Cost to repair a roof leak
Roof leak repairs cost between $360 and $1,550 on average
Roof leaks are a common repair, but they may be caused by a number of different issues with the roof, from storm damage to just old age. Depending on the factors at hand, you can pay anywhere between $360 and $1,550 to repair a roof leak.
The range is so big because it can depend on a variety of factors, like the size of the leak, where the leak is located and what material your roof is. We spoke with over a dozen roofing experts across the country about costs, and the average lands around $300 to $600 for a straightforward job that doesn’t require specialty shingles.
While it could be expensive, the cost of waiting to fix the issue can lead to much more costly damage. Keep reading to learn more about roof leaks and what types of costs you may face to keep your home and belongings safe.
- On average, repairing a roof leak costs between $360 and $1,550.
- The size and extent of the damage play the biggest role in cost.
- Signs you may have a leak include water stains, mold or sagging decking.
What affects roof leak repair costs?
There is no set price when it comes to roof leak repairs. Depending on the labor involved and your geographic location, you may notice a sizable difference in pricing. Here are some of the main factors that affect the cost.
Size of damage
The extent of the damage will play the biggest role in the cost of the repair. Larger affected areas will require more time, materials and effort, equating to higher costs.
Sometimes, roofers will charge what they call “per square,” which usually means about 100 square feet of area. On average, it costs between $350 and $1,200 per square for repairs, although it can depend on the type of repair needed.
Time of year
If you need emergency repair when it’s raining or during the winter months, expect to see an increase in the cost. These conditions add a lot of danger and complexity to the project, which is why most companies upcharge accordingly for the work. In some cases, you could see as high as a 100% increase in cost.
If you live in an area prone to bad storms, like hurricanes, you can expect demand and prices to increase during the late summer and fall.
Another big factor that impacts the cost of repairing a roof leak is the type of roofing material you have. But it’s not just the cost of the material itself that matters, according to Schlomo Cherniak, owner of Cherniak Handyman Services in Baltimore, Maryland.
Slate and tile are often more expensive to repair than asphalt and composite shingles.
“The cost of repairs for each roofing material can vary depending on factors, such as the extent of damage and availability of materials,” Cherniak said. “Some roofing materials, such as slate or tile, can be more expensive to repair due to their higher material and labor costs.”
Generally, asphalt and composite shingles will be the cheapest materials to repair, while metals and stones, like concrete or slate, will be the most expensive. And while metals and stones may offer greater durability and longevity, the out-of-pocket repair costs could impact the overall ROI if you end up having a lot of issues across its lifetime.
Obviously, all contractors and repair companies charge their own labor rates. But, a few factors can increase the cost of labor, Cherniak said.
“If your roof is difficult to access or requires special equipment or safety measures, it may increase the labor costs and overall repair expenses,“ Cherniak said. “The cost of roof leak repair can also vary depending on your location. Factors such as local labor rates, material availability, and regional weather conditions can influence repair costs.”
In some cases, roof leaks may cause damage to other parts of the house, such as ceilings, walls or insulation. If additional repairs or restoration work is required — like needing a new skylight or structural repairs — it will increase the overall cost of the repair project.
What causes roof leaks?
There is no one single cause for a roof leak — you’ll need a contractor to find the source of the issue. In addition, you may need to factor in more money for the project to fix whatever the root cause is.
Take a look at the most common causes of roof leaks.
Clean your gutters at least twice a year to prevent clogs, pests, mold, roof damage and foundation damage.
The point of your gutters is to help water flow away from your home. But when they’re clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris, the water won’t be able to move properly. If there’s enough water, it can get backed up into your shingles. If that happens, it can lead to leaks under your roofing material.
It costs about $163 on average to clear a clogged gutter, plus the cost of repairing or replacing the shingles.
Holes or cracks in your shingles make the perfect entry point for water. Whether caused by hail or contractors walking on your roof, damaged shingles need attention immediately. It usually costs between $100 and $1,000 to patch a roof, depending on how localized and extensive the damage is.
Improperly nailed shingles
While frustrating, improperly nailed shingles (especially asphalt shingles) are more common than you think. They can be overdriven into your roof or simply improperly placed on the shingle. Either way, if you recently installed a new roof, the repair may be covered by a warranty since it’s an installation error. If not, expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 to fix.
Cracked vent boot
Vent boots help create a watertight seal between your roof and your plumbing vents. Over time, the rubber on these seals can crack or loosen, leading to leaks. Luckily, this is an easy and affordable repair, costing just $10 to $20 for a new boot. If you have to hire a professional to do it for you, you’ll also have to pay for the cost of labor.
Metal flashing plays a major role in protecting your home from leaks. It goes over joints and seams, like around your chimney, to connect all the pieces and provide air-tight protection. The cost to repair flashing usually falls between $200 and $500. If all the flashing needs to be repaired on your roof, expect closer to $2,000 in total costs.
Chimneys require basic upkeep and, if left unchecked, can break down over time and lead to issues like missing mortar or holes in the bricks. Depending on the damage, it can cost between $160 and $750 to repair a chimney or upwards of $5,000 for a full replacement.
While a great home feature, skylights are ripe for leaks either due to improper installation or wear and tear. If you notice the leaking after an installation, contact the installer immediately to see if they have a warranty policy. If the leak happens after some time, it could be due to deteriorating insulation. Costs for this repair typically fall between $300 and $800.
Many causes of roof leaks can be mitigated with regular home maintenance, so it’s important to keep up with routine roof inspections to prevent potential issues.
Signs of a roof leak
In addition to dripping water, Cherniak warns of several other signs that may indicate a roof leak:
- Water stains: Water stains on ceilings or walls can indicate a roof leak. Look for discoloration, peeling paint or sagging areas. Of course, you’ll first want to rule out a plumbing leak. Plumbing leaks will often be accompanied by higher water bills and the water meter running despite turning off all faucets.
- Mold or mildew: Excessive moisture from a roof leak can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, typically in the attic. Check for any signs of mold or a musty odor inside your home, as well as mold growth on the outside.
- Damp or wet insulation: If you notice wet or damp insulation in your attic, water is most likely dripping from the damaged roof.
- Sagging or warped roof decking: A roof leak can cause the roof decking to sag or warp. Inspect the underside of your roof for any signs of damage.
- Missing or damaged shingles: Missing or damaged shingles can create openings for water to enter the roof. Inspect your roof for any signs of shingle damage.
- Granules in the gutters: If you find granules from your shingles in your gutters, it could be a sign of deteriorating shingles and potential roof leaks.
“If you notice any of these signs, it's important to address them promptly to prevent further damage and costly repairs,” Cherniak said. “Consulting with a professional roofer can help identify the source of the leak and determine the necessary repairs.”
How long does it take to repair a roof leak?
Smaller leaks can be fixed in just a few hours if the contractor has the tools and materials handy. If multiple areas of your roof need to be addressed or there are more complex issues, like structural damage, it could take a few days to address the leak fully. A roofer might also need to order new shingles, so material availability will also factor in.
Can I repair a roof leak myself?
If some caulk or new venting can solve the issue, you may be able to fix it yourself. But many homeowners may not feel comfortable or safe on top of their roof, especially if they aren’t 100% confident in the repair. For your safety and to ensure the best possible job, your best bet is to hire a professional.
Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
Homeowners insurance often covers the cost of repairing a roof leak if the damage was caused by a covered peril (like a storm). This coverage usually includes the cost of replacing the roof plus any personal property that may have been damaged in the process.
If the leak is due to normal wear and tear or other issues, like improper installation, your insurance claim likely won’t get approved.
» ADD UP THE COSTS: How much does homeowners insurance cost?
Do home warranties cover roof leaks?
Many home warranty companies offer roof leak coverage as an optional add-on. While some may include it as standard coverage in their plans (usually up to a certain dollar amount), it’s not the norm in the industry. Expect to pay at least $10 extra per month for this type of coverage.
One reviewer, Darrell from South Carolina, appreciated his home warranty provider fixing the source of the roof leak and replacing the affected shingles.
“The boot for one of the vents going through the roof malfunctioned or dry-rotted, and it caused some water to leak into my laundry room,” he said. “The roofing guy came out and fixed it. He had to get a new vent and a couple of pieces of shingles to replace the boot and the vent pipe.”
If there is any other damage associated with the leak, on the other hand, the warranty plan likely won’t cover it. For example, if the leak caused mold damage, that would need to be addressed by your homeowners insurance policy instead. Home warranty plans and homeowners insurance policies cover very different things.
» LEARN: Home warranty vs. home insurance
You’re signed up
We’ll start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.