5 Things To Know Before Fixing Your Roof

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Roof repairs are a tricky topic. While the costs associated with repairing a roof are not mind-blowing, the task of completing them can be tedious. However, there are few investments more vital to your home than your roof. Like any investment, your roof needs constant monitoring and immediate adaptation should an issue arise. Roofing contractors know what to look for when it comes to roof repairs, but before you hire a pro, we wanted to go over five important factors all homeowners need to know.

Roof Repairs are Relatively Cheap

Not all home improvement repairs require you to break the bank and fortunately, roof repairs fall into that category. According to our roof repairs cost estimator, the average cost to repair a roof is $579, with prices ranging from $59 to $1,500. As we noted in What to Know About Roof Installation, this expenditure will largely depend on the size of the roof, your roof design, and the materials chosen. Larger roofs cost more to repair than smaller roofs and pitched—or steep—roofs cost more than flat roofs. I will touch on roofing materials momentarily, but you can view all the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials here. Given the relatively low price point, all homeowners are highly encouraged to take care of roof issues as soon as they occur or are noticed. Just like any long-term investment, you must adapt your strategy if big changes were on the horizon. Your roof is no different.

Shingles are the Cheapest Roofing Material to Replace

With asphalt shingles being the most popular roofing choice in the U.S., readers will be happy to know that they are the cheapest to replace, followed by wooden and metal shingles. The latter materials could cost twice as much per square foot, but when compared to tile and slate, these roof repairs will seem inexpensive. In addition to the material, the extent of the damage will play a key role. For example, strong storms can blow shingles or tiles right off your home. It is more expensive to replace these units versus repairing them. Therefore, before you hire a local roofing contractor to fix your roof, be sure to inspect the roof very carefully.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

You Can Inspect the Roof Yourself

A terrific way to minimize roof repairs is to thoroughly inspect it as often as you can. Your new roof could see damage at any time and the earlier you spot the area of the concern, the cheaper the repair will be. If you can’t gain easy access to your roof, you are able to inspect it from the ground with a good pair of binoculars. As you are inspecting your roof, there are a few key elements you must look for:

  • Are there any blistered, curled, or split shingles? A few can be repaired, but if the general appearance of the roof is poor, it may be time to reroof.
  • Are there loose or missing shingles?
  • Do you see any exposed nails? They are a source of leaks.
  • Check where ridges and hips meet. Shingles may break or become loose in these spots.
  • Any rusty metal or displaced shingles along the valley are signs of roof weaknesses.

Inspecting Leaks is Extra

Undoubtedly, the No. 1 reason you want to check your roof often is to make sure no water or snow is seeping through into your attic or worse, into your bedroom. Leaks can be very difficult to find from the exterior and more often than not, homeowners seek professional guidance to locate the source. As a result, roofing contractors may charge extra for this service. This process can take some time and effort, so it’s not uncommon to shell out some money just to get things started. 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 our roofing repair averages.

Preventative Maintenance is Better than Reactive Maintenance

We understand that going out in the cold and looking for missing shingles is not fun and rather boring. However, just like getting into shape, it is better to attack potential problems before that actually become a real head-scratchers. When it comes to your roof or any aspect of your home, it is always better to practice preventive maintenance versus reactive maintenance. Seek out the problem before it starts costing you an arm and a leg to fix.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: