How Much Does It Cost to Repair Roof Leaks?

Average range: $400 - $1,000
Average Cost
(professional repair of a moderate leak issue on an asphalt shingle roof that requires patching and shingle replacement)

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Reviewed by Nieves Martinez. Written by

Your home’s roof has a big responsibility. It protects the structure and its contents, including you and your family, from the various elements. Come rain, snow, wind, or even unbearable heat; your roof will be there to keep you safe. Roofs take quite a beating. They will likely require some maintenance and repair. It’s important to address roof leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your roof or the rest of your home.

The national average cost for roof leak repair is between $400 and $1,000, with most people paying about $750 for a minor to moderate leak issue on an asphalt shingle roof that requires patching and shingle replacement. At the low end of the price range, you can get a single, small roof leak fixed for about $150. At the high end, you may spend up to $10,500 on a full roof replacement if it is beyond repair or if the repairs would be too costly.

Cost to Repair Roof Leaks

Roof Leak Repair Cost
National average cost$750
Average range$400-$1,000
Minimum cost$150
Maximum cost$8,000

Roof Leaks Repair Cost by Project Range

Repair of a single, small leak on an asphalt shingle roof
Average Cost
Professional repair of a moderate leak issue on an asphalt shingle roof that requires patching and shingle replacement
Total roof replacement of asphalt shingles when leaks are too extensive

Leaky Roof Repair Cost by Material

The type of roof material involved in the repair impacts the cost of your project. People often pay nothing out of pocket for solar panel leak repair or replacement as part of the included warranty. Others pay as much as $250 to $800 for cedar shingle repair or replacement. The material that the roof is constructed from impacts the complexity of the repair and the overall cost. In the table and sections below, we’ll discuss the different roof materials and their common leaks, how they are repaired, and the average cost associated with each. These prices include labor and materials.

Roof Leak Repair Cost by Material: Solar Tiles, Slates, Composite, Shingles, Clay Tiles, Tin...

Roof Leak Repair Cost by Material: Solar Tiles, Slates, Composite, Shingles, Clay Tiles, Tin...

Roof MaterialAverage Cost to Repair Leak (Materials and Labor)
Solar TilesN/A
Clay Tiles$500

Leaking Solar Tiles

Solar tiles are relatively new and don’t have a “standard” tile roof leak repair cost. These newer roofing options are not as readily protected as others. You need to refer to your manufacturer or installer to determine how to handle any leaks that develop. In most cases, these tiles are installed with a 25-year warranty, which means it shouldn’t cost you anything to repair leaking solar tiles and solar roof panels, no matter what the issue might be.

Slate Roof Leak Repair

Slate 1 roof leak repairs cost around $250 per job. Depending on the damage, some homeowners pay as much as $1,000 for flashing repairs. The work is usually to replace broken or missing shingles damaged by debris or weather. Some will simply wear and come off due to age, although this is rare. Some people will find themselves in need of flashing repairs on their slate roof, which is a bit more costly because it requires more work and materials.

Leaky Composite Roof

Composite roofing 2 uses various materials to create a finished product and is relatively affordable in terms of roof leak repair costs, at an average of around $300 per repair. This depends on the type of repair needed and the material in question. For example, repairing asphalt or tar paper will be much cheaper than repairing shake or slate tiles. Composite roofing sees leaks because of poor seals, compromised joints, missing or damaged shingles, and flashing issues. All of these factors determine your final project cost.

Shingle Roof Leak Repair

Asphalt shingle roof leak repair typically costs between $150 and $500 to repair, with most people paying $350 for shingle leak repairs. The cost depends on the severity of the damage and the issue that is occurring. For example, replacing a few blown off shingles might be fairly inexpensive, while actually patching holes and replacing the roof underlayment 3 and then re-laying shingles could be more laborious and costly. These roofs can also make diagnosis difficult because the shingle pattern easily hides the damage. Typically, damaged shingles and vertical slits are the most common problems for this type of roofing.

Leaking Clay Tiles

Clay tiles cost an average of $500, with a price range of $300 to $700 to repair a section of a clay roof. Repairing them can get a bit pricey, but they also offer a lot of longevity. You won’t be doing many repairs if you choose this roofing material. However, they can also be easily cracked and damaged when left out in the elements. These roofs also have valleys where debris collects and leads 4 to leaks or other damage. Most people find that leak repair involves installing a new section to replace the damaged area, which is a much bigger project than the standard leak repair solution.

Tin Roof Repair Leaks

Tin roof leak repairs are similar to metal roofing, albeit slightly less expensive at about $600 on average. Again, the exact cost depends on the type of repair and the severity of the damage. The accessibility also impacts the cost. Sometimes, you may not be able to have repairs done appropriately, which could require you to consider replacing the entire roof. This is less likely. The good news is that tin roofing usually requires less maintenance and offers more longevity than other materials.

Repair Metal Roof Leaks

The average cost to repair metal roof leaks is around $700. The exact cost of repairs depends on how easy the damage is to access and how severe it is. You shouldn’t expect them to be too frequent. These roofs often develop leaks due to punctures from debris, gaps formed by shrinking and rust, and other issues. Often, a metal roof could be leaking because of missing or loose screws, bolts, and other fasteners 5. Homeowners often prefer metal roofs because they are durable and long-lasting, but that does not mean they are free from maintenance.

Leaky Wood Roof

If you have a leaky wood roof, you will spend more than most on roof repairs, with the national average range landing at about $800 for wood roofing repair on a cedar roof. The type of wood impacts the cost of your repairs, in addition to the damage and its location. Most cedar or wood roofs leak around the chimney or other areas where the flashing 6 has become damaged. Typically, this involves replacing shingles 7 or valleys on the roofing. There may also be other issues that arise. Wood rot spreads quickly, so it’s important to address wood leaks as soon as possible to minimize collateral damage.

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Cost to Repair Roof Leak by Roof Leakage Solution

The average cost to repair roof leaks, in general, can vary quite significantly, but people will spend an average of $400 - $1,000 on leak repair. Several factors impact the cost, including the cause of the leak and the resulting best solution(s). Each solution has its own associated costs, which typically include materials and labor for a total repair, usually priced by how severe the leak is or how many spots need to be repaired. In the table and sections below, we’ll discuss each type of common repair solution, what it is best used for, how it’s done, and its costs.

Cost to Repair Roof Leak by Solution: Caulking around Chimney, Sealing around Roof Vents, Shingles Replacement, Gutter Repair, Gutter Cleaning, Roof Tiles Replacement...

Cost to Repair Roof Leak by Solution: Caulking around Chimney, Sealing around Roof Vents, Shingles Replacement, Gutter Repair, Gutter Cleaning, Roof Tiles Replacement...

Leak SolutionAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Caulking around Chimney$100
Sealing around Roof Vents$100
Shingles Replacement$150
Gutter Repair$150
Gutter Cleaning$175
Roof Tiles Replacement$200
Replacing Flashing around Chimney$250
Roof Flashing Repair$250
Replacing Flashing around Skylight$300
Sheet Metal Roof Repair$700
Ice Dams Removal$1,000
Roof Replacement$10,500

Caulking Around Chimney

Replacing the caulking 8 around the chimney is a fairly inexpensive task, with people spending about $100 for labor and materials. However, if the chimney is leaking, it might not be just the caulk but the metal flashing it is securing. The flashing is designed to be durable but also prone to damage and wear over time. Aging and exposure is the leading cause of roof problems. If you are replacing the caulking, your roof repair specialist might recommend replacing the flashing also. We’ll discuss this in the section below.

Sealing around Roof Vents

Sealing around roof vents will cost around $100 on average, including labor and materials, if this is the only job you have done on your roof. Much like caulking the chimney, sealing around the roof vents requires using some kind of adhesive sealant. In some cases, the old sealant may be entirely removed and replaced. Other jobs may require going over the existing areas that are damaged or missing to add additional protection. If you have sealing done as a part of flashing replacement or other repairs, it may be cheaper. Again, aging, exposure to the elements, and temperature changes are the main causes of this type of damage.

Shingles Replacement Cost

Replacing shingles on a roof costs about $150 to replace less than five missing or damaged shingles. The cost varies depending on the type of shingles and how many need to be replaced. Homeowners who have premium tiles or other materials will spend more than those with traditional asphalt shingles. Shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent water and other debris from penetrating the roof and creating unnecessary damage. In some cases, if enough shingles are missing and the roof is old enough, the insurance company may pay for a full replacement. Shingles can become damaged due to weather, storms, impact damage, or even just worn due to age and exposure, leading to a need for replacement. Roof leaks can also make already-aging shingles more susceptible to damage if not immediately addressed.

Gutter Repair Cost

If gutters are damaged, you can expect to spend about $150 on average, or $5 per linear foot 9 to repair or replace the broken sections. This cost estimate is for a standard gutter. However, those who have gutters made from high-end copper or other materials could spend up to $30 per linear foot for a replacement. You can talk to your roofing contractor to find the most cost-effective solution and determine what your exact costs will be. If you do not repair gutters promptly, they could affect the roof and lead to collateral damage. Gutters can become damaged due to exposure and the elements. Sometimes, ice or other buildup causes them to become detached from the structure, which would require repair and cleaning.

Gutter Cleaning Cost

The average gutter cleaning cost is around $175, depending on the gutter length needing to be cleaned. Gutters should be cleaned once or twice a year to avoid water pooling on the roof and ensure proper drainage. Cleaning the gutters helps keep them intact and prevents them from pulling away from the roof. Otherwise, roof damage may occur due to improper care and maintenance. Some people choose to clean their own gutters, but it is a laborious job that is worth the price. Gutters can become cluttered with debris, leaves, dirt, and even ice and snow in the wintertime, leading to a need for professional cleaning.

Roof Tiles Replacement Cost

Replacing roof tiles costs an average of $200, including labor and materials, depending on the type of tiles and how many are missing. This cost estimate is for a small replacement of three or four tiles. If you need more tiles replaced, you could spend more on the job. Replacing roof tiles, like shingles, should be done as soon as possible to prevent further or collateral damage to the roof deck. Roof tiles can come loose due to age and exposure, impact damage, strong winds, or other storm damage. Even roof leaks that started from another source affect the structural integrity of the tiles.

Replacing Flashing Around Chimney

To replace the flashing around the chimney, you can expect to spend about $250. This cost includes the labor of a roofing contractor, the rubber boot and/or flashing that needs replacing, and any caulk, adhesives, or fasteners that are required. Over time, the flashing has many corners and seams 10 that can become worn, damaged by debris, or even lose screws or caulking, resulting in the need for a replacement. Repair and caulking might be fine for a temporary solution, but a full flashing replacement is the best answer in this situation.

Roof Flashing Repair Cost

The average cost to repair roof flashing is $250, depending on the location of the flashing and how much needs repaired or replaced. In most cases, contractors will advise a replacement because it is difficult to repair flashing damaged by the elements. Plus, new flashing improves drainage and better protects the roof in the future. This project cost estimate includes materials and labor, with an estimated $20 per linear foot, on average. Flashing is usually damaged due to age and exposure.

Replacing Flashing around Skylight

The average cost to replace flashing around skylight units is about $300, depending on the size of the skylight and how much material is needed. Much like the chimney and roof vent, the flashing around the skylight can become damaged or worn with age and exposure over time. It may lose screws or fasteners, develop cracks or leaks, or even come off entirely, leaving the roof vulnerable and exposed. A full replacement of the flashing could provide the security you need and give your roof many more years of use.

Sheet Metal Roof Repair

The average cost of sheet metal roof repair is around $700, including replacing sheets of metal that are damaged, installing new fasteners and sealants, and other tasks for a small to midsize repair job. Metal roofing commonly sees leaks from debris punctures or missing fasteners. While these roofs are appreciated for their durability, they may have a higher repair cost when issues arise. Always make sure that you choose a contractor experienced with sheet metal roofing for this task.

Ice Dams Removal

In the winter months, ice dam removal can become a necessary job that costs about $1,000 for professional removal. Over time, the ice can build up on the roof and create excess weight while also preventing water from draining properly. This scenario can lead to serious leaks, wear on the roof, and other damage that could be prevented if the ice were removed. A contractor will remove these ice dams using chemical agents and/or heating units, removing the weight from the roof, and restoring the proper drainage flow.

Roof Replacement Cost

Replacing your roof can cost as much as $10,500, on average. If there is an issue with the pitch or slope of your roof, you may have to factor in the cost to change the roof pitch, which usually means a full replacement. The roof frame and deck will have to be completely rebuilt to change the slope of the roof, which may incur additional costs on top of the standard roof replacement. Be sure to ask your roofing contractor about the details of low slope repairs or rebuilding your roof so that you know what to expect, financially and otherwise.

Cost to Fix Roof Leak by Location

The location of your roof leaks is another factor that affects cost. People pay an average of $150 to $500 for a single small leak repair based on where it is and what type of leak has occurred. Remember that location matters in terms of accessibility and ease of repair and impacts how likely an area is to have recurring leaks or issues. Roof locations with potential issues include valleys or dormers with poorly maintained seams. Most people have more than one of these issues, so the final cost could be a combination of prices. The table and subsections below cover some of the most common locations of various roof leaks, the average cost of repair, including labor and materials, how these leaks usually happen, and other details.

Cost to Fix Roof Leak by Location: Dormer Roof Leak, Vertical Slits, Leak Around Chimney, Leaking Roof Flashing, Vents Leaking...

Cost to Fix Roof Leak by Location: Dormer Roof Leak, Vertical Slits, Leak Around Chimney, Leaking Roof Flashing, Vents Leaking...

Leak LocationAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Dormer Roof Leak$150
Vertical Slits$150
Leak Around Chimney$250
Leaking Roof Flashing$250
Vents Leaking$250
Leak Around Skylight$300
Roof Valley Leak$500

Dormer Roof Leak Repair

Dormer roof leak repair will be a little more affordable at around $150 for a small repair issue. However, you may also have to buy new materials that could impact the cost of the repair. A roofing technician will assess the situation and advise you on the best course of action. Dormers are the overhangs that provide additional protection and another way for water runoff to avoid hitting your foundation. They need to be properly functioning with the rest of the roof to work effectively.

Vertical Slits Repair

You can expect to spend about $150 on vertical slit repair, including those caused by a roof nail leak. With shingle roofs, vertical slit damage is very common. This is generally the result of corrosion over time and can damage the integrity of the shingles, the roof deck, and other parts of the roof. To fix this issue, the damaged shingles should be replaced so that the slits can be hidden and protected from the elements. It’s a relatively inexpensive fix, but it’s one that you need to address immediately.

Fix Roof Leak Around Chimney

Most homeowners spend around $250 to fix roof leaks around the chimney, depending on the type of leak that happens. In most cases, it’s an issue of replacing the flashing. This replacement will restore the protection to the chimney and allow the roofer to install the new sealant. If there is a leak caused by missing bricks or more serious damage, you could spend significantly more on these repairs. Several issues could arise around the chimney, but this is one area that you need to repair promptly for best results.

Leaking Roof Flashing Repair

Leaky roof flashing repair can be done for about $250. The cost depends on where the flashing is located, how it is leaking, and whether it is being repaired or replaced. Flashing is one of those items that may be easier and more effective to replace than to repair. You can talk to your roofing contractor to determine the best course of action to restore your flashing and keep the water off of the roof and out of your home.

Roof Vents Leaking

The cost to repair roof vents leaking is approximately $250. This fairly simple job takes less than an hour. The cost includes labor and materials. Your roof vent pipes are necessary to help the roof breathe. When they are not functioning as they should, it can become a problem. Several issues could arise, but the roof vent cap leaking is usually due to a flashing or boot issue. A rubber “boot” or collar goes around the roof vent to prevent water from entering. Over time, the rubber can dry out and crack due to the elements and exposure, resulting in leaks and the need for replacement.

Roof Leak Around Skylight

Fixing the roof leak around a skylight will cost about $300 for the average skylight, or around $20 per linear foot that needs to be repaired. This could include repairing and replacing the flashing and adhesive sealant, repairing damaged roofing, fixing the skylight unit itself, and more. The most common issue is related to sealant cracking or a problem with the flashing that leads to a leak. Only a professional can diagnose what is happening and determine the best solution.

Roof Valley Leak Repair Cost

It costs about $500, on average, to repair a small leak in a roof valley. Remember that if there is one, there are usually others, so a full inspection should be done. The roof valley refers to the area of the roof that slopes downward where it runs into other parts of the roof, such as in the case of dormers or other roof pitches built in separate sections. Usually, it’s the result of debris or ice buildup that affects water drainage on the roof. However, several issues can occur. Cracked seams and broken fasteners or adhesives can be the cause of roof valley leaks. It’s important to address these leaks immediately, so they don’t compromise the roof’s structural integrity.

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Flat Roof Leak Repair Cost

Flat roofs have different factors to consider in repairs and typically cost about $400 - $1,000, on average, for most repairs. Flat roofing often develops leaks from debris impact, items scraping the tar coating, water pooling, and other maintenance-related issues. These roofs are often made of asphalt 11 coatings, which means that repair will involve sealing cracks created by drainage issues or debris. If the damage is more severe or other issues are involved, a full recoating or replacement might be considered.

One of the biggest differences with flat roofing is that there is no pitch involved, so the damage caused is often more severe and sudden than what is seen on a pitched roof. These roofs are also up higher but may be safer to access, so the costs of materials and labor will balance out when compared to other roofing types. You should always look for roofing contractors that specialize in flat roof leak repair for the best results.

Average Cost to Repair a Roof Leak

The cost of repairing a roof averages $750. The repair cost includes $75 per hour for labor and the remainder for materials. The average minor roof repair will take two to three hours ($150 to $225). Some jobs may take more or less time. Some roofing contractors may have higher or lower hourly rates. However, this cost is the average across the country for all types of roofing work. Materials are priced by the linear foot or square foot. Some jobs will be charged that way instead of hourly. The characteristics and structure of your roof affect what you pay for repairs. For example, if your roof has a steep pitch 12, you may spend up to $200 more for safety equipment rental to do the work.

Roof repairs should always be performed by a professional. If a roof isn’t repaired properly and continues to leak, it can lead to major structural damage. The integrity of the ceiling and walls could be compromised. Irreversible damage will be done to the framing if it is left unattended. The risk of mold growth could put your family at risk and require professional remediation. Remember that the total cost of a roof repair depends on the amount of work that needs to be done because that determines the labor and materials required for the job. The contractor will assess the damage, come up with the best solution, and advise you how they intend to remove and repair the damage.

Small Roof Leak Repair Cost

Because size is a factor, small roof leak repairs often cost less than the national average. People pay closer to $150 for minor repairs on small spaces. This repair could be replacing a shingle or two, the repair of a small puncture hole, or even the filling of cracks or seams that could be seeping water. If only a single shingle needs replacing, this will cost a lot less than if you have large areas of damage or if the entire roof needs to be replaced. Be sure to explain your situation when calling for estimates so that you get an accurate quote.

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Roof Inspection Cost

When you have discovered leaks or other problems with your roof, it might be in your best interest to get a roof inspection. On average, this inspection costs about $350 but can go up to $700 depending on the area. Various factors play into how much an inspection costs based on the size of the house/roof, roof material, pitch, and roof condition overall.

Some companies offer a free estimate or inspection as long as you use their company to perform the repairs. A few companies include inspections with the total cost of the project and charge a lower price. This inspection should be done annually. Your inspector should offer insights and suggestions for how to improve and update the roof.

Inspectors will look for damage to the home’s integrity and structure. The inspector will look for potential problems such as buckling, humping, curling, broken or missing shingles 7, and obvious signs of decay. They will also check the structural integrity of the roof from the inside and outside and may even remove some tiles or shingles to check for moisture in the membrane due to tears or leaks. They may also use thermal technology to do leak checks. The inspection will include the chimney and other roof openings, including the flashing and drip edges designed to protect those openings. They should also look at the insulation to ensure that it is appropriate, not damaged or moldy, and otherwise in good condition.

Roofer Inspecting a Leak in a Roof

Roof Water Damage Repair Cost

Roof water damage repair costs about $5.50 per square foot, depending on how much water-damaged material needs replaced. This process involves disinfecting and repainting the damaged area if it is minor damage or a full replacement of the materials if the damage is more extensive. In some instances, roof leaks lead to water damage, either because they are left unaddressed or because they happen suddenly and are major leaks. It is important to ensure that all water damage is repaired to protect your home’s structural integrity and prevent dangerous mold growth.

Roof Leak Signs

Signs of a roof leak are not always glaringly obvious. Smaller leaks may not leave behind any visible standing water. It’s always better to confirm a leak sooner than later to reduce the impact on the interior. One sign of a roof leak is noticing puddles of water in the attic during rainy or snowy weather. From the ceiling, you may see drops of water coming down and making a puddle. After the rain stops, standing water may be present. If your attic has exposed wood beams, the wood may swell from water damage.

In some cases, the water may not leak into the home. Instead, you might notice a damp, moldy odor in the upper level 13 of the home. On the walls or ceiling, mold could start to form. When a roof is leaking, mold may also appear in the area between the roof and exterior walls. Another exterior sign that the roof is leaking is rusted gutters. Rusted gutters are indicative that parts of the roof have started to expand.

Repair vs Replace Roof

The average cost to replace a roof, including all labor and materials, is around $10,500. Those who choose a durable, affordable material like asphalt spend closer to $8,000, depending on the size of the roof. For minor issues like damaged shingles, repairing the roof makes the most sense. If the roof is failing because of age or the material used to construct it, a replacement should be considered. For example, if your roof is 20 years old and you need to replace more and more shingles every year, you may want to price out a replacement roof. Metal or wood roofs that are no longer structurally sound could be redone with a longer-lasting material like clay, slate, or asphalt.

Roof Tiles Being Replaced to Repair a Roof Leak

How to prevent Roof Leaks

In addition to routine roof inspections, you can prevent future leaks by ensuring that a roof remains in good condition. One of the major things a homeowner should do is keep the roof and gutters free of debris. Trim back any tree branches resting on the roof. Prevent ice dams from forming by having the attic properly insulated and the roof adequately ventilated. If the roof is kept as cold as the outdoor temperature, ice dams are less likely to form. One way that you can check your insulation is to look at your roof after it snows. If the snow stays on the roof, your insulation is good. If it melts right away, that means your home is losing heat from the roof, and the insulation needs to be improved.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Ceiling and Leak Repair Cost

If you need ceiling and leak repair at the same time, you will probably spend close to $1,000, on average, with the extra $300 going toward the ceiling repair. This price will include labor costs, new drywall 14 and other materials, painting, and creating a blended match with the existing ceiling to ensure that it looks like the damage never happened. Your roofing contractor will typically be able to assist you in finding a drywall expert to handle your interior replacement and repair needs.

Soffit and Fascia Repair Cost

The average soffit 15 and fascia repair cost is $20 per linear foot, depending on the type of materials needed, the size of the home, and other elements. This includes materials and labor. The soffit and fascia of the roof are exposed to several potential risks. Its location makes it vulnerable to critters and insect infestation. So, several different kinds of damage could occur and require replacement. You may also save on this if it is done as part of a larger project, so ask your roofing contractor.

Roof Underlayment Replacement Cost

If you need to replace the underlayment on your roof, it will cost about $4 per sq. ft. with materials and labor. Many older roofs might not have been installed with an underlayment. This can add an extra layer of protection and save a lot of additional water damage in many cases. Consider installing or replacing the underlayment of your roof to ensure that you have a backup when the shingles fail. This may be cheaper if done as part of a repair or replacement project, but it can also be done on its own.

Roof Insulation Replacement

The cost of roof insulation replacement averages $0.75 to $1.00 per sq. ft., depending on the type of insulation used and how much is needed. For attics, standard rolls of batting are common, but you can also use spray foam or blown-in insulation for a slightly higher cost. Replacing the insulation in the roof improves the energy efficiency of the home. It may also be required as part of the leak repair when the insulation has been damaged or removed to perform the repair. The higher R-value (quality) of insulation you choose, the more you will pay to replace it. Your roofing contractor can advise on the best, most cost-effective option.

Cost to Replace Trusses

The cost to replace trusses 16 on the roof is about $3 per sq. ft. of building area. Some contractors charge by the truss, ranging from $40 to $150 per truss, while others will charge by the unit. There are some instances where the roof leaks or damage have become so severe that they have damaged the roof trusses. If a full replacement is required, it could add more than $10,000 to your roof repair bill for rebuilding the structure underneath the roof deck.

Cost to Reseal Roof

The cost to reseal roof joints 10 and seams to prevent future leaks costs around $1,500 for a 2,000 sq. ft. home. This helps provide additional protection to ensure that leaks are less likely to occur in the future. Your roofing contractor will typically use an acrylic adhesive to perform this task, although different products may be needed for different types of roofing materials. The cost of resealing includes materials and labor.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits: Roofing almost always requires a permit from the city or municipality in which you reside. Your roofing contractor should secure these permits for you, but you will want to ask to be certain before allowing any work to be started. Doing major work like roofing without a permit can result in huge fines and liability issues. Your insurance company might even refuse to pay the claim if they find out that you started work without a permit or otherwise violated the use of the proper channels for roof repair and replacement.
  • DIY: Roof repair is dangerous work, if for no other reason than the height involved. Plus, most roofs have a relatively steep pitch 12, which can make it difficult to maintain footing. Then, the complexity of roofing work itself requires a certain level of skill and experience. Ultimately, unless you’re a roofing contractor yourself, you should always leave roof leak repairs to the professionals. Insurance companies also may not cover jobs done by homeowners. They may fault you for damage that they would otherwise pay to fix.
  • Insurance: We’ve talked a lot about insurance. You should always contact your insurance company if you have a roof leak that needs to be repaired. It may not be the case, but there are several situations where they will allow you to file an insurance claim and pay the deductible, rather than the huge roofing repair bill. Plus, if you allow the insurance company to pay for the work, you will guarantee that you can hire the best professionals for the job. When in doubt, ask your insurance provider before you make any decisions about roof leak repair.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Roofing is usually best done during the dry months, but you may be able to get cheaper rates on replacement or repairs during the off-season months. Of course, if you need a major repair in the snow and ice of winter, you may also pay a premium. Another seasonal consideration is dealing with roof damage during snowy winter months or in excessively rainy climates. The moisture is the enemy. It’s critical to get things resolved as soon as possible because the cost is much greater if you don’t.
  • Debris Removal: Your roof is a part of your home that needs occasional maintenance and attention from time to time. One of the best ways to prevent leaks, rotting, and other damage is to keep the roof clean and clear of debris. You should keep gutters clear and ensure no sitting leaves, dirt piles, trash, or other debris build up on the roof. If debris removal is required to complete the repair, the company may charge an additional fee such as the cost of a trash bin or additional labor cost to cover the time cost of removal. These surcharges can easily average $200 or more, depending on the amount of extra work required.
  • Hiring Tips: You should always check to ensure that roofers are licensed, insured, and bonded. They should be experienced professionals who know the intricacies and risks of roofing work. They should not hold you liable for anything that happens on the job. It can be tempting to save money by hiring that one guy you know who used to do roofing work, but do you really want to take the risk? Plus, insurance companies that are paying claims may not allow you to hire anyone unless they are licensed and professionally recognized as a roofing company. Make sure to get at least three estimates to ensure you get the best price from the best contractor.​
  • Roof Maintenance: The best way to prevent damage to your roof is to keep it in good condition. This requires routine care and maintenance, such as the debris removal mentioned above. If you spend a little time and money maintaining your roof over the years, you will spend a lot less on major repairs and replacement in your lifetime. You can even find some roofers that will offer maintenance contracts and service agreements for ongoing service and roof maintenance.
  • Interior Repairs: Some roof leaks may be repaired from the inside, but this may prove to be more of a challenge. If this is the case, it may be more affordable since the access is a bit easier and less dangerous. However, it will ultimately be up to your roofing contractor to decide whether inside or outside access is best. Regardless, you should always check under and around the damaged area of the roof to ensure that the interior supports, decking, and other materials don’t need to be repaired or replaced.


  • How much does it cost to fix a leaking roof?

The average cost to fix a leaking roof is around $750, but you may spend more or less depending on the severity of the leak or issue that you are having. For example, some people can spend as little as $150 on a basic repair, while some will spend upwards of $10,500 for a new roof if the problem isn’t repairable.

  • Is a leaking roof covered by insurance?

In some cases, a leaking roof may be covered by your home insurance policy. You will have to ask your insurance provider, but the roof is considered a covered item in several situations. Damage from weather or other unexpected circumstances should be covered, as should major leaks or age-related replacement issues, such as missing shingles on an asphalt shingle roof.

  • How serious is a leaking roof?

Even the smallest leak should be taken seriously. A small leak can become a big problem quickly, so you should call a roofing contractor as soon as you notice a problem. Leaving it unaddressed could result in thousands of dollars in damage to your home and its contents, along with huge repair bills. Plus, if it’s left too long, your insurance provider may refuse a claim citing neglect on your part.

  • How do you fix a leaking roof without replacing it?

There are several ways to fix a roof that’s leaking without a full replacement, so long as the leak situation isn’t too severe. Leaks can be patched, holes and cracks can be filled, and shingles or missing roofing materials can be replaced individually or in small sections when a full replacement isn’t needed.

  • How much does it cost to fix a water damaged ceiling?

The cost of fixing a water-damaged ceiling averages $50 per sq. ft., depending on the amount of damage caused and its extent. This cost includes labor and materials.

  • How do you repair a water damaged ceiling?

In most cases, a water damaged ceiling is best just replaced with new drywall. However, if the damage is minimal, repairs can be made. Minor water damage can be cleaned with bleach or another disinfectant. Then, the ceiling can be repainted. Small holes or cracks may be filled, but your contractor will advise on the best course of action.

  • Is it better to repair or replace a roof?

In some cases, a few simple repairs might be just what you need. However, if the leaks are serious or there are too many to warrant fixing, it might be a better option to replace the roof. The way to find out is to ask your roofing contractor what’s best.

  • How to fix a leaky roof from the inside?

There are a few instances where you may be able to fix a leaking roof from the inside. Your roofing contractor may fix a rotted support beam or otherwise damaged structural materials from the interior of your home if it is easier or less invasive. Ultimately, it will be up to the roofing contractor, and their goal will be to fix it correctly.

  • How to temporarily fix a leaking roof?

If you have a small leak or a situation that might have to wait for repair, you should cover the area with a tarp and secure it to ensure that no water or debris gets into the damaged area. Of course, it should be fairly easy to get a roofing contractor out quickly when a problem arises, eliminating the need for this.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Slate 1 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material
2 Composite roofing: Synthetic roofing shingles made to look like natural roofing materials such as wood or slate. Composite shingles look just like the materials they are meant to resemble, but cost much less, and some even provide better durability and fire resistance
3 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
glossary term picture Lead 4 Leads: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications
5 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
glossary term picture Flashing 6 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
glossary term picture Shingle 7 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
glossary term picture Caulking 8 Caulking: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
glossary term picture Footing 9 Foot: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
10 Joints: (Also known as Seams) A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
glossary term picture Bitumen 11 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads
12 Steep pitch: Pitch of a roof having a vertical rise of 3 inches or more for every 12 inches of horizontal run
13 Level: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
glossary term picture Sheetrock 14 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
glossary term picture Soffit 15 Soffit: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Truss 16 Trusses: Structural framework used to support a roof

Cost to repair roof leaks varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources