Your roof is a structure designed specifically for keeping out the elements, mostly water. When a young roof (less than 15 years old) has a leak, roof repair is usually the best course of action. So, I wanted to dive into the most common types of repairs and the nuances that can come with those.
Pipe collars (pipe boots) are by far the most common repair. The process for replacing one of these properly is to remove the shingles in the area, inspect the underlayment, replace if necessary and install a new collar. A pipe collar usually lasts about 10 years, at which point, the rubber that forms the seal starts to break down, a tear forms and then you have a slow leak. Preventative maintenance is the best cure for potential problems here. Just like every other part of your home, your roof requires maintenance also. Average cost to replace a pipe collar in this area can range from $350-$450 for the first and about $100 for any additional ones.
From there the pack pretty much levels out, so I’ll start with the simplest and end with the most complicated. Common leaks around chimney flashings usually only require the caulking to be replaced on the counter flashing. This roof repair can be competed by someone competent in less than a hour and usually only requires about $8 worth of roofing caulk. Sometimes though, the initial flashing isn’t installed properly and has to be completely torn out and replaced. This can easily run into the $850-$1250 ball park.
Next up, the blown off asphalt shingle. Now this is usually a fairly simple repair, but the hold ups here are many and can get complex. A roof with blowing off shingles sometimes means that it could have been installed improperly. A proper shingle nailed with 6 nails penetrating through 2 layers of shingles (12 nails per shingle) should stand up to some serious wind. Nonetheless, this still occurs and is a matter of removing the broken shingle fully and installing a new one. When shingles get too old though, this is no longer possible because the shingles you’re trying to slide the new one undernear becomes too brittle and starts to break. Average cost for this roof repair is about $475-$675 depending on how many blow off. Any more than that and you’re usually looking toward a roof replacement.
One of the most complicated repairs is on skylights. They can often cost between $1350-$1850 for a singular light replacement. The high costs usually stem from a combination of special skill required to replace a skylight and the cost of a decent brand that is going to last the next 30-40 years (Velux or similar). Sure, you can put some caulk on the top of the seam and wish your way into not having a leak, but most times the water is getting in around the flashing kit. The flashing kit can only be replaced by removing the light, removing all the singles around the light, installing a new kit and then replacing all the underlayment and shingles. At this point, you might as well have spent the extra $350 to install a brand new skylight.
Flat roofs are a whole different animal and will be covered in a separate blog post. As always, remember to call a professional that is licensed and insured. The last thing you want is someone falling off a ladder and suing you as the homeowner! And please don’t try this on your own. We send crews through special training and use fall protection equipment to ensure they get back to their families every night.