Roof leaks are a huge problem with potentially disastrous consequences. Therefore, it’s imperative to not only get them fixed right away, but also to prevent them. It’s also one of the most common roofing problems. That’s good news because it means that there are many ways to fix the leak fast. You also shouldn’t have any trouble finding a contractor capable of doing it within a couple of days.
However, as it always is with roofing problems, you need to understand that fixing it would be expensive. The average roof leak repair costs range from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Many factors affect this number, such as roofing material, type and severity of the damage, location of the leak, if you need a full roof replacement, etc.
The good news is that there are ways to help you cut these costs. Homeowner’s insurance usually includes coverage for roofing damage caused by extreme weather. However, the premiums on such policies are rather high. Homeowners who want to have a chance to save some money could look into roof leak warranty options. Those have much lower premiums, but they have many limitations. Therefore, before making your final decision, you should research all options thoroughly.
Consequences of Roof Leaks
Roof leaks are so dangerous because of the consequences they might have for your property. First of all, the building is going to suffer some degree of water damage. If this isn’t fixed fast enough, it can cause the growth of mold. And in case you let that problem deteriorate, it might get so bad, you won’t be able to sell the house.
Moreover, a leak might also cause damage to your appliances and the home’s electrical system. Depending on its location, even a small leak could cost you hundreds of dollars. For example, if water damages your oven or AC unit.
Note that home warranties that include roof leak coverage might be a good help in this particular case. This type of policy should pay for not only the leak repair but also the appliance repair. And it’s all for the premium of about $600 a year.
Roof Leak Prevention Tips
Fixing a leaking roof is relatively easy, but it’s much safer to prevent this problem. In order to do this, you need to make sure your roof is built the right way and inspect it regularly. And if that isn’t possible, for example if you are buying a home with an old roof, you should do some preventative maintenance yourself.
- Install waterproofing and flashing.
The most important thing to do, and one you can easily complete yourself, is to install waterproof barriers. You can buy them in any store that sells basic roofing supplies. Next, watch some YouTube videos and install the barriers in the high-risk places. Those include eaves, dormers, skylights, chimneys, and vents.
- Install rood deck protection.
This is another type of waterproofing. This particular one will help prevent leaks on shingle roofs.
- Ensure good attic ventilation.
Surprisingly, a roof might leak because of the damage from the inside. Never forget that hot air rises up, which means your attic will become humid fast. Without proper ventilation, it might grow mold even before a leak appears.
- Clean and maintain gutters.
Always clean the gutters after a storm and during seasons when debris are a common issue (mostly autumn). In addition, you might invite a professional to inspect your gutters. If the property is old, their design might be subpar. Therefore, you should be able to reduce the risk of leaks by installing new gutters. This will be much cheaper than replacing or even doing any major roof repairs.
What’s the Best Roofing Material for Leak Prevention?
First of all, it’s important to understand that any type of roofing can leak. Also, the quality of the material and installation itself matter more than the type of material.
The most popular roofing types in the US are (arranged by popularity):
- Asphalt shingles
- Concrete and clay tiles
- Elastomers and plastic
Note that tile roofing is more expensive to repair. Metal, on the other hand, should only develop leaks in the areas around skylights, vents, etc.
Roof Warranties and Insurance: Do You Need Them?
Roof insurance, if it’s included in your homeowner’s insurance, will add a hefty amount to your premiums. However, this type of policy usually offers coverage from weather damage. If you live in an area with frequent storms or heavy snow, this is good protection. As the risk to the roof is high, premiums are usually worth it in the long run.
But the matter with roof warranties isn’t as simple. Only a few of the top home warranty companies even offer this type of coverage. Therefore, your options are severely limited to begin with.
That considered, the premiums on the few available plans are low. This means you get a chance to save hundreds of dollars and get the leak fixed anyway.
But roof leak coverage in a home warranty plan is always limited. It only extends to a few very specific types of damage. The area of the damage is also a major factor in these plans. In this case, a roof damaged by a storm is unlikely to qualify for a payment. Therefore, you won’t be able to benefit from the plan much.
Another consideration is that roof warranties have very strict coverage limits. This means that the amount of money that warranty providers will pay for this type of repairs is small. You need to study the contract carefully to understand exactly what you can count on.
Next, research how much a leak repair for your specific roofing type will cost in your area. Bear in mind that you need to consider other requirements outlined in the home warranty contract. This means the type, origin, and location of the covered leaks.
Once you know how much fixing such an issue will cost, you should be able to decide whether the coverage is worth it.
Also, don’t forget that any home warranty contract has a deductible. In this case it’s called a “service call fee”. It will add about $60-100 (depending on the warranty provider) to the cost of roofing repair. And you will always have to pay this amount out of pocket right away.
All in all, roof warranties might be worth the money, but only when the risk of getting your roof damaged is real. In this case, you should calculate how much repairs are going to cost you and decide whether the cost of the warranty makes sense. Remember to study the plan’s terms and conditions carefully before signing. Loopholes there might make it much less useful than it appears at first glance.
About The Author: I’m Agatha, owner of agsinger.com blog and a mother of two. I’m also one of those people who love their homes dearly and enjoy doing as much as possible on their own. Therefore, I’m always happy to share my ideas and experiences of different home improvements.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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