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The answer depends on the nature and severity of the problem, along with the age and overall condition of the roof. Issues like broken shingles might be relatively easy to fix, but if larger issues are present – like leakage, rot, or sagging – it might be wiser to have the roof replaced.
Common reasons for roof replacement include:
Sagging or Low Points If your roof is sagging, it’s almost certainly time for a new roof.
Leaks and Water Damage If you see brown spots, peeling paint or mold on your ceiling, and upon inspection you find significant damage, it may be time to replace the entire roof.
Weather Damage If you’ve experienced roof damage from severe storms, have the roof assessed.
Age If your roof is 25+ years old, consider replacing it. Concrete, metal or tile roofs last for several decades, but a basic asphalt shingle roof (the most common) may only last 10 - 20 years.
If you have any doubt, it's a good idea to get your roof inspected by a professional contractor or other qualified inspector. Seemingly small roof problems can turn into big problems if not addressed when first discovered.
"Who does roof repair?"
You could hire anyone from a handyman to a professional roofing contractor or company. Hiring someone licensed is advisable since they will be able to provide you with proof of insurance, and legitimate warranties.
Depending on the scope of the problem and your budget, options include:
Handyman A handyman may be cheaper, but most are not licensed or able to provide guarantees, so this option is best for smaller problems.
Roofer A roofer can be either an unlicensed contractor, a licensed roofing contractor, or a general contractor who also does roofs. Make sure the roofer is sufficiently qualified to handle the job.
Roofing Contractor An individual roofing contractor will probably be licensed by the state, and may work on their own, or with a crew. Get references, and ask about licenses and warranties.
Roofing Company A roofing company will be licensed, which usually means more longevity, bigger crews that can work more quickly, and more substantial warranties.
Home improvement Retailer Most retailers have roofing services similar to a roofing contractor or company.
To start your search for a roofer, fill out the form on this page. Also, be sure to get several bids, ask questions, and get references.
"Can I repair my roof myself?"
Experienced, professional roofers do offer important advantages: ability to spot problem areas that average homeowners miss, in-depth knowledge of the best repair, replacement and installation methods and materials, use of subcontractors if needed, best tools for the job, ability to obtain (or help you obtain) local permits if needed, and, ability to provide guarantees.
That said, if you are comfortable working up on your roof, and understand the in's and out's of roofing repair, you can consider a DIY approach.
"My roof is leaking, how do I find where it's coming from?"
Diagnosing the source of a leak can be challenging. Water can enter a roof at one location, then travel along the decking and rafters, down and sideways, before showing up many feet away on your ceiling or a wall.
You can contact a local professional to locate the leak, or try to discover it yourself.
Start by looking in your attic, ideally on a rainy day (when the leak is active). With a flashlight, look for water, discoloration, deteriorating insulation, and mold. B e careful, since many attics don’t have proper support for crawling or standing. And be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear if you are around insulation.
If it’s not a rainy day, you might be able to recreate the leak by spraying the roof with a garden hose. Start at the lowest point possible on the roof, work your way up. If you have a helper, one can spray while the other inspects the attic.
If you can't find the leak from inside, and are willing climb onto your roof, here are common problem spots to investigate:
Shingles Look for cracks, loose shingles and missing shingles. Also be on the lookout for nails that may have backed out of the roof sheathing.
Flashing Check for gaps in the flashing around chimneys, vent pipes and exhaust fans.
Holes Look for small holes in the roofing, perhaps caused by weather damage or windblown debris.
Roof Vents, Conduits and Pipes Look for gaps or poor seals around air intake and exhaust vents. Also check seals around electric conduits and plumbing pipes .
If you can't find the leak yourself it's time to call a roofing professional ASAP! Leaks only get worse over time.
"Does home insurance cover roof repair?"
It depends on what caused the damage. If a lack of maintenance created the problem, it probably won’t be covered. Covered repairs are mainly for things you can't control, e.g.: a fallen tree, extreme weather, other acts of nature, vandalism, fire.
Some policies may have windstorm and hail exclusions.
If it’s a very minor repair, your deductible may be higher than the repair cost, so be sure to read your policy or call your agent.