A roof replacement project is generally a significant expense, and the last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by a surprise roofing issue that costs thousands of dollars to fix. Many roofing problems are difficult to spot from the ground level. By scheduling regular roofing inspections, a professional roofer can get up your roof and into the attic space to see what is up there.
Understanding Common Roofing Surprises
You can’t always identify many roofing problems before work begins. Sometimes, issues aren’t found until your roofer begins to pull off roofing materials during a replacement. However, routine inspections will catch most problems before they cause severe damage to your roof.
Some of the most common roofing surprises include:
1: Rotten Underlayment
The underlayment, also referred to as decking, refers to the plywood sheathing that lies underneath your roof’s shingles. A rotten underlayment is the most common problem roofing contractors find after tearing off old roofing materials.
Your roofing contractor will need to remove the rotten or soft plywood and replace them with new ones before any new roofing material is installed.
2: Thin Decking
An experienced contractor may notice that your roof’s decking is soft and springy and recommend new decking. Modern underlayment systems consist of half-inch thick plywood sheets, but traditionally, most building departments required decking to be just 3/8 inch thick. This thin sheeting is today considered inadequate, and your roofer may likely propose to replace it if it’s what exists on your roof.
3: Storm Damage
While some storm damages are apparent and easy to notice, storms can cause hidden issues much more problematic to identify. For instance, hail damage can go unnoticed until the tiny holes begin to expose the underlayment to moisture penetration.
Over time, such issues can lead to mold, rot, and leaks. A trained roofing inspector will notice hail damage and help you through an insurance claim process to finance repair or replacement.
4: Drainage Issues
Drainage problems occasioned by a blocked drainage outlet can result in pooled water, which often causes rotten underlayment and leaks. Pooled water on the roof can be difficult to spot from the ground level, which is why it can go unnoticed until it creates significant problems.
How to Budget for Roofing Surprises
Knowing how much you can expect to spend on roofing surprises can help you better plan for a roof replacement project. The cost usually depends on the scope of the damage to your roofing system, but you can expect anything from a few hundred dollars to a thousand.
For example, if your roof’s plywood sheathing requires replacement, the replacement
plywood’s thickness will determine how costly the project becomes (thicker sheets are more expensive). Generally, having to get your old sheathing replaced will add a few thousand dollars to your replacement project.
The additional labor cost of reaping off the old sheathing material, prepping the roof surface, and installing a new underlayment will also add to the overall cost of roof replacement. Be sure to inquire from your roofer how much you will have to spend due to various roofing surprises.
Stay On top of Roofing Surprises with Regular Roof Inspections.
Always schedule professional roof inspections twice every year and after a severe storm, hurricane, or any other damaging weather event. During a roof inspection, your roofer will have a better vantage point to identify possible issues that may need fixing. They will point out small problems that may blossom into grave consequences down the line, such as cracked shingles, mold growth, and hail damage.
Keep in mind that smaller repairs are much cheaper to fix than a total roof replacement. Regular inspections will help you locate and fix problems earlier before they escalate into more significant, costlier problems.
Work with the Right Roofer!
Ultimately, your roof is only as good as the workmanship put to it! Always work with a trusted, local roofer with proven experience installing, repairing, and replacing your specific type of roof. If you have any roof surprises, a reputable roofer will have the skills and knowledge to fix them at a competitive price.