What should you do if you find a leak in your roof?
A leaky roof is serious business because, if left unattended, it can cause major damage to your home. In addition, the sooner a leak is attended to, the less chance of more expensive repairs down the road. According to fixr.com, minor leaks can lead to damage such as mold, rotted framing and sheathing, damaged insulation and ceilings. Some of the most common causes of a leaky roof are broken shingles, cracked vent booting or flashing, gutters that are clogged, condensation in the attic or a cracked chimney. Some leaks can be difficult to find. Hiring a professional to do a thorough roof inspection is important, especially after a severe weather event.
A roofing contractor usually charges around $3 per square foot for leak repair or $45 to $75 per hour. The labor hours range between 8 - 16, making the repair cost range from $360 to $1200. If your roof is steeper than average, repair costs can increase by 20% or more. This is also true if your roof has many architectural details to work around. You also may need to buy a permit from your county or homeowners association, without which you could be heavily fined. Permit fees average around $75.
REPAIR VS. REPLACEMENT?
Replacing shingles can be a relatively easy and inexpensive job. However, even if you saved some spare shingles from a previous roof replacement, this patch job will probably not match the rest of the roof. This may be a relatively small consideration if your roof is not very old and will extend its life for ten or fifteen years unless you plan to sell your home. A prominent patch can be a negative selling point.
If the damage is confined to one side of the roof, a partial re-roofing can cost thousands of dollars less than an entire replacement. This can make the color differences less noticeable. Partial re-roofing can be more expensive on a cost per square than a total replacement and all layers will need to be removed. This can add to the cost and result in a lopsided effect due to the old roof being a couple of inches higher than the new side.
According to Angieslist.com, the determining factors on whether to fix or replace your roof are the following:
According to bobvila.com, if you do decide to replace your roof, choosing to tear off the old roof or install the new roof over the existing one is another decision you will have to make. Installing the new roof over the existing one will save you a little money now but runs the risk of greater expenses in the future. The International Residential Code (R907.3) states that a new roof cannot be installed over two or more applications of any type of roof covering. Much of this has to do with the weight on the structure of your home. Covering a roof with 1,500 square feet of shingles is almost equal to the weight of a two-ton SUV. Removing the old shingles will allow you to inspect the roof deck and sheathing for damage, plus the shingles adhere better if fastened directly to the roof deck. This will also allow you to check for wood rot and the presence of inadequate sheathing fasteners. Additionally, starting with an undamaged roof deck allows you the option of adding an ice-and-water shield membrane along the eaves.
Having your roof inspected every one to two years is a good way to protect your roof from potential problems. Having your roof inspected after any severe weather event will also catch any damage before it becomes even more extensive.
Harper Roofing offers a free, no obligation roof inspection in the Charleston area. We will show up on time and give an honest assessment on the condition of your roof.
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