What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
If your roof is leaking, this is where a homeowners insurance policy with dwelling coverage comes in handy. Your roof may need to be repaired or entirely replaced, so home insurance can help offset the hefty costs that come with roof damage.
Before repairs, however, steps must be taken as soon as you discover a leak.
- Find the source. Once you notice that your roof is leaking, like from water damage or a dripping ceiling, start looking for the source of the leak in your attic or crawl space underneath your roof. If you don’t have access to either of these locations, try scoping out the damage from outside your home. To prevent further damage, ask a roofer or contractor to climb onto the roof to investigate if the leak still can’t be found.
- Capture water damage. Documenting the extent of the damage to your home is a necessary precursor to filing a homeowners insurance claim. If you can locate the source of the leak, make sure to take a picture of it and the roof damage.
- Do damage control. For a temporary solution until repairs are made, use buckets to catch water from leaky ceilings and move items out of the way to prevent further damage. Using fans to dry the area as much as possible can also help prevent mold. If the damage has created standing water, it’s a good idea to use a wet vacuum or mop up the water.
- Contact your insurance provider. Once the above steps are taken, contact your insurance provider and communicate with an agent to submit the roof claim. This will help you get an estimate for how much the repairs or replacement will cost and how much your insurance provider will cover.
How To Find A Roof Leak
To find the source of the roof leak, the first place to go if you have access is your attic. Going up to your attic on a rainy day is preferable since water reflects light and you can use your flashlight to identify where the water is leaking through. Make sure to mark the area so you can come back to it.
If you don’t have access to your attic or you’re still unable to find the source of the leak, there are plenty of other places to check such as the shingles, gutters, gaskets around pipes, downspouts or ridge caps. It also helps to check the flashing, dormer valleys and boots – the rubber seals around electric and plumbing vent pipes, exhaust fan flashing and air vents.
If you can’t locate damage on the roof, such as cracks in the chimney base or near vent pipes, you should try examining the home from the inside. Homeowners with attic access should go up with a flashlight to look for evidence of roof leaks like water stains, black marks or mold.
How Much Does A Roof Leak Cost To Fix?
The cost of roof repair depends on the extent of the damage. For minor repairs, the cost ranges from $150 – $400.1 Moderate repairs like fixing and sealing fixtures, replacing shingles and flashing can range from $400 – $1,200.
Major repairs, like repairing the roof’s outer layer, and replacing damaged wood in other parts of the home, like outer walls, can range between $1,200 – $3,500. This can also include replacing the shingles in a 10-by-10-foot section of the roof, since one roofing square is 100 square feet.2
Homeowners typically spend $300 – $1,200 on a roof repair in total, creating an average expenditure of $650 – $850 for each step in roof-related repair.
Costs above $3,500 for roof repairs are possible, but at that point you may just consider replacing your roof entirely. Roof replacement can cost over $7,500, but it does give you a fresh start.