Roof Repair Costs: Here’s What to Expect
With all the variables involved in roofing materials and design, how do you begin to budget for this type of repair? To help you estimate your roofing project expenses, here’s a quick guide.
Assessing your roof repair needs
First things first: If there’s an issue with your roof, you always want to get it fixed sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more likely that a small, manageable problem will turn into serious damage.
That being said, you don’t necessarily want to hire the very first contractor you find. Before you hire a roofing professional, be sure to check that they have all of the necessary licenses and certifications for this type of work. That includes relevant insurance. Read through reviews from previous clients to get a sense of the contractor’s professionalism and workmanship, too.
Types of roofing repairs
The most common causes for roof repairs are aging and standard wear (such as salt corrosion or moss buildup), damage from severe weather (such as heavy precipitation or high winds), and leaks.
A leak might be a relatively simple fix, if it occurs in a single valley. (Valleys are simply the channels that direct water toward the gutters.) On the other hand, leaks in multiple valleys might require a total roof replacement.
While a certain amount of wear will happen on any roof over time, weather damage is more likely to occur in roofs with improper installation or maintenance.
Roofing repair costs: Materials
One of the biggest variables that will influence the price of your roofing repair is the type of material used on your roof.
To give you a rough idea, here are some of the most common roofing materials and their associated costs:
- Asphalt has an average repair cost of $5 to $10 per square foot.
- Metal has an average repair cost of $5 to $15 per square foot.
- Slate has an average repair cost of $10 to $15 per square foot.
Roofing repair costs: Season
Believe it or not, the time of year can have a major impact on cost.
By far, the most common time of year for a roofing repair is summer. That drives up the demand for contractors’ time, which in turn raises the price. If you can, get your roof repaired in the “shoulder season”—spring or fall.
Labor for off-season repairs might be up to 40% cheaper than peak season. For example, some roofing companies’ labor costs can go from $70 per square foot in the summer down to $40 in the autumn. Materials can be cheaper during the off-season, too, though they generally won’t fluctuate as much as labor.
Just remember that the optimal time for roofing work is when the temperature is between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so take your local climate into consideration when you’re deciding when to schedule a repair.
Roofing repair costs: Other variables
There are a number of other factors that will influence the cost of your roofing project. Most of them have to do with the architectural features of your home.
Skylights, for example, might mean higher roofing repair costs. Oftentimes, water will become trapped along the edges of skylights, which will eventually break down the seals around the flashing. Over time, that can cause rust and corrosion, which is more expensive to fix than normal wear and tear.
Another factor to consider is whether your roof has chimneys. The most frequent issues with chimneys are damaged flashing and broken-down seals, both of which can result in interior leaks. The shingles surrounding the chimney will typically need to be removed to get at the problem area. If there’s damage to the chimney’s bricks and mortar, the price of the repair can increase significantly.
Vents can also add to the cost of a roofing repair. Wind, rain, and snow can cause the flashing around vents to become loose or damaged, which in turn causes leaks. This type of issue can be expensive to repair, because it will require the flashing as well as the surrounding shingles to be replaced. The repair can be even more expensive if there’s an interior leak that isn’t directly below the vent, which can point to an issue with the underlayment.
In general, the more complex your roof is (in terms of the pitch, number of panes, number of valleys, and any unique design features), the more your repair will cost.
An ounce of prevention
When it comes to issues with your roof, as with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. If you live in an area that’s prone to severe weather, consider getting regular inspections to ensure that there aren’t any problems developing. At the least, have your roof inspected by a trustworthy professional after a hurricane or other major storm.
This is especially true in colder climates—get an inspection done after any particularly harsh winter with a lot of snowfall. That way, if there is an issue, you’ll be ahead of the curve in getting it resolved.
How much does a roofing repair cost?
According to national averages, a typical minor roof repair can run anywhere between $200 to $400. More extensive repair work will quickly range into the thousands. A major roofing repair is likely to cost $2,000 to $3,000, or more.
Based on these averages and the variables we’ve mentioned above, it’s possible to get a good sense of how much your particular roofing repair will cost.