What to Know About Homes with Roof Damage



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It’s often difficult to know where to begin when dealing with roof damage. While you don’t want to leave the roof unattended for too long and risk the damage worsening, you also don’t want to act hastily in deciding whether to have the roof repaired or replaced. If you know or suspect that the roof of your home is damaged, read on to learn more about how to handle the problem moving forward.

What are the most common types of roof damage?

Roof damage is usually caused by one or more of these three factors:

  • Weather:

    Natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes and ordinary weather conditions like thunderstorms come with strong winds that can damage shingles or even rip them off the roof entirely. This leads to leaks, which worsen as precipitation like rain, snow, and hail penetrate through the roof.

  • Trees:

    If you have a tree with branches that rub against the roof, the friction can take its toll on the shingles over time. The risk of a tree damaging a roof increases if the tree is tall enough for heavy branches (or the whole tree) to fall on top of the house in a storm. Tall trees also make it easier for small animals to climb on top of the roof and potentially destroy it.

  • Shoddy roof work:

    Sadly, not all roofers are honest or competent. Sometimes, a roof will be installed or repaired using incorrect methods or weak materials. Solar panels can be hazardous if installed improperly, as the nails and bolts used to secure them to the roof can create holes that leave room for moisture to leak through.

How can I tell if my roof is damaged?

While roof damage is not always easy to identify without the aid of a professional inspector, some signs of wear can be spotted with the naked eye. At least twice a year, you should search the interior and exterior of your home for any apparent indicators of roof damage.

Common signs of interior damage include:

  • Discoloration of the ceiling
  • Small holes or cracks in the ceiling or walls
  • Stained, distorted, or broken drywall
  • Cracked or peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Mold behind drywall

Common signs of exterior damage include:

  • Curled or missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing (the metallic material typically found in the joints of a roof)
  • Drooping or sagging areas
  • Moss, mold, or fungus

Even if you do not notice any of the above red flags when examining your house, it is still a good idea to schedule regular roof inspections to nip any problems in the bud before they become too serious. As a general rule, you should have your roof inspected every 3 years, unless a large storm or natural disaster has recently occurred, or you notice signs of damage yourself. However, it is better to have more frequent inspections if your roof is more than 10 years old or if you have a lot of trees in your yard.

What happens during a roof inspection?

In addition to the signs of damage described above, a good roof inspector will thoroughly investigate the inside and outside of your home for issues that would not be obvious to the untrained eye. This includes examining the roof's structure to ensure that all the materials used to construct the roof were installed correctly and in good condition. The whole process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours.

After completing the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a detailed report of their findings and how they suggest you proceed in caring for your roof. If they recommend that your roof be repaired or replaced, they will include price estimates for these services.

How do I know if my roof needs repair or replacement?

Many types of roof damage can be repaired, but some issues will lead an inspector to recommend that you get a whole new roof. Factors of whether replacement is necessary are the age of a roof, the roof's, how well the roof was installed, the extent of the current damage, and the likelihood of significant future damage. While roof replacement is expensive, it will likely prevent you from spending even more money on future repairs. Therefore, if your inspector says you should replace your roof, it would be wise to do so.

How much should a roof inspection cost?

A roof inspection typically ranges from $120–321, with an average cost of $220. However, there are several companies that offer free roof inspections, following the logic that most customers will be paying them for repairs following the inspection.

While free inspections can be helpful if conducted by an ethical company, some companies may lie about roof damage or even wreck the roof themselves to ensure that the homeowner will need to pay them for repairs. Before arranging for a free inspection, be sure to do plenty of research to make sure the inspector is trustworthy.

What should I do if my roof is confirmed to be damaged?

Suppose you discover after an inspection that your roof has damage that needs to be fixed. In that case, the first thing you should do is look at your insurance policy to see if the cost of repairs or replacement is covered either fully or partially. Additionally, check to see if your roof is still under warranty, as that may also save you money.

When filing an insurance claim for roof damage, be sure to have written documentation from the roofing company on how much the repairs or replacement will cost, complete with the company's contact information. Also, keep detailed records of the damage to your home, especially if it extends beyond the roof.

What should I do if my insurance won’t cover my roof damage?

Don’t lose hope if your insurance provider initially denies your roof damage claim. There is still a possibility you can get them to cover the necessary repairs or replacement. If you contact the insurance company and organize for a re-inspection with an insurance adjuster present, the insurance company may change their mind upon seeing the scope of the damage themselves.

Does FEMA cover roof damage?

If a natural disaster damaged your roof, it might be covered under FEMA, depending on the extent of the wreckage. According to the official FEMA website, “FEMA grants may help to repair disaster-related leaks in a roof that cause damage to ceilings and threaten electrical components, like overhead lights, but will not pay for simple stains from roof leaks.”

Does the warranty from my roofing contractor cover roof damage?

While the specifics of roof warranties may vary from one contractor to another, they usually fall into one of two categories: manufacturer’s warranties and workmanship warranties. A manufacturer’s warranty covers damage resulting from faulty materials, while a workmanship warranty covers damage resulting from improper installation.

As a general rule, warranties only cover the above two types of damage and not damage stemming from weather conditions or the normal wear and tear that comes over time.

What is the average cost to repair roof damage?

While the average roof repair cost is $985, the typical price range is $376–1,649. Cost depends on the number of stories a house has, the roof's material, and the total number of tiles required to cover a roof. Also, large roofs made of metal or slate tend to cost the most to repair.

What is the average cost to replace a roof?

Completely replacing a roof costs an average of $8,543. Like roof repairs, roof replacements can vary significantly in price, with a typical installation costing anywhere from $5,588 to $11,650.

While some roof replacements only require the shingles to be reinstalled, others require the decking beneath the shingles to also be replaced. Naturally, replacements in the latter category are considerably more expensive. Replacing shingles usually costs about $5,700–12,000, while replacing the roof's entire structure typically adds up to a total of $10,000–20,000.

How do I find a reputable roofing contractor?

The best way to find a good roofing contractor is by getting a recommendation from someone you trust. Neighbors who have had similar work done may recommend the roofer that they hired. If you are part of a Homeowners Association, they can also offer recommendations in your area.

Before committing to a contractor, be sure to read any reviews available online and check that they are licensed, insured, and bonded. Also, don't hesitate to shop around and ask different companies for price estimates.

Is it legal to sell a house with known roof damage?

While it is legal to sell a house with known roof damage, you will need to consider that buyers will not be willing to pay as much for it. So having the roof fixed before selling will make you more money in the long run.

Do I have to disclose that my house has roof damage when I sell it?

If you are selling a property with known roof damage, you are legally required to disclose this information in most states, including Texas.

The Texas Property Code states that sellers must disclose information, including the type of roof a property has, how old the roof is, if the roof has undergone any repairs, and if there is currently any roof damage that the seller is aware of.

How can I sell a home with roof damage?

Rather than dealing with the hassle and costs of having a damaged roof repaired or replaced, consider selling your home as-is to AMI. We buy houses in all conditions, regardless of damage, and can quickly provide a no-obligation cash offer on your property. Click here to learn more.

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Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman is the owner of AMI House Buyers and a seasoned real estate investor with a heavy focus on the Houston & Katy, Texas areas. She has done numerous flips, has owned multiple rental properties, and is also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. She is heavily experienced in the areas of foreclosures, water damaged properties, burnouts, and inherited properties, and works with distressed homeowners in all types of situations to help them understand their options and find potential solutions.


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