By Dan Simms
Updated Dec 21, 2022
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The key to getting the most out of your roof is to give it the care and attention it needs, which means regular repairs when it shows signs of wear. Roof repairs can be expensive, but neglecting to fix your roof almost always becomes more expensive. Luckily, most roof repairs are not as costly as most homeowners think, especially if you catch the problem early and fix it before it becomes severe.
We put this guide together to help you navigate the confusing world of roof repairs and maximize your roof’s lifespan. Below you’ll find a complete discussion of roof repair costs, including how the price for common repairs changes depending on your roof’s material, size, and age. You’ll also find some helpful tips for inspecting your roof, advice for DIY roof repairs, and how to tell when a simple repair could turn into a more expensive job.
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The national average for the cost of a roof repair is $1,000. However, this number will vary based on the extent of the damage, where the damage is located, the type of roof you have, and roof pitch, among other factors. You could pay up to $15,000 for roof repair if the damage is extensive.
How much a roof repair costs depends mostly on how involved the job is and what needs repairing. Minor roof repairs can be surprisingly affordable, and most can be completed in only a few hours. More extensive repairs can be almost as expensive as replacing your entire roof and typically take much longer.
Generally, a minor roof repair can be done quickly without breaking the bank. We categorize minor repairs as anything that costs less than $1,500. Below are a few common minor roof repairs and their associated costs.
Once a roof repair costs exceed $1,500, we think it’s fair to call that a major repair. The line between a roof repair and a roof replacement is often blurry, so we’ll get that distinction out of the way by covering roof replacements first.
The kind of shingles you have plays a major role in determining how much a roof repair will cost. Here’s a brief look at how much it costs to repair common roof materials on average. The price ranges account for the differences in repair size, geographic region, and roof structure.
|Roof Material||Average Cost Per Sq. Ft.||Project Cost|
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The above cost estimates are ballpark guesses; the actual cost of a roof repair depends on what type of shingles you have and your roof’s height, size, and pitch.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, expensive roofing materials like metal shingles and standing seam roofs are also more expensive to repair. Part of the cost is due to the elevated price of materials, but some come from increased labor costs. For example, metal roofs are more difficult to work with than asphalt shingle roofs or wood roofs, so companies charge more to cover the cost of specialized equipment and to help offset the cost of longer jobs.
Tall, steep roofs usually cost more to repair than lower, flat roofs because they’re more difficult to service safely. Setting up safety gear takes time, and navigating a steep roof takes longer, leading to higher costs per repair.
Larger roofs are more expensive to repair because they require more materials and take longer to fix, increasing labor costs. You can measure your roof by the square foot, but roofers usually work in units of 100 square feet called squares.
This is fairly obvious, but more extensive damage is almost always more expensive to repair. Replacing an important roof structure like the eaves or truss will cost more than replacing a few worn shingles.
It might surprise you that roof repair costs depend on the weather or the season, but it’s true. This is only relevant for emergency repairs, but patching a hole in a roof during the winter can be almost twice as expensive as having the same work done in the summer. Winter weather is less forgiving than summer weather, and climbing around on an icy or snowy roof is significantly more dangerous than working on a dry one. This makes labor costs much higher as the risk incurred by the roofers is higher.
The previous section covered the most common factors that affect the cost of roof repairs, but there are a few other considerations you need to be aware of in case they apply to you.
If you aren’t sure what kind of repair you need, you’ll have to pay for an initial inspection. The price of an inspection varies by your geographic region and what roofing company you choose, but you should expect to pay between $100 and $300. This is most relevant for leaks where you see signs of water damage inside your home but don’t know what’s causing the leak.
Emergency repairs are often much more expensive than ordinary repairs. Labor costs are usually higher, and you have to pay for the privilege of diverting roofers from other jobs to perform your emergency work. Moreover, emergency repairs often occur in bunches due to storm damage, making the demand — and therefore the price — much higher.
The good news is that your homeowner’s insurance will probably cover most emergency roof repairs. Make sure to ask your contractor if they’ll help you navigate submitting a claim since most professional roofing companies will file your insurance claims for you.
Ideally, you should inspect your roof bi-annually, looking for signs of wear and damage. Some signs that your roof needs repair are easy to spot. Discolored shingles, moldy soffits, stained fascia, and hanging gutters are all telltale signs that your roof needs work.
Unfortunately, the more insidious problems like a rotting roof deck, damaged underlying roof structure, and moisture retention are more difficult to see. Most methods of detecting these issues before they get out of control are indirect. If your monthly energy bill is suddenly higher than normal or increases every month without an obvious explanation, it could mean you have structural issues. Your roof plays an active role in maintaining your home’s energy efficiency, and a damaged roof is less effective at stabilizing your interior environment.
You should also check your roof for signs of standing water after heavy rainfall, as this is a sign your roof is sagging. Water also tends to collect in roof valleys, so consider installing a flashing roof to help drain from these areas if you notice any signs of water damage.
If you have a crawlspace or attic, you can check for gaps in the ceiling where your roof joins. Call a professional roofer and schedule a roof inspection if you can see gaps or sunlight. This is a common problem in older homes.
To know whether or not you need a roof repair or replacement, watch this video:
It can be tricky to decide whether you should pay to have extensive damage repaired or bite the bullet and have your roof replaced. If the total cost of repairs is more than $3,000, you’re more than halfway towards funding a replacement if you have an average 1,500 sq. ft. asphalt shingled roof. If your roof is old and due for a replacement in the next few years, it probably makes more sense to replace it than to have it repaired only to tear it down and replace it later.
On the other hand, if your roof is new and was replaced within 10 to 15 years, having it repaired makes more sense, even if it is expensive. If you trust your roofing company, you should ask them outright. A reputable roofer can tell you the pros and cons of replacing versus repairing your roof. They’ll also be able to give you an accurate estimate for the cost of a new roof, factoring in the cost of your preferred materials and the local labor rate.
DIY roof repairs are a good idea in the simplest cases, but you should hire a professional roofer for more involved jobs. Nailing down a few shingles or rehanging the gutter is within reach of most homeowners. However, fixing a sagging roof or fixing a structural leak under the eaves is probably best left to a professional roofing company.
You should check before working on your roof yourself whether your homeowner’s insurance will continue covering your roof if you work on it yourself.
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Roof repairs are an expensive part of being a homeowner. We hope this guide helps you prepare for the inevitable roof repairs that will crop up as your roof ages. The prices and ranges listed in this guide represent the national averages. However, the only way to know how much your roof repair will cost is to get an estimate from a local roofing company. Most companies will gladly give you a free quote, although some charge a small fee.
It is possible to DIY simple roof repairs like patching small holes or replacing a few shingles, but a professional should handle more serious problems. Even if you have roofing experience, you may jeopardize your homeowner’s insurance since most companies only cover roofs that certified companies have worked on.
It’s easy to prevent developing a leaky roof with regular maintenance and inspections. Skylights and vents are common leak locations that are easy to sure up with sealant if you notice gaps forming. A regular inspection once or twice per year could prevent leaks from forming in these areas.
Keeping your gutters clean is also a great way to prevent leaks since overflowing gutters can cause water to seep behind your exterior walls. If you don’t relish the thought of cleaning your gutters, you can invest in gutter guards to make the job significantly easier.
It depends on the size of the area that needs to be patched, but on average, it costs anywhere from $100 to $200 for a small patch between $800 and $1,000 for a larger area. The cost also depends on your roof’s material, with wood or asphalt roofs being considerably more affordable to patch than metal roofs, for example.
As long as the repairs were done by a certified roofer, then yes. Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover roof damage due to weather or natural disasters. They will not cover roof repairs or replacements for roofs that deteriorated due to neglect. Make sure to keep detailed records of your roof repairs and maintenance in case your insurance company asks to see them when you file a claim.
Coverage for roofs over 20 years old is usually limited, as an old roof presents a bigger liability to an insurance company.
Some people choose to purchase a home warranty for their roof as complimentary coverage for issues that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance. Home warranties can help homeowners pay for routine roof maintenance.
Arranging for a home repair of this scale is going to be a fairly involved project. If you haven’t conducted renovations like this – either via a contractor or on your own – then it can be a bit overwhelming. At House Method, we pride ourselves on being able to take all of the guesswork out of the equation for you.
We’ve thoroughly evaluated each roofing type to make your selection process easier. Through exhaustive research into hundreds of different roofing providers throughout the United States and analyses of thousands of individual homeowner experiences, we’ve broken our roof rating system down into the following categories.
All roofs receive an aggregate rating between (0.0) and (1.0). This rating is comprised of six key evaluation criteria, which we’ve outlined below. The rating between (0.0) and (1.0) will correspond to a secondary rating out of five stars, which is displayed more visibly in our articles across this category.
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