Roof Repair: How to Keep Your Roof in a Perfect Shape
When it comes to your roof, the main question is whether to repair it or to completely change it.
Breakages can be very dangerous. They allow excess moisture to penetrate your home which may have a negative impact on your health and the structural integrity of the whole home. But if there is a problem, that doesn’t always mean you should change the roof.
Depending on the issue you’re dealing with, you might have to act instantly and completely change your shingles or tiles. In some cases, people have several years to react to this damage. Until then, they can simply perform minor fixes and keep their old roof.
It all depends on the particular situation.
Ideally, as soon as you notice that there is something wrong, you should call a roofing company to check the extent of damage and suggest the best solution. But if you’re proficient enough or wish to learn more about roof repairs, you can do it yourself.
Either way, here are some professional tips that will help you out.
How to find leaks?
In some cases, it is obvious that you’re having a roof issue.
But what to do if it’s not?
A homeowner should check their roof from time to time ensuring everything is ok. When you climb up on it, make sure to start from the uphill. See if there is any discoloration. Make sure there aren’t any obvious holes. Even if you have an older roof, it is really hard for a leak to appear if all shingles are in their places.
Besides climbing to the roof, you can also go to your attic. Whenever a roof starts leaking, it usually shows on the attic. Bring a flashlight if you don’t have a lightbulb as you will be searching for mold or stains. This is a clear indication that a particular area is getting excess humidity. Of course, you can do this only if you have an actual access to the attic. Otherwise, you will have to climb on the roof.
Get an assistant
Sometimes, a leak may be hard to spot. In these cases, you might need some help.
Bring a hose to the roof and start washing the area above the potential leak. Do this from different sides. At the same time, your assistant should stay inside the house looking out for any leakages. Don’t be too hasty; let the hose run for a while so you can have definitive results.
Your assistant should have a way to contact you after spotting the leak so that you know precisely where it occurred. Make sure to mark it in some way. This is especially important if there are several leaks. No matter what, take your time as the whole watering process can last for a while.
Sometimes, even if you used water and had an assistant, the leak might not be visible. In this case, the next best course of action is to start removing shingles or tiles around the suspicious area. By doing this, you can ensure there was actually some issue beneath. In the best case scenario, there will be some discoloration. In the worst case, there will be rotting wood.
If you’re really inexperienced and don’t know where to start from, here are some additional suggestions:
Flashing can be really problematic when it comes to chimneys. This item is meant to prevent any leakage by sealing the area between the roof and the chimney. Check it out and make sure everything’s ok. Besides that, the chimney may also experience signs of wear and tear so be on the lookout for any potential damage to it.
Flashing is not exclusive to the area around chimney; it can be found all over the roof. It connects vents and other ducting and it is probably the number one reason for leaks. This metal may show signs of damage so be sure to inspect it thoroughly.
- Missing granules
Granules are an important part of the shingles. They are positioned on top of them and are meant to protect them from the sunlight and from walking on the roof. If you have a new roof, it is common for the granules to appear in your gutters. It is something that happens after a new installation. But, if you have an older roof and you notice granules in the gutters, this is a clear indication that your roof was damaged. Once granules fall off, the sun will start affecting the shingles causing discoloration and damage.
Not every home has skylights. But you have to admit that they look really nice. If your home has skylights, make sure to check them regularly. Leaks may appear almost anywhere especially around the upper edge as this is where water oftentimes gets stuck.
When two slopped panels form an angle together, it is called a valley. Because of their placement, lots of water will amass in this area. Needless to say, this can pose a big problem. Shingles are used to cover these valleys. Keep in mind that they are custom-made to fit the size of a particular valley. Sometimes, the size may not be ideal allowing water to run below the shingles. Check them for humidity.
- Vertical slits
Slits between shingles pose a big danger to your roof. Water runs through them which will cause corrosion over time. Check them regularly.
Remember to take your time when checking your roof. Basically, you should look at every nook and cranny for a potential leak or damage. It might take a whole day but you need to do it every summer.
Cost of repair
Like with everything else, there are several factors affecting the cost of repair. The most important ones are:
- The extent of repairs
- The quality of service
- The type of material being used
Whether we’re talking about roof repairs or complete replacement, it is really hard to determine the price beforehand. Even if you think you’re having a minor leak, a roofing company may discover some additional issues you weren’t prepared for. So, it is always better to spare more money.
What kind of a price can you expect?
- $100 to $500 for smaller repairs
- $500 to $1000 for medium repairs
- $1000 to $3000 for larger repairs
Depending on what kind of a roof you have, the price can shoot up pretty quickly. Always remember that repairing slate shingles is not the same as fixing asphalt ones. Based on the material, here are some common repairs and how much they would cost you:
- Metal ($300)
While metal is known as a rather durable material, there are several things that might happen to it. Oftentimes, the problem will occur due to an improper repair or modifications. If you removed fasteners, this can potentially lead to a leak. Seams on metal roofs may become loose after a while which can allow water to penetrate them more easily.
- Asphalt ($250)
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material due to its attractive price. But, with low cost come troubles. Due to their lightness, you shouldn’t be surprised if the wind blows some of the asphalt shingles off. Another potential issue is loose nails which can damage them.
- Composite ($300)
These shingles and plates combine different materials. Composite roofs are usually very light and due to this reason, they suffer from similar issues as asphalt ones. In other words, they are easily damaged by wind. In situations where a few asphalt shingles may come off, a complete section of composite ones may be blown. Luckily, it is really easy to detect damage to such roofs so you will at least have that advantage.
- Wood ($350)
Wooden roofs are really popular in certain regions of the world. They are ideal for cold climate and have a very natural feel to them. However, due to the fact that this is a natural material, it is also plagued by organic elements. Moss and insects are the biggest threats to it and they can have a big impact on the whole integrity of your roof.
- Slate ($550)
Slate roofs are amazing in more ways than one. They are a bit expensive, heavier than most materials but also look stunning. Slate can be damaged by ice though. Sometimes, nailing slate shingles too tightly can cause leakage too.
- Tile ($350)
Tile roofs can lead to all sorts of issues. They are prone to leaking and if one of the tiles slides off or gets damaged, it will instantly expose the roof. Tiles also react badly to the heat which can cause quicker deterioration of the material.
- Flat and foam ($400)
In the case of these roofs, water may amass in one area instead of draining properly. In certain cases, the foam may fly away during strong winds if it was improperly installed. These roofs may also suffer from mold buildup.
As you can see, it is really hard to determine the price of repairs beforehand.
Different roofs suffer from different issues and only after a repairman checks the roof can you get the proper estimate of the damage.
While everyone should be able to take care of their own roof, you also have to be conservative about it. Oftentimes, roofs suffer from improper installation or modifications. If you start tinkering and you’re not sure what you’re doing, you can cause even more damage to which will ultimately lead to a bigger bill.
These tips are definitely a good starting point. By following them, you should be able to determine the extent of the damage. But, if you’re uncertain about something, it is much better to call a professional roofing company. At the end of the day, they might even save you some money.