A roof replacement is already a big expense — the last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by surprise roofing issues and the extra costs that come with them. Many roofing problems can’t be seen from the ground (an inspector will need to get up on the roof to see them) and other issues can’t be known until you begin removing shingles. Not every problem can be predicted: that’s why it’s important to budget for any surprises that could pop up. Let’s take a look at some of the most common roofing surprises and their costs so you can be as prepared as possible.
Common Roof Repair Surprises
Roofing problems can’t always be diagnosed before work begins - often they aren’t found until your contractor begins pulling off roofing material for a replacement. Routine inspections will catch many problems before they cause severe damage, but even a great inspector can’t predict every roofing issue that could arise. Some of the most commonly seen roofing surprises are:
Decking is the plywood sheathing underneath your roof’s shingles. Rotting decking is the most common issue a contractor will find as they remove old roofing materials. Any rotting or soft decking will need to be replaced before your new roof can be installed.
Older decking was required to be only ⅜ inch thick, but today that requirement has been increased to ½ inch. So if you have old, thinner decking, it should be replaced when you replace your roof, even if it isn’t rotting yet. If you don’t replace it, you could have issues down the line and your new roof may not last as long as it should.
Large fallen branches may be easy to see from the ground, but less obvious storm damage can be even more problematic. Damage caused by hail, for instance, can be difficult to see from the ground, but even minor hail damage can cause major issues. The smallest holes can expose your decking to moisture, leading to problems like mold, rot, and leaks.
This is another one that’s hard to spot from the ground, and often goes unnoticed until it causes big problems. If your drainage system is blocked, it can cause pooled water, eventually leading to mold, rotting decking and leaks. Water traps are a common problem as well: these are areas that are prone to leaks due to runoff areas directing too much water to one place. Water traps can cause shingles, siding, or even brick to wear out faster.
Bringing Your Roof Up to Code
This one is a little less common, but it’s worth mentioning. Depending on how old your roof is, it’s possible that it was built to meet old building codes. If that’s the case, when it comes time for a roof replacement your roof’s construction will need to be brought up to the current building code. While this will certainly add to your roof replacement costs, the good news is it could potentially save you money in the long run due to greater energy efficiency and sustainability.
Budget for Surprise Repairs
Don’t let these surprises catch you scrambling to find the funds to pay for repairs. Budget for them so you can be prepared for whatever your contractor finds. Here is a general idea of how much you can expect to pay if you run into these issues:
Repairing rotten or inadequate decking could cost several thousand dollars, depending on labor costs and how much decking you need. Generally, you can plan on $70-100 for each sheet of plywood. Each sheet covers about 32 sq ft, so if you calculate the total square footage of your roof you’ll get a reasonable estimate of cost for replacement.
Storm Damage or Blocked Drains
These repairs vary widely in size and scope, but on average you can expect to spend between $300 and $1,000 per repair. The good thing about these particular roofing issues is that you don’t have to wait until you replace your roof to correct them. Fixing these minor issues as they happen will be much less expensive than letting them go until they cause major damage to your roof.
Stay On Top of Potential Problems With Regular Inspections
Have your roof inspected regularly and budget for potential issues so you can be ready for anything that pops up. Routine roof inspections can catch things like storm damage, blocked drains, and pooling water, and can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones. Ideally, you should have your roof inspected twice per year — in the spring and fall — as well as after a severe storm or other damaging weather event.
All Elements in Your Corner
All Elements offers the best in residential and commercial roof inspection and repair, and can help you keep your roof in the best possible shape with regular inspections. If you haven’t scheduled your fall roof inspection yet, or if you are in need of roof repair or replacement, contact us today to get on our calendar. We’ll take care of your roofing needs so you can rest easy and enjoy your home.