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Common Questions about Roof Repair and Installation


What are the signs of problems with a roof system?

There are various exterior and interior signs that indicate a potential roof problem and knowing where and how to look is essential to avoid a serious problem such as leaking or damage.

During an exterior roof inspection, the following can indicate roof issues:

  • Missing, warped or cracked shingles
  • Deteriorating flashings
  • Loose seams
  • Roof tile surface granules building up in downspouts or gutters

Inside the home, these signs can indicate roof system problems:

  • Discolored plasterboard and/or ceilings
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Cracked paint on walls or ceilings

Does a roof require complete replacement if there’s a leak?

A leaking roof doesn’t always require complete replacement but it depends on the reason for the leak. If the leak is from a damage area of the roof system or loose flashing, it’s possible to repair just those areas. When a roof system fails completely, it’s usually irreversible and due to poor material choices and/or inappropriate roof system installation.

What roofing replacement options exist?

There are two standard options for reroofing a home.

  • Complete replacement – Involves replacing entire roof system by tearing off existing elements
  • Re-covering – Involves leaving existing roof and installing new roof over it

For homes that have already had a roof re-covered once, homeowners need to check building codes because sometimes codes only allow one re-cover. If this is the case, the home may require a complete roof replacement.

What’s the expected lifetime of a roof system?

The designs of new roof systems enable them to perform their job for approximately 20 years, depending on the material used. Roof systems made with certain metals, slate or clay tile can last longer in the right conditions. The lifetime of any roof depends on the following:

  • Local environmental and weather conditions
  • Proper roof maintenance
  • Materials used
  • Quality and suitability of materials
  • Proper design of roof system and building
  • Correct application of roof system

Manufacturers of roof products offer various warranties but homeowners need to look closely at those warranties to understand the exact financial obligations and responsibilities the manufacturer is willing to assume in case the products don’t last the projected lifetime.

How much does a new roof system usually cost?

The cost of a new roof system depends has a wide range of prices and depends on the contractor selected, materials used, home location, time of year and local labor rates. Acquiring at least three proposals from reputable contractions in the area is a good way to get an idea of how much a new roof may cost. Finding the lowest price on the roof isn’t always the best idea as the homeowner may be sacrificing quality of workmanship and materials and could end up spending more on repairs in the future. Roofing materials come in different grades, shapes and styles that affect their price. There are various degrees of craftsmanship and expertise in the roofing profession and it’s important to select a contractor who produces quality results.

What’s the best way to determine the annual cost for roofing?

As homeowners consider all the roof system options available, they can figure out the annual cost of the roof system by dividing the total cost of material and labor by the number of years in the life expectancy of the roofing system.

Can homeowners take care of roof work on their own?

It’s not safe for homeowners to work on a roof without the proper training. Professional contractors have all the necessary training to work safely and efficiently on roof repair or replacement. Along with homeowners risking a serious fall by working on their own roof, they could also damage the roof system with their attempted repairs. Homeowners can clean gutters to remove leaves and debris and inspect roofing systems in the spring and fall to look for curled or cracking shingles, but even those tasks require safety precautions such as a secure ladder and rubber-soled shoes.