When the roof of your home is damaged or leaking, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Prolonged leaks could destroy porous materials like drywall or insulation, and lead to structural damage as wood framing begins to soften and rot. The first step towards repairing the damage is obtaining a roofing estimate, and by understanding what is considered during the process, you will be able to select the best offer for your budget.
Choosing to Repair or Replace
Repairing a roof may seem like the more economical choice in many cases, but that depends on several factors. If the roof is relatively young, less than 10 years old, and has only minor leaks and little visible damage, repairs may allow it to last several more years. If it has significant or multiple leaks, large areas missing the grains or aggregate, significant structural damage, an abundance of cracked, missing or damaged shingles, or if it is nearing the end of its useful life, it may be time to consider replacing the roof. The upfront costs are higher, but it is a worthwhile investment.
Asphalt shingles are the least expensive roofing material and the easiest to install, but they also have the shortest lifespan, typically 15 to 20 years. Metal roofs are significantly more expensive, but can last twice as long. Slate, ceramic or concrete tile roofs are the most expensive, and the longest-lasting, but they require significant labor to install and more structural support than shingles or metal.
Flat roofs are the least expensive to repair or replace. As features like hips, gables, dormers and valleys are added, the cost of the repairs or replacement will increase. Likewise, if the underlying roof deck or rafters are damaged, costs will increase significantly.
Selecting a Contractor
It is best to get a roofing estimate from several contractors. Before deciding on an offer, check for references, licenses and other qualifications, and get recommendations from friends and family. Choose the one that is the best value, not necessarily the lowest cost.