly ventilated, excessive heat can cause the shingles to blister. Also, mold and mildew can form when air doesn’t flow properly, and the roof’s soffit and fascia, which hold the roof together, can rot, potentially causing the roof to collapse. Pests also see poorly ventilated roofs as open doors.
To prevent poor ventilation, confirm your insulation isn’t covering any vents. If necessary, add a ridge vent along your roof length to ensure proper ventilation.
Any chimney-related issues involve your chimney’s ability to keep water away. The flashing around the chimney’s base can crack or corrode, letting in water. Likewise, age can cause old caulking to crack, breaking the seals. If the chimney is ancient, it may have cracks inside of it, letting water inside and underneath the flashing.
If your chimney has any small cracks and leaks, you can apply various sealants as a temporary fix. However, waterproofing sealants can only last so long, so you’ll want to call a professional as soon as possible.
Skylights are plastic and glass windows letting sunlight enter through the ceiling. Water can run down the slope of your roof and hit the flat edge of the skylight, trapping it and causing corrosion. The skylight can also crack, letting water inside during heavy rain.
How do you Decide Between Repairing vs. Replacing Your Roof?
A regular asphalt roof can last 15 to 20 years. During that time, your roof can sustain damage from hail, high winds, broken branches, and tree damage. This doesn’t automatically mean you have to replace the entire roof, as several factors can influence whether a repair would be better.
- Damaged shingles. If your shingles are curled, cracked, or missing, they are approaching the end of their lifespan. You’ll find this problem mostly with older roofs.
- Dirty or dark shingles. This is a sign of mold or mildew growing from moisture damage.
- Shingles or granules in the gutter. As shingles wear out, they shed their granules. You’ll find them in your gutters – look for what looks like coarse, black sand.
- Deteriorated flashings. Check the flashing at the roof’s edges and around the chimneys, skylights, and vent pipes for any deterioration.
- Water stains. If you see any water stains on interior walls or ceilings, you have a leaky roof due to the water trapped in your roof’s underlayment.
- Attic damage. Water damage, visible light on the roof, or sagging decking or rafters, are hints that you need to call a roofer.
- Higher energy bills. If your energy bills are higher than usual, contact a roofing company and get your roof inspected for damage.
If you keep your roof in good repair, you can prolong the need for a complete replacement. We wrote an article on roof repairs vs. roof replacements if you want to dive deeper into this subject.
FAQ About Roof Repair
How Much Do Roof Repairs Cost?
It depends on the size of your roof, how accessible it is, and the type of roofing material. For example, a shingle roof usually costs around $450 to $825 to repair, while tile roofs depending on the material, will cost more.
We have a pricing guide demonstrating how much roofing repairs cost, but below is a chart with a few examples.
|Roofing Material||Average Cost to Repair|
|Flat / Single-Ply Membrane||$350 – $750|
|Asphalt Shingles||$450 – $825|
|Wood Shakes / Shingles||$450 – $825|
|Metal||$550 – $1,350|
|Slate||$575 – $1,750|
|Clay / Concrete Tile||$350 – $450 per damaged roof square (100 square feet)|
Though homeowners can repair their roofs, it isn’t recommended. If they don’t know what they’re doing, they could damage their roofs and hurt themselves.
It’s also difficult to truly pinpoint roofing problems. For example, you might think that, because you’re missing two shingles, you could replace them, but you still have to wonder why you’re missing them in the first place and if there’s more damage you don’t see.
In general, calling a roof contractor is recommended for any roof work.
The criteria for what makes a good roofing contractor can vary, but below is a list of traits to look for:
• Years of experience. A roofer with several years of experience knows the best tools and practices.
• Licensed and insured. If a roofer is licensed, they’ve passed multiple tests, know the industry, and have undergone extensive training.
• Willing to provide references. Ask if they have pictures of their finished work and an online portfolio.
• Willing to provide a written estimate. A contractor needs to see the roof in question before submitting a bid. They’ll need to explain their work and provide a detailed written estimate.
• If they provide a warranty. There are two types of roofing warranties: workmanship and manufacturer. Workmanship warranties cover mistakes, while manufacturer warranties cover defects like shingles.
• Positive reviews. Websites like Yelp and Google are great places to find reviews.
Get Your Roof on the Mend
Repairing a roof is a big job and requires understanding your roof and the types of repairs it needs. Turn to an experienced local roofer to tackle your roof repair.