An older roof that develops a leak should be replaced because patching is unlikely to eliminate the problem. The first leak is a warning sign that the entire roof has deteriorated enough to develop other problems elsewhere relatively soon. If the homeowners need time to figure out how to pay for a new one, patching or tarping can be a short-term fix. As soon as possible, they should schedule residential roof installation with a qualified contractor.
Sometimes a leak becomes evident only during a downpour. After heavy rainfall, water stains appear on the drywall or the ceiling tile. Water might drip from the ceiling or travel down a wall.
In contrast, light rain might only make the wood decking and the insulation damp. By the time anyone sees evidence of a problem, significant damage to the wood and insulation could have occurred.
Patching the roof and hoping for the best inevitably leads to another leak developing. If the homeowners must delay replacement, they will need to monitor the situation and watch for additional problems. That includes checking hidden areas in the backs of closets during and after rainfall.
Another issue with patching, especially when done by someone who isn't a roofer, is that rainwater can appear in homes far from where the flaw actually is located. Water often travels down beams and decking before finally dripping onto the ceiling. This also is a difficulty with figuring out where a tarp should be placed.
Roof replacement is a major expense, but scheduling the work as soon as possible is essential to prevent ongoing damage.
Estimates from residential roofing contractors should be detailed to include all the materials and expected labor costs. Customers should read the warranties for the labor and the shingles and ask any questions they have.
Learning About Warranties
Warranties on contractor labor are significantly shorter than manufacturer warranties for shingles are. An experienced roofer is unlikely to make errors, and any possible flaws will show up during the first substantial rainfall.
Shingle manufacturers expect their materials to last for many years as long as homeowners take care of basic maintenance. That includes routinely removing organic debris from the shingles and cutting back branches that eventually reach the roof.
Ideally, homeowners schedule roof replacement as soon as they see signs of a leak. This prevents unseen damage from worsening and additional problems developing elsewhere on the structure. The new roof protects and enhances the home and has increased its value as well.