A roof replacement is a significant expense, and the last thing you want is getting caught off-guard by a roofing surprise and the extra costs attached. Many roofing problems are not visible from the ground, and an inspector will need to get up on your roof to see them. Other issues develop unbeknownst until you start removing shingles.

What’s more, not every problem is predictable, hence the need to prepare and budget for a roofing surprise. Unfortunately, several issues can arise when it comes to your roof. Having it inspected regularly allows you to stay ahead of things. Let’s look at some common roofing surprises and the essence of budgeting for them.

Common Roofing Surprises and Issues

Roofing problems are often left undiagnosed until work begins. It is not uncommon for your contractor to uncover a roofing surprise when they pull off roofing material for replacement. Yes, routine inspections can catch a roofing surprise before it causes severe damage. Still, even experienced inspectors cannot predict every roofing issue. Below are some common roofing problems:

  • Inadequate Decking

Modern underlayment comprises half-inch thick plywood sheets, while older decking is often 3/8 inches thick. Today, the roofing industry considers any decking less than half an inch thick inadequate, and your roofer will likely propose a replacement.

  • Rotting Decking

Decking is the plywood sheathing under your roof’s shingles. A rotting decking is a common roofing surprise that contractors find when removing old materials. It needs replacement before installing a new roof.

  • Drainage Issues

A blocked drainage subsystem causes water pooling that eventually leads to mold, leaks, and rotting decking. It also causes water traps that can cause shingles, siding, and even brick to wear out faster. Water traps refer to areas prone to leaks because of runoff water collecting in one place.

  • Storm damage

Less obvious storm damage, such as that caused by hail, can be difficult to spot from the ground. However, even minor hail damage is enough to cause significant issues. Small holes on your roof can expose the decking to moisture, which leads to rot, mold, and leaks.

  • Bringing Your Roof Up to Code



Though a less common roofing surprise, old roofs (possibly built to meet old building codes) could need replacing to bring them up to the existing building code. Such a project adds to your roof replacement costs. However, it could potentially save you money in the long-term because of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Budget for a Roofing Surprise


Don’t let a roofing surprise catch you off guard and scrambling to find the money for repairs or a replacement. Below is a general idea of the cost of some common roofing surprises:

  • • Decking issues: Repairs could cost you several thousand dollars, depending on how much decking you need and the labor costs. As an example, a 32 sq ft plywood sheet costs between $70 and $100. So you can get a fair estimate depending on your roof size.

  • • Storm damage and blocked drains: These repairs vary in scope and size, but expect to spend $300 to $1,000 per repair. Fortunately, you can fix these minor issues at any time before they cause significant roof damage.

Always allocate funds for any possible roofing surprise and remain prepared for whatever an inspector or contractor finds.

Schedule Regular Roof Inspections

It is crucial to have regular roof inspections to identify issues and address them early before they cause extensive damage to other parts of your home.

Routine inspections can uncover issues like storm damage, pooling water, and blocked drains. They will also prepare you for a roofing project because you can resolve issues as they arise, and while they cost significantly less. Additionally, they will help you avoid a roofing surprise catching you off guard.



Lastly, consider having your roof inspected twice per year, preferably in the spring and fall and after a severe storm or other damaging weather events. Finally, find the right roofer with the skills and experience to catch any roofing surprise, carry out repairs and replacements, and guarantee you a roof that will last you years.