Home Articles

What to Do When Your Roof Needs Emergency Repairs

Written by Joe Roberts

Published on February 20, 2024

Share

What to Do When Your Roof Needs Emergency Repairs

Did a recent disaster cause significant damage to your roof? Read our guide to find a local residential roofing company that can quickly fix the issue!

Get local cost

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

Read about our editorial process here. Want to use our cost data? Click here.

If your roof has sustained significant damage from a storm, a fire, or pests, there’s no time to wait. Even minor roofing problems can quickly snowball into water leaks and structural damage. For this reason, any roof damage should be treated as an emergency.

Here’s what you should do as soon as you notice that your roof is damaged:

  • Take several pictures of the damage from multiple angles. This will help you file an insurance claim.
  • Cover the damaged area with a tarp to prevent further wind, sun, and water damage.
  • Contact your homeowner’s insurance company to start the claims process.
  • Find a local roofing contractor to do a roof inspection and give you an estimate for the repairs.

Keep reading, and we’ll teach you all there is to know about emergency roof repair services and help you find qualified roofing professionals in your area.

Find a local roofing company to come fix your roof ASAP

Common emergency roofing services and how much they may cost

The price to repair a damaged roof can be hard to predict since factors like where you live, the type of roofing materials you have, the extent of the damage, and how busy local roofers are can all affect service pricing. Hiring a company to take care of the damage urgently can also increase your price, though it may be worth it. 

Because of this variability, you’ll only know what your roof repairs will cost after you get a quote from a contractor. This list of common emergency roofing repairs and what they typically cost can give you an idea of what you should expect.

Common emergency roof repair

Service

Average price range

Roof leak repair

$359–$653

Storm damage repair

$894–$1,626 (per 100 square feet)

Tree damage repair

$1,000+

Pest damage repair

$1,000+

Fire damage repair

$1,000+

Roof replacement

$15,159–$27,580

Whatever else you do, we advise against repairing your roof yourself to save money. DIY roofing work seems like a budget-friendly option, but it can be hazardous and may leave your roof in worse shape than when you started. Additionally, it can also void your warranty. Because of these various factors, you should leave roof repairs to the pros. 

Fixing roof leaks

In many cases, repairing a leaking roof can be relatively inexpensive. On average, most homeowners pay between $359 and $653 to get a single water leak fixed. However, if the leak is substantial or it’s been leaking for a long time and has caused extensive mold or water damage to your roof’s underlying structure, you could pay significantly more than this to repair the damage. 

Fixing storm and wind damage

If high winds have made off with some of your roof’s shingles, shakes, or tiles, what you’ll pay will depend on the type of roof you have and how much is missing. Most roofing materials cost between $894 and $1,626 per roofing square (100 square feet) to replace. To understand how much you’re likely to pay to repair your roof’s storm damage, estimate how many square feet of material need to be replaced and multiply the number by this price range. 

Fixing tree damage

If a heavy branch (or a whole tree) fell onto your roof and damaged your shingles and the structure of your roof, you’ll likely have to pay for a few different repairs.

For one thing, you may have to pay to replace a few rafters or trusses. In most cases, a roofing truss costs between $256 and $466 per unit. You’ll probably need to replace some of your roof’s decking, which typically costs between $1.88 and $3.43 per square foot. Lastly, you’ll need to replace the damaged underlayment and covering, which, as we said, typically costs between $894 and $1,626 per square.

With all these costs combined, repairing the damage caused by a falling tree can easily cost a few thousand dollars. That’s why we highly recommend regularly trimming the trees on your property

Fixing pest damage

Pests—whether birds, rodents, or burrowing insects—can cause surprising amounts of damage to a roof, especially roofs outfitted with wooden shingles and shakes. If you’ve noticed that critters have scraped or eaten away large portions of your roof, repairing the damage will usually involve all the same components as repairing damage from a falling tree.

This means paying several thousand to fix your roof’s pest damage. 

Fixing fire damage

A fire can be especially damaging to a roofing system, though some roof types, like metal roofs and roofs made with class A fire-rated shingles, can be very fire-resistant. In extreme cases, a fire can require wholesale roof replacement. On average, roof replacement costs between $15,159 and $27,580, though it can cost as much as $79,931 to replace an especially large roof or one made with high-cost materials.

Fortunately, if the fire was put out before the whole roof was destroyed, you could pay less than this to rectify the damage. 

How to temporarily cover your roof’s damage until roofers arrive

To prevent further damage to your roof while you wait for your roofers to show up, you should cover the damaged portion with a large, durable tarp. This will prevent adverse weather conditions from rotting your roof’s decking, rafters, or underlayment.

Secure the tarp by tying it to your gutter braces or resting heavy rocks on its edges. Be aware that a heavy wind may still make off with the tarp, so you will need to keep an eye on it if another storm rolls in. At best, this will only be a temporary fix, but it can help mitigate the worst side effects of unexpected roof damage. 

Insurance scams for emergency roof repairs

Sometimes, after a big storm, scammers will go door-to-door, offering to fix a damaged roof for cheap or handle the insurance process for homeowners. You must tell anyone who knocks on your door after a storm—who you didn’t invite over—to take a hike, even if they seem trustworthy.

These scammers often charge customers far more than they initially say they will and can even get you in trouble with your insurance company. Instead, you should only work with qualified and certified roofers with whom you made first contact. 

Find emergency roofers in your area

Now that you know what to expect from your roofers and what you should do until they arrive, it’s time to get moving. The structural integrity of your roofing system depends on it. Cover up the damage, contact your insurer, and contact a local roofing company as soon as possible. Once your roof is repaired, stay on top of these roofing maintenance tasks to help it stay in good shape.

Hire local roofers to put your roof back in order

Written by

Joe Roberts Content Specialist

Joe is a home improvement expert and content specialist for Fixr.com. He’s been writing home services content for over eight years, leveraging his research and composition skills to produce consumer-minded articles that demystify everything from moving to remodeling. His work has been sourced by various news sources and business journals, including Nasdaq.com and USA Today. When he isn’t writing about home improvement or climate issues, Joe can be found in bookstores and record shops.