The bigger question is, just how much of the roof is beyond repair? On the one hand, it might look really bad, but the roof tiles might be the only part of the roof that need to be replace, in addition of course to the waterproofing lining underneath it. But if the roof has been letting water in underneath that, the plywood could be rotten and even the rafters and roof infrastructure could be compromised. The further the damage goes into the house – likely in parallel to how long the roof and the house was neglected – the more work you will have to do. Hopefully any damage will be limited to roof tiles and underlying lining. No matter what, you need to get an inspection right away. The sooner you arrest whatever is going on on one of the most important, protective elements of your house, the sooner you can arrest the progress of damage.
Getting a complete roof inspection every couple years
Doesn’t time fly! When you take out a can of saved paint on which you wrote the year you got your house painted, isn’t it always a surprise to learn how many years have gone by! It’s the same with roofs. Most people forget quickly which year they got their roof replaced last time, and miss therefore a great opportunity to protect their investment with little or no cost or effort. In fact, many roofing companies will do your inspection for free, or if not, will deduct any cost of such inspection from work they do on your house relating to the inspection.
The really good news with roof inspections is, it’s definitely in the interests of the inspector to find a problem if there is one. They are in the business of working on roofs, so it behooves them to find a problem if that’s the case.
How many roof layers are involved, or need to be repaired?
The cost of repair, needless to say, depends on the extent of the damage. Swapping out the roof tiles and the waterproofing layer underneath it is one thing, but having to replace rafters and make repairs to the roof’s infrastructure is a whole different challenge.
In the Seattle and Eastside region (Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, etc.) we all know that rain is just one of those things we have to deal with. And with that comes the need to protect the single biggest part of your house that protects the rest of it: The Roof. The same initial damage in a dry climate (such as New Mexico or Southern California) might never turn into a problem. It’s so dry for so much of the time, no water ever gets a good chance to do any real damage before it’s baked dry by the south western sun.
You may need more help than just from a roofing company
A friend of mine is in the roofing business. Occasionally, his company comes across a problem deep under a roof they are working on, and it requires that the whole project stops, and the underlying problem is repaired, and then the work is started up again. In once recent instance, once the tiles and worn out waterproofing layers were removed, they discovered that most of the wood structure underneath it were rotten. You could pinch the wood and it would fall apart like damp saw dust in your hand. Thankfully there were no insect or other pest problems to deal with. It was clear, though, that the entire roof, down to the ceilings of the top floor of the house, was destroyed. Another good thing was, it was all covered by insurance. Still, the project turned into something ten times bigger than was expected, and it disrupted the summer schedule of a company which was using every waking hour for productivity.
It’s another great reason you should get a roof inspection every few years!
More next week!