How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Leaky Roof?
Roof Repair Costs at a Glance
- Price range for roof repair job: $200-$3,000
- Typical repair range: $225-$1,150
- Asphalt shingle repair: $350-$500 per 100 square feet
- Metal roof repairs: $600-$1,200
- Flashing replacement: $20, DIY; $15-$25 per linear foot, professional
- Fix a leaky skylight: $25-$80, DIY; $1,000+, pro
- Vent boot replacement: $25
- Whole-roof replacement: $5,000-$11,000, range; $8,000, average
While spending money to repair a roof might not be that rewarding an endeavor (as opposed to something flashy like a new kitchen), the investment is critical if you want your home to hold its value, and keep your family safe and dry. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine, a new roof can add more than $16,000 to the resale value of your home — an average cost recovery of just under 66 percent.
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Even if you don't need a whole-roof replacement, fixing weak or damaged areas still makes for a sound investment. So how much will that investment cost you? Read on for details.
How to Know When You Need a Roof Repair
The key indicator that something’s wrong with your roof is, of course, noticing water stains on the ceilings directly beneath your attic or roof space. If the stains aren't showing up in an area that would normally hold plumbing, they almost certainly indicate a leaky roof.
You may also need a roof repair after significant weather events. Hail can punch holes in your roofing material — especially if your roof is made from slate or tile — while strong winds can lift up shingles and compromise their ability to protect you from rain. Winds can also blow tree limbs onto your roof, causing punctures. So, while it's not necessary to climb on your roof after major storms, it is a good idea to inspect them from the ground to see if any damage needs to be fixed.
Finally, if you’re starting to see tiny bits of granular material around your home — especially at your gutter downspouts — it could be a sign that your asphalt roof tiles are beginning to wear out. Most asphalt shingles last about 20 years, so if your home's roof hasn't been replaced in that long, it's a good bet that repairs or replacement will soon be needed.
Types of Roof Repairs
Naturally, the amount it’ll cost to repair a problem with your roof will depend on what, exactly, the problem is, and whether you choose to fix it yourself or hire a professional to handle the job. That being said, climbing on top of your house puts you at risk of injury from falling and, unless you really know your way around roof repairs, you risk compromising your roof's integrity if the job isn't done properly. Still, there are some minor problems that might be worth tackling yourself.
One such issue is a problem with your roof's flashing, which is the metal material that is installed anywhere your roof meets another surface, such as around chimneys or against other sides of your home. It serves to funnel water toward your gutters, but it can fail and lead to leaks. If you're confident enough to tackle it yourself, replacing your flashing can cost as little as $20 for materials. Just be aware that you often have to remove shingles to replace the flashing and, if they break while doing so, you'll need to spend to replace those, as well. For professional flashing repairs, expect to pay between $15 and $25 per linear foot. Having flashing replaced around a chimney then, would cost you between $300 and $600.
Homeowners can generally also handle repairs around leaky skylights, which usually involve little more than applying some roofing cement and caulking, and perhaps replacing the flashing. Such a do-it-yourself repair can cost between $25 and $80, while using a pro could run $1,000 or more, depending on what needs to be done.
Another relatively easy roof repair is fixing your vent boots. These are rubber covers that slide down around any pipes that protrude from your roof, such as those used to vent gases from your plumbing system. Replacement boots cost around $25, and new versions simply slide down around your old boots to provide a solid seal without the need to remove neighboring shingles.
Even simple shingle replacement projects can be tackled by a homeowner who’s comfortable with heights and handy with tools. A pack of asphalt shingles only costs about $30, and should contain enough material to do basic patches — like the kind needed after a storm rips off a few shingles.
If you determine that your roof leak is coming from somewhere other than your skylight, flashing or vent boots, then the issue is likely worn-out shingles or decking, or damage from a fallen object or weather event. In that case, you'll likely want to call a professional.
When quoting roof repairs, contractors will use a measurement known as a “square.” This is a measurement of 100 square feet so, generally, 10-foot by 10-foot patches.
Nationally, the average roof repair cost ranges from $200 to $3,000, with most bills falling within the $225 to $1,150 range. One of the major factors determining the final cost of a professional roof-repair project is the depth of the damage that needs fixing. If it's only a matter of swapping out some shingles, your costs will be on the lower end of these ranges. If more is involved — such as repairing the decking (the layer of plywood beneath your shingles) as well as flashing — the costs will climb toward the higher end.
Cost by Roof Type
A second significant factor in roof-repair costs is the type of roof you have:
- Asphalt shingle roofs are by far the most common in the United States and will cost between $350 and $500 per square to replace, according to HomeGuide.
- Metal roofs will cost between $600 and $1,200 per square, with tin running around $875 per square, steel around $1,025 per square and copper will between $1,500 and $2,000 per square.
- Pricing for repairs on custom roofing materials such as slate, tile, concrete and wood shake increase from there.
Your ZIP code will also make a difference. If you live somewhere with a high cost of living or in major coastal cities, your roof repair costs will trend toward the high side.
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- How to Prevent Water Damage With Proper Home Drainage
As mentioned, if your roof is older than 20 years and you begin to notice leaks, failing or curled shingles, or other problems, your best bet may be to replace the whole thing. While patching areas on an old roof is a cheaper short-term solution, you'll likely be throwing money away because, after you get one section fixed, another is equally likely to fail.
For homes with roofs composed of asphalt shingles, you might be tempted to save money by simply adding a new layer of shingles on top of the old one if it's never been done before, as it’s generally accepted that two layers of shingles are OK for homes. If you decide to go this route, it's crucial to ensure that the materials underneath your shingles — including the decking and underlayment (a felt-like material that insulates and protects the decking) — are sound, or else you'll simply be covering up a problem. If your roofing contractor tells you that the decking is damaged and you’re unable to climb on the roof to see for yourself, ask to see photos.
Be aware though, that not everyone agrees that adding new shingles over old is a good idea. For starters, the extra layer will trap more heat, which will contribute to the faster decomposition of the shingles in both layers. According to Authentic Restoration, this can actually shorten the lifespan of the new roof by 40 percent. An extra layer of shingles will also add more weight to your roof, which can stress the supporting structure unnecessarily. Finally, two layers of shingles means twice the work for future repair projects.
So, more than likely, your best bet is to simply replace an aging roof if it shows signs of failing. When undertaking this project, you can get an idea of what you should expect to spend by using a roof repair cost estimator such as the one found here, which shows the average cost of an asphalt-shingle roof replacement ranges from roughly $5,000 to $11,000, with most people paying around $8,000.
Because it's not a “showy” home improvement project, shelling out the cash to fix or replace your roof is never a fun moment. But knowing that your most important investment is covered by a sound, secure roof should bring you peace of mind for years.
A good roof can protect your home for years. So can being prepared with a plan from HomeServe. Once you have a plan in place and a covered issue arises, you can simply call the 24/7 repair hotline. A local, licensed and highly trained contractor will be sent out to you to get the job done to your satisfaction.