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Roof Leak: Repair or Replacement? Here's How to Determine Which One You Need

Are you dealing with a roof leak? Not sure if you need a repair or a full replacement? Our team of experienced roofers can...

Roof Leak: Repair or Replacement? Here's How to Determine Which One You Need
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A leaking roof signifies that water can get into your asphalt shingles somehow or moisture is building up on your ceiling. Most roof leaks can be repaired if you act quickly. But if ignored for too long, they might cause more problems which can lead to a more expensive roof replacement project.

The question now is, how do you determine if the water leaks you have require a simple roofing repair or a full roof replacement? To help you decide the best course of action, this article will help you identify the signs of a roof leak, know the factors that you need to consider, and understand how a roofing company can help you.

Indoor Signs of a Roof Leak

Both the interior and exterior of your home will show signs of a roof leak. Let us first get into some of the roof leak signs you can find inside your home.

Ceiling and Wall Stains

If you see brown, yellow, or faint discoloration on your ceiling and walls, it's most likely due to a leaky roof. You can often find these water spots in the middle of the ceiling or along the walls.

Repairing a roof leak is usually pretty easy. The hard part is determining where the leak is coming from. Nonetheless, it's important to start the repair works immediately to prevent mold, rotted roof sheathing, and damaged ceilings.

Peeling or Blistering Paint

If the paint on your ceiling and walls is cracking, peeling, or blistering, then it's a good indication that you have a leaking roof. Just like with the discoloration problem, you have to search for the source and have it repaired by professional roofers.

Moisture in the Attic

Moisture in your attic can usually be caused by two things. One is that your attic doesn't have proper ventilation and the other is that you might have a leaky roof. Either way, you need to have it checked as soon as possible, especially after heavy rain. Turning a blind eye to the moisture build-up in your attic might only lead to expensive repairs or having to get a new roof altogether.

Outdoor Signs of a Roof Leak

Now that we've discussed some of the signs you'll see inside your homes, let's now talk about some of the outdoor signs of a leaky roof.

Decking Decay

A decaying deck means that moisture is trapped in your roof. There are a lot of signs of a decaying roof deck. These can include missing shingles, damaged flashing, and clogged gutters. These damages can be repaired if you act on them quickly.

However, if you ignore these smaller signs of a decaying deck, you might end up having a sagging roof. If this is already the case, then you need to call the roofing experts immediately to have your roofing system replaced. That's because a sagging roof can collect water during storms, which can make the situation worse. In extreme cases, your roof might even cave in.

Damaged Shingles

Damaged shingles not only affect your curb appeal but can also let water and moisture into your home. Thankfully, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to replace your entire roof if you have a few damaged shingles—that is if you repair them soon enough.

Nonetheless, it helps to always have your roof inspected for damaged shingles after a heavy storm. You would want to keep an eye out for cracking, blistering, or curling shingles.

Another sign of damaged shingles would be excess granule loss which you'll often find in the roof gutters. The granules on the shingles act as the roof's first line of protection. So without the granules, your shingles would be more vulnerable to the elements.

Roughed-up Roof Flashing

Flashing helps prevent water from getting into your roofing system by keeping it away from areas where the roof edge meets a sidewall. However, due to severe weather conditions and oxidation, the sealant can deteriorate which then leads to water leaks.

Visible Roof Damage

Extreme weather events, age, or accidents might cause visible damage to your roof. This can include debris from tree branches, dark streaks on your roof, and holes from improper installation.

Roof leak repair or replacement

Factors to Determine a New Roof

Depending on the roofing materials used, installation, and maintenance, your roof could last for 30 years or more. However, what you cannot control are the fluctuating weather conditions and accidents that can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Some roof damages can be repaired, but others might need a full roof replacement. We all know that replacing your roof can be expensive, and that's why most homeowners postpone it. Nevertheless, here are some factors that might help you determine whether a new roof is right for your home.

Age of the Roof

The first thing that you need to consider when replacing your current roof is its age. If it's under 20 years, you might be able to opt for a repair if the problem is not severe. However, if it's nearing the end of its life and the damages are considerable, it's probably better to have a roof replacement.

Roof Type

The roofing material and type you choose can greatly influence the costs of your new roof installation. Roofing materials can range from $100 to $1,000 per square as some materials require more labor. And when it comes to roofing types you can choose between a high-pitched or low-pitched, flat or sloped.

Extent of Damage

Some damages, such as a strong wind blowing off a shingle, can be easily repaired. But if the damages involve a significant amount of granule loss, buckling shingles, cracked flashing, or sagging roof, then it might be time to replace part or all of your roof.

Repair vs Replacement Costs

Roof replacement costs are often expensive and can be considered an investment. This cost can vary depending on the type and materials used. On the other hand, roof repairs, especially ones that can be easily done, have lower costs.

Depending on the damages, partial roof replacement might be the solution you need. However, in the long run, a full replacement would be less expensive and still a better investment.

Factors That Impact Your Roof Leak Repair Cost

To help you know what to expect in a roof repair, here are some of the factors that can affect its final cost.

The Project's Size, Scope, and Complexity

The scope, size, and complexity of your repair project will play an important role in how much it will cost. A professional roofer will provide you with a detailed scope of the work required, the materials it will need, the timeline, warranty, and payment schedule.

Your Roof's Materials

Is your roof pitched or flat? Is it made up of shingles, wood shakes, or metal? Just like with a new roof installation, the type and materials you use on your roof will affect the repair costs.

An asphalt shingle roof would cost about $100 to $480 per square depending on the material used. Metal roofs can run from $100 to $1500 per square. While a tile or slate roof can run up to $4000 to $8000 per square, it also comes with a 100-year lifespan.

Geographic Location

The place you live can also affect the cost of a roof repair. This is because code requirements, material supplies, and local labor costs differ in each place. For example, in places where permits are required, the cost of the permit will depend on the scope of the repair and the size of your roof.

What to Do After Finding a Roof Leak

The best thing to do after finding a roof leak is to address it as soon as possible. If ignored, roof leaks can lead to more expensive and severe damages such as mold and structural problems. So after finding a roof leak in your home, it's imperative that you contact a GAF-certified roofing contractor for an inspection.

If you're not sure whether you need a roof repair or a roof replacement, the roofing professional would be able to give you advice. In some cases, like a missing shingle, would only need a repair. But a roof replacement might be necessary if you're suffering damages from a major storm.

Roof leak repair or replacement

What to Expect from a Contractor Roof Repair

When it comes to roof repairs, here are some of the things that you can expect from a professional roofing contractor:

Measurement of the Area That Needs Roof Repair

First of all, you will have a consultation with the roofing contractor. This is the time when you'll meet them face-to-face, allowing you to gauge their demeanor and personality. This is also the time when they assess what the problem is and take some measurements of the area as well.

A Deep Roof Inspection

This deep roof inspection is an important part of the roof repair project. Unlike the consultation part where the contractor would just assess the problem, the inspection part is where they get into the details of the roof issue so they can create an action plan on how to fix it. They might even give you a closer look at the problem so that you'll understand the steps that they need to take to keep your roof in shape.

Advice on the Best Materials for the Job

Working with a professional roofer offers endless advantages for homeowners. They know where to get high-quality materials, plus their workmanship is top-tier, making the project cost-effective in the long run. Depending on the roofing style you want, they can also advise you on the best materials that suit your local climate and comply with the roofing laws in your area.

Additionally, most of these professional roofers offer warranties on both their labor and the materials used. Making sure that you get the peace of mind you deserve.

A Quote That Includes Labor, Materials, and Applicable Fees

A reputable roofing company will provide you with a quote that will clearly and honestly show the costs of the repair project. This quote includes the roofing materials that will be used, the outline of the work that will be done, and the estimated time frame it will take to finish the project.

Additionally, the quote should also include the labor cost and any applicable fees such as permits and inspections. These fees vary depending on the location, the complexity of the project, and the regulations in place. It is important to have a clear understanding of the total cost of the project so that you can make an informed decision.

Still Not Sure Whether You Need a Roof Repair or a Roof Replacement?

Since the price difference between a roof repair and a replacement can be huge, it's understandable that you might have a hard time choosing. But taking too long to decide might only make your roof leak problem worse. So the best thing you can do if you think you have a roof leak is immediately contact a professional roofer such as Affordable Roofing Solutions.

Affordable Roofing Solutions is a roofing company located in Tampa, Florida but also servicing the surrounding areas. We're proud to say that we have GAF's Master Elite Certification which helps ensure that our clients will receive the best materials and workmanship in their roofing projects.

Our services include emergency roof repairs, new roof installations, and storm damage restoration. Contact us today at (813) 542-8462 and get a free roof estimate.

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