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Avoid costly home roof repairs

Making some minor, but critical, house checks every season can save you plenty

Contractor performing roof repairs
Posted on Jan 30, 2020, 8:25:29 PM GMT

A good roof is essential to every house! Your roof protects your home against everything from water stains to structural damage. Read our tips on spotting potential roof issues and on how much a new roof costs.

How to check your roof for leaks

Leaks are the main cause of roof repairs and replacements. Follow these steps to help keep yours in good shape. Think about getting a professional to regularly inspect your roof and make repairs you need too, especially after severe weather!

  • Check the attic. Visit your attic on a sunny day and look for places where light is shining through your roof. Water can get through those places. Also look for staining or dampness that indicate you have a leak that needs to be fixed.
  • Examine the shingles. Curled, cracked, or broken shingles are signs your roof needs repair. When you have asphalt or composite shingles, also check the gutters for what looks like a rough black dirt. This deposit in your gutters may be a sign your shingles are starting to wear out.
  • Inspect the flashing. Flashing is the material installed around things like chimneys, skylights and roof vents to prevent leaks. Flashing that is old or cracked could be letting water into your home.
  • Look for moss and plants. Moss and plants grow where moisture collects, and can damage your roof and shorten its life.
  • Watch out for sagging. A sagging roof creates spots where rain, snow, and ice can collect. Sagging is also a sign you have problems with the structure supporting your roof.
  • Check for stains and peeling or bubbling paint. If you see wall or ceiling stains, or have peeling or bubbling paint inside your home, the cause may be a leak coming from your roof.
  • Consider the age of your roof. Old roofs are more likely to have problems. When you are deciding between repairing or replacing your roof, consider its age. Small problems on a new roof are good candidates for repair. When you have an old roof with big problems, replacing it usually makes more sense.

How long does a roof last?

Roofs last 20 to 50 years depending on the material. Asphalt shingles are good for about 20 years and fiber cement shingles about 25. Wood shake roofs might last 30 years while roofs made from copper, tile, or slate can last 50. If you have a flat roof, you can get 20 to 25 years from it. Regular maintenance and repair are important to getting the most from your roof. Heavy rain, snow, hail, hurricanes, and other severe weather will reduce its lifespan.

How much does a new roof cost?

The cost of replacing a pitched roof often ranges between $5,000 and $15,000 and is affected by roof size, materials, labor costs, and other factors. A roof with a steep pitch is usually more expensive than one with a gentle pitch, and complex roofs will cost more than simple ones. Flat roofs are often cheaper to replace, averaging between $3,000 and $9,000. Get several bids from reliable professionals before you choose a company to replace your roof.

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