Need a roof repair and you're trying to decide which contractor to choose? Be very cautious of what's commonly referred to as 'band-aid' repairs. A band-aid repair is when a roofer goes up your roof with caulk and says "Yep, it's sealed!". Yeah, it's sealed...in a giant goobery mess that will crack in the heat and leak in a matter of months at best, at which point you'll either need to get it repaired again or start looking at replacing your roof completely.
That is why the most expensive thing any customer can do is hire the cheapest guy. Let's look at an example.
Roof Repair: Cost vs Quality
Let's say the first roofer's estimate is for $300 and our estimate is for $750. A customer goes with the first roofer to try and save money but after a few months the roof leaks again, requiring yet another roof repair. They still don't want to spend $750 so they try another roofer who also charges $300 and promises to fix it. Once again, a few months later, it leaks again and the roof contractor won't answer his phone. Out of desperation they call us and say they will pay whatever we ask because now mold is growing inside their home.
The problem is that now the required roof repair won't cost $750. The cost is now $1,000 because you had two contractors make that bandaid roof repair, but all they did was make a mess with caulk and now it all has to be removed. The stuff is like glue that water gets through but still sticks to everything else. Now you're $1,600 in the hole when you could have just paid the good roofer $750 and had a quality roof repair from the beginning.
It's unfortunate, but the situation described above happens every single day.
What A Quality Roof Repair Looks Like
There are two critical components for a roof repair that will provide a long term solution for any issue.
First, your roof must be properly diagnosed with a comprehensive roof inspection. If you don't know exactly where water is running in from, all efforts will be hopeless. Second, most issues can be solved with flashing, not sealant. Roof flashing lasts forever, sealant does not.
Chimney flashing has traditionally been done by step flashing, nailing, and caulking the aluminum or copper to the brick chimney. The superior method involves custom bending a single piece per side and cutting into the chimney so that the flashing can be tight fit inside. On the left you can see an old, leaking chimney. On the right we are installing razor sharp flashing that will never, ever leak again. To do this right takes a lot of time.
Another very common source of leaks that require a repair to your roof are pipe flashings, also known as pipe collars. The typical pipe flashing is a cheap aluminum with a rubber boot which will dry out in the sun and crack over time. They are usually caulked as well which does not help matters. We install a high quality lifetime pipe boot with a steel skirt and sun resistant silicone boot. This flashing will last as long as the roof and is custom fit so no caulk is necessary. Pictures below are not the same roof but it demonstrates what poor flashing that leaks looks like on the left, versus what we install on the right.
One of the most common roof repairs we do is from missing shingles. Why do some shingles blow off in strong winds and others don't? To start, most shingles that blow off are a 20 year three tab shingle. Once the seal wears out the shingles have little resistance and will snap off in strong winds. Many contractors will only replace the shingles that have blown off but it's incredibly important to replace the ones directly above and below the blown off shingles. That's because those will have weakened from the other ones having blown off. If it is not done correctly, they will also blow off and it will cost even more. If done properly with color matching shingles, you won't even tell that they were ever replaced.
Ridge Vent & Capping
I see many roofs, both new and old, with either NO ridge vent or cheaply installed ridge vent. While the cheap ventilation is better than nothing, it's still usually installed with the same 1 1/4" nails used to install the roof shingles.
It's done that way because it's faster to use the nail gun, but that is not the proper way to do it. In order to prevent wind blowing off the shingles (as you see in these photos), 2 1/2" or longer nails need to be used to fasten down the ridge.
We also install high ventilation ridge vent which is both stronger and offers more air flow to the attic space.
Your Roof Repair Is Important
Your home or business is likely your biggest investment and your roof is what protects it. Going the 'cheap route' will cost you a lot more in the future.
We aren't the cheapest contractor, but we are also not the most expensive. Not by a long shot. I know roofers who are charging double what we do for the same roof repair with the same or even lower quality work.
Make sure that you weigh quality versus cost when you are choosing your roof repair contractor and be willing to pay a little bit more for high-quality work because I guarantee it will save you money in the long run. If you are looking for a roof repair in the San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, or Fort Worth areas, give us a call or use the contact form to book a free consultation. We'd love to chat.