Most roofs are built to last but they do occasionally need repair. Shingle and tile roofs can be damaged by severe storms and weaken as they age. In many cases, repair can be as easy as replacing a few shingles or tiles and a portion of the underlayment. Shingle roofs are replaced more often than slate or tile roofs so in many cases, the underlayment is in good condition and only a few shingles need to be repaired. Tile or slate roofs can have failing underlayment, fasteners or flashing while the tiles are still in great shape so repairs can be more extensive. Since tiles are more durable, they can often be reused mixed in with a small percentage of new tiles
Many homeowners are tempted to repair minor damage to roofs themselves. But DIY roof repair can be dangerous and may not solve the issue. Walking or leaning over the edge of a roof is risky, especially if the weather is poor. A professional can get the job done safely and quickly. In most cases, simple repairs are inexpensive and a skilled contractor can identify any issues. This is especially important in older roofs or for homes that have had numerous leaks and repairs.
Shingle roofs are relatively easy to repair if the damage is minimal and the roof is newer. If a small number of shingles are torn, cracked or missing, they can be replaced easily without replacing the entire roof. If the roof is less than ten years old, most leaks can be repaired as well as damaged eaves or fascia. Modern shingles are durable, but they don’t last forever. Older shingle roofs that are brittle, dried out, cracked or curled can’t always be repaired and will eventually need to be replaced.
Flat roofing repairs are the toughest of all repairs, even for a professional. Water will leak through one spot and can travel many feet as it soaks and spreads between the felt layers of the roof. If repairs to the flat roof are possible, it takes expertise to track the leak source and then perform the repair, using the proper materials such as cement, emulsion or hot asphalt.
Like asphalt shingle roofs, composition shingle roofs are simple to repair. Individual shingles or entire rows can be replaced if they are damaged by trees or blown off by the wind. Damaged shingles along the hip or ridge can be more difficult to repair.
Dimensional shingles are thick and durable. Some can even be rated up withstand 130 miles per hour winds, but they can still be damaged by heavy storms, debris, and hail. If only a few shingles or rows are damaged, the old shingles can be easily removed and replaced.
Like dimensional shingle roofs, architectural shingles are strong and durable. Nonetheless, severe storms can cause damage. If single shingles are missing or damaged, they can easily be removed and replaced.
Cool roof systems can be either flat or sloped that conserve and save energy. Like other modern asphalt shingles, they can be damaged by severe weather but they are also relatively simple to repair. If single shingles are entire rows of shingles are torn or missing, they can be replaced.
When tile roofs leak, it is usually the felt underlayment, fasteners or flashing that has failed rather than the tiles. Over time, felt and metal expands and contracts and eventually cracks, making the metal fasteners deteriorate. If the underlayment or flashing fails, the tiles shed most of the water but some water can work its way down and through and eventually into your home. Failing fasteners can cause large sections of tile to slide and the roof will deteriorate quickly.
Severe weather or poor installation can also damage tile roofs. Tiles can slip if they aren’t properly nailed and leaks at pipes, chimneys, skylights, and intersections can be a sign of a bigger issue. If high winds or storm debris has damaged or broken a few tiles, they can be replaced, but often the roof needs more extensive repairs.
Shake tile roofs can be repaired by replacing single shakes or entire rows of shakes. If the underlayment is damaged, several shakes may need to be removed to repair it, but they can be reused if they are in good shape. If the eaves are damaged, the starter shakes and/or starter strip will also need to be replaced.
Slate roof repairs require significant skills and expertise. They are highly durable, but nothing lasts forever. Sometimes the fasteners used to install the roof fail causing rapid deterioration. Cracked, broken, loose, or missing slates should be replaced as soon as possible. Flashing is often the cause of slate roof leaks and may also need to be replaced.
Mission tile roofs are durable and long-lasting, but like slate roofs, they can fail and require occasional repair. Because clay tiles are so durable, the cause of a leak is frequently due to failing fasteners, underlayment, or flashings. In many cases, repairs can be made and single tiles replaced, but some historic buildings have tiles that are difficult to match or poor quality fasteners and the entire roof may need to be replaced.
Clay roofs tiles rarely break or blow off. Usually, leaks are caused by failing flashing, underlayment or fasteners. If only a few shingles are broken or missing they can be replaced, but finding a match can be time consuming. There is a huge variety of clay tiles out there but in some areas, the companies are still producing tile in traditional shapes and colors.
Many leaks and some damages are easily resolved with simple and inexpensive roof repair. Whether your shingle or tile roof is damaged in a storm or failing, most repairs can be quickly and safely completed by a roofing contractor. Historic tile roofs may need more extensive repair since the tiles often outlast the underlayment, fasteners or flashing. Most minor damage to shingle roofs is also easily repaired, but many older shingle roofs may need to be replaced.
For a long lasting roof, inspect and repair your roof frequently instead of waiting for a leak to develop. A skilled professional can prevent issues from worsening and save you money down the line. Remember, DIY roof repair is dangerous and risky. Repair work is best left to the pros.
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