Dealing with a leaking roof is a hassle no one wants to deal with and spend money on. It’s not just the cost to repair to the roof, but the potential damage to the frame of the house, the ceilings and walls.
It’s important to know how to take care of your roof and the signs that it’s time to repair or replace your roof, because timely maintenance and intervention can save you thousands of dollars and prolong the service life of the roof.
If you need to fix your roof, call your local roofing pros for FREE PRICE ESTIMATES.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Roof?
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The average cost of a roof repair is $600 – 700, but that varies depending on the nature of the repair.
A minor repair may cost between $250 to $450, while a major repair costs $1,000 to $3,000.
It’s not uncommon for some homeowners to pay in the higher range of $1,500 to $3,000+ for significant roof repairs, especially if the roof is clay tile or slate stone.
Labor Costs for Roof Repairs
One of the biggest factors contributing to the cost of the roof repair is the labor cost. The average hourly rate in the U.S. for roof labor is $75 per hour.
You may find that professional roofers charge more or less depending on your location. On the low end, the hourly rate can vary from $45 to $60 per hour, and on the high end you could pay $80 to $100 per hour for labor.
Typically professional roofers have higher labor fees if they are located on the East or West Cost, in cities such as Boston, New York, San Francisco, LA, and similar areas with very high real estate prices.
Southern and Mid-Western states tend to have much lower average incomes and therefore professional roofers also charge less money for their services out there.
You can save as much as 50% of the total roof repair cost, if you choose to do it yourself. For a DIY savvy homeowners, its fairly easy to fix asphalt shingles as well as flat rubber roofing. There are many tutorials on line that walk you through the repair.
However, more complex roofing issues are best left to the pros.
What Is the Cheapest Roof to Fix?
Asphalt shingle roofs, which are the most common type of roofing material in the U.S., are the least expensive to repair and replace. You can usually to do the repair under $500. The second cheapest roof to fix is flat roofing membrane, such as EPDM, TPO or PVC, which costs about $650-800 for a repair.
Metal roofs, and cedar wood shingles are more expensive to fix, but the most costly, are high-end roofs, such as slate stone, clay or concrete tile.
Roof Repair Prices Based on Roofing Material
As mentioned earlier, the total cost of fixing a roof greatly depends on the roofing material itself. Here are roof repair cost estimates for various types of roofing materials.
|Average Repair Cost
|$500 – 1,000
|Replace or repair a 10′ x 10′ square foot section
|$750 – 1,350
|Repair improper installation, fix loose seams, address any damaged fasteners
|Wood Shakes or Shingles
|Deal with moss build up or insects/other critters replace damaged shingles
|Flat and Single Ply Roofs
|$650 – 1100
|Address pooling water that may lead to minor sagging, or to repair improper sealing of the under-laying material
|Clay Tile/Natural Slate Roof
|$900 – 2,500+
|Repair improper installation or nails that are too tight causing tiles or slate to pop up leading to leaks. Replace broken tiles or slate
Roof Repair Costs Based on Roof Damage Type
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In addition to the type of roofing material you have, the total amount to fix your roof will depend on the type and extent of damage that is there.
Below are price estimates for fixing the most common roofing problems.
|$450 – 1200
|Repair/ Seal Minor Leaks; Replace Shingles in a Small Area
|Fix Fixtures on the roof, replace shingles, re-do flashing
|Repair roof underlayment, replace big sections of the roof, repair rot/ other damage
Cost to Repair Skylights
The cost to repair leaks around skylights range from $300 to $800.
However, if the damage is major, the entire skylight may need to be re-flashed or even replaced with a new skylight.
The cost to re-flash a skylight or install a new one is between $1,000 to $3,000. All of the shingles around the skylight will need to be removed first so that the skylight can be re-flashed or replaced.
Once the work on the skylight is completed, the area around the skylight will need to be re-shingled with matching shingles.
With smaller roof spans, a contractor may choose to re-shingle a whole section of the roof rather than just the shingles around the skylight.
This will ensure a consistent look to that area of the roof. The job cost is also impacted by how easy or difficult it is for the contractor to access the skylight.
Cost to Repair Damage to Flashing in Valleys
The valley on a roof is the area where two sloped sections of a roof come together. Flashing is put in this area to make a good seal over the area where the shingles meet.
If there is damage to the flashing, the shingles around the area need to be removed. Once the flashing is replaced, the roof needs new shingles in that area and everything has to be sealed.
The cost for this type of repair ranges from $350 to $600 depending on how long the valley is, how steep the slope of the roof and how many shingles need to be replaced.
Cost of Chimney Repairs
One of the most common areas for roof leaks is around a chimney. The damage may be from a crack in the chimney, wood rot in the framing around a chimney or from the flashing. A good contractor will know how to properly seal and flash around a chimney.
However, regular inspections are needed to make sure these areas stay well sealed. A moderate repair is replacing the flashing. The cost to repair a crack in the crown, or around the bricks can be in $750 to $900 range or higher depending on if there is damage to the chimney’s structure.
The average cost to repair a chimney is $455, with a low-end cost of around $160 and high-end cost of around $750.
Repairs to fix a leaking chimney range from $150 to $390 to seal cracks in the mortar. Replacing metal flashing around a chimney costs between $200 and $350. A simple repair to the flashing can cost between $20 and $120.
To repair a crack in the chimney itself can cost up to $3,000. Masonry joints expand and contract with temperature changes.
This can lead to cracks in the chimney allowing smoke, carbon monoxide and sometimes even stray embers to get onto your roof. Cracks most often form at the corners first.
However, a crack in the middle of the back of a fireplace isn’t uncommon. If found early enough, simple brick mortar repair can solve the issue. If left untreated, they can lead to structural damage and increased risk of fire.
If there is wood rot in the framing around a chimney the cost can be very expensive depending on the size of the area that is affected. A small repair could be a few hundred dollars while a bigger area might cost $2,500 to $4,000.
If the rot is too extensive the entire chimney might need to be replaced with a price tag of approximately $10,000.
Roof Damage from Ice Dams and Costs to Repair
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Ice dams are another problem related to asphalt shingles.
When water freezes at the edge of the roof it can create a dam. As more water remains on the roof and freezes it can back up under the shingles, seep through the wood framing and into the walls and ceilings of your house.
The national average cost to remove ice dams is $1,000 but the price can range from $400 to $2,000 depending on the size of the roof and the work involved.
Three hours of work on a traditional two-story house of approximately 1,500 square feet can cost about $1,000.
Top Reasons Why a Roof May Leak
There are many reasons why your roof may leak. Here are the most common ones that happen very frequently.
1. Wind damage from significant storms can cause shingle to be ripped from the roof or slightly detached.
2. Fallen tree branches can damage the shingles or the structure of your roof.
3. A build up of moss on the roof shingles can allow moisture to get underneath the shingles and enter your house.
4. Damage to the granules of the shingles serve as UV protection from the sun. They can wear out over time from heavy rain or wind, or even when improperly washed with a power washer. Once enough granules are missing the shingles need to be replaced. If not, they may crack, curl or become prone to moss.
5. The age of the roof shingles may mean the roof is at the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced.
6. Sagging roofs can occur for several reasons but most commonly when water or snow has been sitting on a low sloped roof a longer than it should. This can cause the shingles and the underlying layers down to the structural boards to bear too much weight. Your entire roof may not need to be replaced depending on the size of the area affected.
Places On a Roof Where Leaks Most Commonly Occur
Leaks in shingles or tiles are a common problem. Shingles that are improperly installed or worn out will cause leaks. Replacing shingles or patching troubled spots is a minor repair. If the leak is not contained to a small area it can become a bigger more expensive repair.
Vents, skylights and any fixture on a roof are also prone to leaks. The sealing around these areas isn’t as durable as around a chimney. Usually, the vent or fixture itself does not need any repair, just the sealing or flashing around the vent.
The shingles around the vent may also need to be replaced or patched. Once you know how to seal a fixture, this type of job is a minor repair.
However, it can become a more expensive problem to repair of the point of entry for the leak is not where the fixture is. High end costs range from $1,500 to $3,000.
These are generally when repairs are needed to the material under the outer layer of the roof. Sometimes this includes addressing damaged wood in outer walls as well or replacing a section of shingles in a 10’ by 10’ area, for example.
Leaks can also happen in and around roof valleys. Roof valleys are the built-in gutter areas where two roof slopes meet. They are meant to take water to drainpipes and are usually lined with metal flashing or vinyl strips. The flashing can be damaged by wind, fungus build up or heavy rain.
Roof flashing is another common source of leaks. Anytime a hole is needed in the roof for a fixture, the area around a vent, for example, has to be surrounded with a material that is usually metal. This is called flashing or an apron. The flashing can wear out over time, or it could have been installed improperly. The seams where the metal is connected to the roof or the fixture can let in moisture.
Skylights are also a source of leaks, which is why some homeowners avoid installing them on their roofs. Two common causes of leaks around a skylight are if the flashing around the skylight fails to seal the gap between the frame of the skylight and the roof, or if the glazing seal between the glass pane and the skylight frame corrodes.
Chimney leaks are one of the more common reasons for water penetration on a roof. Corrosion or cracking in the flashing could result in leaks that may not even appear anywhere near the chimney. Cracked bricks or mortar are also potential sources of leaks.
Cost of Do-It-Yourself Asphalt Shingles Roof Repair
To give you an idea of what you might pay for materials, to do a DIY roof repair consider the following:
Asphalt shingles usually sell by the bundle for $30
Flashing material for valleys costs around $20 for a 10-foot piece
Flashing material for a chimney costs about $20
A silicone sealant for patching leaks around a fixture will cost $5
Nails, application tools, hammer or nail guns are all items that are affordable and reusable
Pros and Cons of DIY Roof Repair Versus Hiring a Professional
A professional roofer will assess the entire condition of the roof and possibly the exterior walls and foundation before tackling a repair job.
A Do-It-Yourself handyman, may just patch the noticeable area without having the experience to evaluate the extent of the roof problems.
A low-cost quote for repairs sounds good but may lead to problems in the months ahead. A professional will provide a warranty for the work.
It might only be for a few years but a handyman will not offer a guarantee.
A trustworthy roofer is very likely to identify themselves to you as a professional contractor. Not only will they tell you about their experience and skills but they will show you their professional license, and the proof that they are bonded and/or insured.
This will protect you if the job is not finished or if the professional somehow ends up damaging the house or getting hurt while doing the job. A handyman will not have a license and is not always bonded or insured.
What to Look For When Hiring a Roofer
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Here are the qualities to look for in a professional roofer:
– Check their affiliation with a professional roofing organization
– Find out how long they, and their company, have been in the roofing business. If it has only been a few years, the guarantees and warranties must be weighed against the possibility that the roofer or company may not be around in 5 years. This isn’t necessarily a reason to rule them out just a consideration in making your decision.
– Are their rates specific to your location or do they raise the rates outside of their service area?
– Check their licensing, warranty and insurance.
– If you have a specialty type of roof or a unique repair job, check that you are hiring a professional with the specific expertise.
Feedback and testimonials – Contractors are likely to show only favorable reviews on their websites.
However, an online search may reveal reviews on other sites. For minor repairs, this type of investigative work may not be necessary. For moderate or major repairs, it is definitely worth your time.
Inspection costs and written proposals – Ask if they will charge for an inspection. Sometimes the cost of an inspection may be deducted from the cost of the job if you end up hiring the contractor.
Make sure to get a detailed, written proposal that says exactly what will be done and what will materials and repairs will be included. Some professionals offer the option to pay for a repair over time. Look for low interest rates and get that in writing. For a minor job, financing may not be necessary.
How long will it take – A professional roofer should be able to complete the job in 1 to 2 business days. If it is a significantly major repair, it may take longer.
Ask questions – a professional contractor should always be willing to share information and take the time to clearly explain so that you understand and have all of your questions answered.
The general guideline is to get a minimum of three quotes for any job, including minor repairs. You want to compare the services offered among the price range of estimates that you receive. Ask why the quotes are different and have the contractor explain in detail what is being offered and why the charge is different.
Top Signs Your Roof Needs Repair Right Away
Roof repairs usually address water damage, leaks or missing or damaged asphalt shingles. Here are a few signs that your roof needs repairs right away.
Severe weather damage – If your roof suffered severe weather damage from high winds, heavy rain or falling trees and branches this can damage or destroy shingles and cause leaks which need repair immediately. Learn how to file a roofing insurance claim for a damaged roof.
Aging shingles – Older shingles may crack or curl exposing the underlaying structure of the roof. They can also have missing granules or moth buildup. If a roof is more than 10 years old and the problems are extensive, it may be time to replace the whole roof.
Leaks from the V-shaped valley areas where sloping roof areas meet – These areas channel water toward the gutters and are lined with metal strips called flashing to keep the water from leaking into the house.
Damaged flashing – If nearby shingles become damaged by heavy rain or a buildup of moss, the flashing can also be damaged. If flashing strips in multiple areas are damaged, it may be necessary to replace the entire roof.
Your roof is noticeably sagging – if you notice that your roof is sagging in a particular area (large or small) its best to have it immediately inspected. This can be sign of a structural problem in your attic, or possibly a foundation issue. In any case, its best to get on top of this issue right away.
Many shingles are missing – if there are many shingles that have been blown off or gone missing, this means that a whole section of your roof will need to be replaced. Talk to your roofer to see if he can match the existing roof color to your new shingles.
Curling and buckling of the flat roof membrane – this often happens with EPDM rubber roofs, along with leaks at the seams and many other problems. Check out our comprehensive guide on Flat Roof Repair.
Good Roof Maintenance Saves Your Money
You don’t need anyone to tell you to repair a roof leak so why do repairs and replacements when there are no problems? Trying to determine the condition of a roof while standing on the ground is difficult.
It takes inspection of both the roof and the underside of the roof and possibly the walls of a home. First, you need the experience to know what to look for. A roof is subject to normal wear and tear and little problems could be occurring which are invisible to you from the inside of your home.
Maintaining a roof and making smaller repairs as needed will hopefully prevent you from a much more expensive repair. Asphalt shingles normally last 15 to 25 years.
The better the maintenance the longer the lifespan of the roof.
So, how can you maintain a roof if there are no obvious problems?
Hire a professional contractor on an annual basis to look at your roof and address the little problems as they arise. Replacing your roof is something that you want to schedule rather than need to address as an emergency.
Cost of a Roof Inspection
The national average for the cost of a roof inspection is $200 but prices can range from $100 to $375. Be sure to check the roofing inspector’s references and license before hiring him.
You want somebody experiences and careful to do due diligence looking at your roof. Its also very important to check out the attic during a roofing inspection, to make sure that there is proper ventilation.
When Is Your Roof Ready to Be Replaced?
Typically, its a good idea to think about roof replacement if your roof is over 20 years old. If you are getting a house ready for sale and your roof is older then 15 years, you may consider replacing it, as it will boost the value of the house and will make for a quicker and easier sale.
If you have purchased a house with a very old roof, even if there are not problems so far, you may want to consider scheduling a replacement. With an old roof, you never know what the next rain or snow storm will bring.
If your roof needs minor repairs ($150 to $400) or moderate repairs ($500 to $1,000) it is probably to your advantage to make those repairs after talking with a roofing professional.
In case the repairs will cost more than $3,000 it is worth considering a roof replacement.
Another reason for a roof replacement is if you need to replace large sections of the roof, and you cannot find a matching material that will create a uniform look.
The average cost to install a new asphalt roof for a moderately sized home starts at about $7,500. While this is not an expense you hope to take on unexpectedly, it does result in a brand new roof.
Best Time For Roof Repair
Demand for roof repairs is greatest in the spring and summer, so the cost will typically be higher during these times compared to the off-season.
The price of new asphalt shingles can also be lower during the off-season. Labor costs can fluctuate from $40 to $70 per square foot.
Roof repair work is best done when the outdoor temperature is between 40 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and when there isn’t much chance for rain. Depending on the climate, that could turn out to be early summer or early autumn.
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For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.