Drip, drip, drip… Your roof is trying to tell you something, and it’s not that you should consider installing a serene water feature inside your house. Normally, your roof is the strong and silent type, but as it faces the harsh elements each day, even the sturdiest roofs can start wearing down. It might be time to call a San Diego roof repair expert, but how do you find a reliable and trustworthy contractor? What will the roof repair entail, and, most importantly, what hit can you expect to your budget?
Roofs last a long time, so many homeowners have rarely, if ever, needed a roof repair. If your roof is begging for help, you might not know what to expect during a repair or how to prepare for it. Not to fear! Here at Semper Solaris, we’ll walk you through the roof repair process step by step to determine if contacting a San Diego roof repair expert is necessary.
Step One: Admit Your Roof Has a Problem
If you’ve literally got raindrops falling on your head while indoors, it’s pretty clear that your roof is crying out for help. However, roof issues aren’t always so clear, especially from the ground. How do you actually know whether your roof has a problem that needs expert intervention?
You don’t need to be a “roof whisperer” to figure out if you’ve got damage. Keep your eyes peeled for these telltale signs:
- Cracked or missing tiles or shingles
- Curling shingles
- Decay of shingles
- Blistering paint on the outside or inside of your house
- Blistering ceiling
- Stains or mold on the ceiling or walls
- Leaking from the ceiling, especially around fixtures, like vents, skylights, or chimneys
Why Repair a Roof
Roof repairs can be costly, and it’s not like anyone wants to spend their savings on home maintenance instead of taking the family to Legoland or SeaWorld. However, spending a little money to take care of a roof problem as soon as it presents can save you from a much bigger repair bill in the future.
Roof damage doesn’t magically go away, it just gets worse. A small stain on the ceiling today could start growing mold tomorrow and dripping water onto your floors and furniture next week.
Additionally, if you’d like to install solar panels in the next few years or so, you’ll definitely want to fix your roof before adding anything else up there.
If you notice roof damage, start looking for roof repair companies right away!
Step Two: Find the Right San Diego Roof Repair Company
It’s always a little nerve-wracking to entrust your home to a new contractor, especially with something as important as your roof. If you’ve never hired a company to perform a roof repair, how do you find a trustworthy contractor that will do a great job?
First, check out this article we published on how to find the best solar panel installers. Yes, this article is focused on solar installation companies, but the principles are the same. It’s a smart idea to visit the top crowdsourced review sites, including:
- Angie’s List
- The Better Business Bureau
The best way to predict how a contractor will perform is to learn about how they’ve worked with other homeowners in the past. A terrible contractor with lousy reviews likely won’t magically change their stripes and do an excellent job for you!
Step Three: Schedule a Roof Inspection
Every roofing contractor worth their shingles should offer you a complimentary roofing inspection so that they can diagnose the problem and offer you a repair recommendation and a quote. We encourage you to seek multiple quotes to give yourself options.
On the day of the inspection, the roofing company will send a trained technician to your home. The technician will ask you questions about what you’ve seen and experienced and will then assess the entire condition of the roof. The technician may walk on the roof, inspect your attic, and even assess the exterior walls and foundation of your house.
Step Four: Understand Common Roof Damage
After the assessment is complete, the technician will sit down with you and explain the issues that they noted and provide you with a diagnosis of the problem. Roofs tend to break down in similar ways, and the most common problems tend to be:
Leaks are the most common roof problem that most roofing companies deal with, most likely because it’s also one of the most noticeable issues to homeowners! There are a variety of reasons that roofs can leak. In many cases, the culprit is an installation, like a chimney, skylight, or vent. It is common for the flashing around these installations to wear away, resulting in water eventually trickling through minute openings around the seal.
Flashing can also corrode or crack with age, letting water make its way into the house, especially during heavy winter rains.
One other common cause of leaking is improperly installed shingles or tiles. If a “handyman” tried to replace damaged tiles or shingles on your roof, they may have damaged the underlayer or the flashing of the roof.
Damaged Shingles or Tiles
Shingles or tiles can wear down over time, causing them to crack or fall off entirely. This exposes the inner parts of the roof to the elements, which can quickly result in leaks.
Though San Diego doesn’t have much extreme weather (which is one of the reasons we love living here), we do get some pretty hefty winds during the Santa Anas, which can tear away loose shingles or tiles. There’s also always the risk of “blunt force roof trauma” from a falling tree branch!
The age of a roof is often a contributing factor to damage. The older the roof, the more likely that its flashing, underlayers, and tiles or shingles will simply break down. A roof’s lifespan will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The quality of its original design and construction
- How well it’s been maintained
- Weather conditions
- Materials used
Shingles, which are the most common type of roofing around the country, can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. Many San Diego roofs use Spanish tiles, which boast a lifespan of 50 years or more. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, it may make more sense to replace the entire roof than to spend thousands of dollars repairing it.
Step Five: Receive a Recommendation and Repair Proposal
A good technician will sit down with you after their roof assessment is complete and lay out all of your repair options, including what will happen if you decide to ignore the problem. Depending on the nature of the damage, you may be presented with several possible fixes followed by the technician’s personal recommendation on what they consider to be the best option. For example, a roof technician may be able to repair the damage to your roof, but they may recommend replacing it if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or if the cost to repair the damage is only a little less than what it would cost to repair the roof.
The technician should also be able to write up a proposal, which will – at long last – include a price quote for the recommended repair.
The Cost of a Roof Repair
So, how much will your roof repair cost?
We might sound like a broken record by now, but the answer is that it depends! The amount of damage, the nature of the repair, and the unique characteristics of your roof will all affect the final repair price quote. For example, Spanish tiles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, so replacing a lot of Spanish tiles will be more expensive than replacing shingles even if the problem is the same.
A small roof repair job may only require a contractor to replace and seal worn-out or missing shingles which can be very affordable. A medium repair job could include replacing shingles as well as sealing fixtures, like a leaking skylight. Oftentimes, the flashing around these fixtures also needs to be replaced. A moderate job can be a little bit more in price, sometimes more significant than smaller jobs.
Large roof repairs usually include fixing the underlayers of the roof, which requires the contractor to remove a good number of tiles or shingles (possibly all of them) in order to get to the underlayment, water barrier, and insulation. The contractor may even have to address damaged wood. At this point, your repair bill will set you back a larger amount and it may be worth considering a full roof replacement, which will be more expensive.
A roof replacement is a costly project, but it is also an excellent investment in your home, especially if you would like to install rooftop solar panels in the future.
If you do decide to move forward with a full roof replacement, we strongly encourage you to work with a company that is willing to offer you a warranty on their finished product. At Semper Solaris, we work with some of the very best roofing materials, including GAF and Owens Corning, which offers an outstanding 50-year platinum protection limited warranty.
Step Six: Prepare for the Roof Repair
A small or moderate roof repair may only take a day for a contractor to complete. A larger roof repair or a full roof replacement can last several days or even longer for larger homes. If you stay in the house during the repair, be prepared for disruptive noise. Not only will you hear feet walking on the roof over your head, but you’ll also get an earful of hammering and other noises as the workers replace roofing layers and put the shingles and tiles back on.
It’s usually best if you can be out of the house during the repair, especially if you have young children who don’t appreciate loud noises. You may also want to consider taking skittish pets out of the home so as to not overly stress them.
Step Seven: Enjoy Your Roof!
After the repair, your roof should be as good as new. Or maybe it is all new! Either way, you’ll rest easier at night knowing the roof over your head is strong and complete. If you enjoyed working with your contractor, we encourage you to write them a positive review on the review site of your choice. Many local San Diego roof repair companies depend on word of mouth and positive reviews to generate new customers, so your positive words will be appreciated.
Ready to get a diagnosis for your San Diego roof? Contact Semper Solaris to get a free roofing quote. Take a look at our current online roofing discounts. If you are considering installing solar panels, we do that too and offer big savings for combing roofing and solar services.