Roof repairs typically address water damage or leaks, missing or damaged asphalt shingles, as well as more routine roof maintenance and cleaning. Roof repairs are available for private homes and commercial spaces, and they can be paid for either through insurance claims or out of pocket. Professionals repair roofs made from asphalt shingles, clay tile, wood, metal, slate and rubber.
A shingled roof may need new asphalt shingles or repairs after a bad storm, because of wind damage, roof leaks or from fallen tree branches. A weather event could also expose a poor installation job or asphalt shingles that were attached improperly or incompletely.
Aging shingles on older homes could have problems such as cracking, curling, staining, missing granules or moss build up. And depending on the geographic region, a roof might have climate-specific problems such as ice dams or salt corrosion. If a roof is more than 10 years old and the problems are extensive, it may be time to replace an old roof with an entirely new roof.
Another common problem is the valleys—the V-shaped areas of the roof that channel water toward the gutters. Metal strips called "flashing" line the inside of a valley, and sometimes the flashing can be damaged if nearby shingles are lifted out of place. Flashing can also be damaged by heavy rains or a buildup of fungus or moss in wet climates. Repairs to a roof’s valley could become a medium-sized job. If multiple flashing strips in multiple valleys are damaged, it could be a major project or even time for an entire new roof.
Most roof repair jobs begin because of water leaks coming into the house. One simple roof leak could mean a minor repair, but if the leaky roof stems from the flashing around a chimney or skylight, things could get more complicated.
Expect minor repairs to a section of shingles to cost between $150 and $400. Medium-sized repair jobs could top out at around $1,000, and major repairs could cost as much as $3,000. The average cost for a completely new roof for a medium-sized home is about $7,500, although the roofing material needed determines the final repair cost (metal roofs, for example, typically cost less than shingle roofs to replace or repair, but tile roofs are more expensive). Several factors affect the cost of roof repairs, including the square feet to be repaired, the roof pitch and height, the amount of roof replacement, the average cost of materials, the age of the roof, and more.
To determine what kind of roof repairs are needed, a roofing contractor should do an in-person inspection. Be sure to hire a roofing contractor from the immediate area with certification, licenses, insurances and references from local clients. It’s also a good idea to check references and look up contractors through professional associations, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association.
Homeowners might also hire roofing inspectors periodically just for peace of mind. It’s a good idea to have a roof inspected after a major storm or hurricane or if leaks are suspected. Some insurance companies won’t cover storm damage if claims are filed too late, so a timely inspection after a storm could save homeowners lots of money on repairs. An inspection from a roofing company will uncover storm damage, as well as any drainage issues such as ponding or pooling of water on the roof and any clogging of the gutter system.
Inspections are generally not free, but a roofing contractor could include the cost of the inspection in the price of a repair project if hired. After an inspection, most roofing contractors should give provide a written quote or estimate of the labor and materials costs to complete the work.
Roofing contractors have a language of their own. Here are some common terms related to the condition of a roof:
Tiles or sheets—another name for shingles
Underlayment or decking—the plywood layer under the shingles
Flashing—the metal strips found in a roof’s valleys and also around chimneys, vents and other features on a roof
Size of repair
Roofs and roof repairs are measured in "squares." Squares are 10-foot-by-10-foot areas that equal 100 square feet. The more squares to be repaired, the higher the cost.
The simpler the roof, the simpler the repair job. However, the more features a roof has, such as chimneys, skylights, peaks and valleys, the greater the cost could be. A roof shape is considered to be "simple" if it has six or fewer planes. A “common” roof shape has between six and 12 planes. A “complex” roof has more than 12 roof planes. The roof shape affects the price of its repair.
Type of roof
The cost of the shingles needed directly affects the cost of roof repair. Clay tiles, common in the Southwestern states and coastal communities; slate tiles, traditionally used in the Northeast but becoming more popular throughout the U.S.; and wood shingles are generally the most expensive. Asphalt tends to be the least expensive. Within the asphalt category, 3-tab shingles cost less than dimensional or architectural shingles for basic repairs per square. As a baseline cost, asphalt shingles cost about $5 to $10 per square foot to repair. Cedar shingles cost about the same. Metal roofs can range from $5 to $15 per square foot to fix loose seams or damaged fasteners.
Steep roofs might cost extra, especially if they are too steep to safely walk on.
High-end roof coverings, such as slate or terra cotta tile, start at $15 per square foot and go up from there. Even though these coverings are very durable, especially resistant to the salt and sand in coastal areas, with the ability to withstand high winds, these kinds of roofs can still be damaged by large hail or from being struck by falling trees or heavy branches. Many roofs like this typically come with warranties of 30 years or more. So if you buy a home with an existing slate or tile roof, the roof itself might still be under warranty. Flat roofs can cost $4 to $10 per square foot to fix a bad seal or pooling water.
Here are pricing examples from two companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area:
Roofing repair labor: $40–$70 per square
Least expensive asphalt shingles: $60–$80 per square
3-Tab asphalt shingles with roofer labor: $200 per square
30-year dimensional asphalt shingles with labor: $300–$500 per square
Materials and labor for asphalt shingles: $500 per square
Materials and labor, for built-up roofs, modified bitumen roofing systems, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofs and EPDM synthetic rubber roofs: $700 per square
Materials and labor for clay/tile shingles: $900 per square
Materials and labor for slate tiles: $900–$4,000 per square (Price range represents cost variances between synthetic and real slate.)
Time of year
Demand for roof repairs is greatest in spring and summer, so the cost will typically be higher than when done off-season when laborers’ time is in less demand. The price of shingles can also be lower during the off-season. That’s why Keto Roofing and Construction/DFW Gutterdome’s cost of labor per square can fluctuate from $40 to $70.
Ideally, roofing repair work is best done when the outdoor temperature is between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and when there isn’t much chance for rain. So, depending on the geography and climate, that could mean early summer or early autumn.
Chimneys, vents and seals
Frequently the flashing (metal barrier strips) that keeps water from leaking in needs to be resealed rather than a whole square of a roof being refinished. This task is often faster and less expensive than replacing a square. For example, Keystone Contracting Group charges $200 for sealing pipe seals, roof vents and chimney flashing.
Chimneys, vents, skylights and related elements on a roof have variable costs.
Chimneys are among the most common areas for leaks. To repair a leaking chimney, the shingles around the chimney will need to be removed to access the underlying problem—usually the flashing or a bad seal. Sometimes, when the shingles and flashing are removed from a chimney, other structural problems are found, such as problems with the bricks and mortar of the chimney itself, which could increase the costs of the repairs.
Even a chimney that looks normal from the ground can have design nuances that are hard to see until a professional inspects it from the roof. Especially if it’s an older house, the seal between the chimney and roof might not be perfect and could use repair.
A problem with the chimney could result in leaks inside the house that are nowhere near the chimney. So when a homeowner calls for a roof inspection because of a leak, the contractor will often inspect the chimney for any problems, even if the chimney isn’t near the leak inside the house.
Repairs to flashing around the chimney or other roof fixture are generally considered medium-sized jobs. But if the chimney itself needs work, that could become a major job.
Vents and other small roofing fixtures are other areas where leaks commonly occur. A roof’s small metal vents can really take a beating during a storm. Consequently, the seals and flashing around the vents can work themselves loose over time, resulting in a spot where water can get in and cause a leak. Because vents are less substantial than a chimney, they can be more likely to be damaged, especially on older homes.
To repair a leak at a vent, the shingles and flashing around the vent will have to be replaced. If the interior leak is not directly below the vent and water has damaged the underlayment of the roof, the price of the repair could go up.
Skylights are great until they start leaking, and homes with skylights are eventually going to have a leaky skylight. They often trap water along their edges. This can cause the sealing material to break down over time. If the degradation of materials goes unnoticed for too long, the flashing around a skylight may become rusted or corroded. That leads to a more expensive repair.
The layer of roof underneath the shingles is called "decking." When water or objects falling have caused damage beneath the top layer of shingles, the decking will need to be replaced. Keto Roofing and Construction/DFW Gutterdome charges $500–$600 per square to replace decking.
Decking is made from plywood sheeting. Typically, a roof’s decking is done with at least ½-inch plywood, but some older houses might only have ¼-inch plywood, which could be the source of a roof’s problems. If a roofer gets on top of a roof and discovers that the roof has too much give in it or if it feels springy, the problem could be the decking. During an inspection, roofers may pull away some old shingles and discover that the roof’s decking is just rotted away.
A problem with a roof’s decking in addition to shingling could result in several thousand dollars in additional costs, depending on whether the decking needs to be replaced in just a few spots or all over.
The long-term price of petroleum has an effect on the cost of shingles. Petroleum is a key ingredient in the manufacture of shingles and affects the cost of shingle production, the cost to roofers and ultimately the cost to roof owners.
The price of shingles is not quite as volatile as gas prices, but if oil prices are heading up, that could cause the price of a major repair to be more costly. If oil prices are climbing, metal or wooden shingles may become a more attractive option.
Type of repair
Trees rubbing against shingles, water penetrating shingles and damage to flashing around the chimney can all be reasons why people need help with roof repairs. Below are common asphalt roofing repair prices from Keto Roofing and Construction/DFW Gutterdome. Clay, slate or wood shingle repairs will generally cost more.
Replace valley of roof, where water is tunneling and wearing down the shingles: $4 per linear foot
Replace worn pipe jack (plumbing pipe) and flashing (protective metal strips that keep water out): $100–$150
Repair damage where trees have rubbed against shingles and worn down to the decking: $250
Replace flashing around chimney: $500–$750
During hot summer weather, heat can soften asphalt shingles making them more vulnerable to damage during installation. Consider having your roof repaired during cooler weather to avoid this problem.
If you live in a cold-weather climate, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected after a severe winter.