It can be tempting to indulge in a series of quick, affordable fixes—especially when faced with the cost of a potential roof replacement. It’s also appealing to hire a do-it-all handyman whose services are less than a roofing expert when you are experiencing leaks and other issues. While choosing these routes is up to the homeowner, it’s important to understand that it can have consequences, and often it means paying a lot more in the long run.
While quickie roof fixes may be more aligned with your current budget, here are some downsides you’ll want to consider before you make your final decision.
The Downsides to Quick Roof Fixes
It can lead to more repairs. Most people understand the domino effect, or at least have seen a humorous (but not so humorous) commercial where someone plugs a leak only to have three more leaks sprout in other places and lead to a major flood. The same effect can happen with a quickie patch job on your roof. By messing with an already damaged area or patching on top of something already damaged, you may be exposing new areas to leaks and damage or making the problem more severe by adding more stress to the section you’re working on. Also, if you focus on the “worst” of the damage, you may overlook something else that seems minor in comparison. With continued exposure, the minor flaws will most likely end up needing someone to come back and do more work sooner than later.
It can conceal, but not fix the damage. Addressing viewable problems can conceal much bigger ones. For example, it’s easy to slap a shingle down where one is missing, but is there any damage underneath? Maybe there’s moisture and you’ve trapped it in, which could lead to mold and mildew formation. Concealing instead of performing a full repair can lead to much bigger and deeper damage.
It can cost a lot more money in the long run. Repair costs can add up, and while you may start with smaller increments, eventually those increments will add up to the cost of a new roof. Although you don’t want to minimize that a new roof can cost a lot upfront, you have to consider that if quickie repairs lead to further damage, what was once a straightforward roof replacement may become a job much larger and costlier. If your roof is dated or in need of a true professional repair, it’s crucial to weigh options and look at how things can add up over time. Ask for honest opinions, like which route will save the most money when looking at the big picture.
A non-professional can make things worse. Quickie roof fixes done by someone who isn’t a roofing expert can lead to a catastrophic downside. If someone isn’t skilled or experienced in knowing what to look for, they may cover damage that can spread, or further damage a roof that might have been easily repaired by a professional. Do your research before hiring, and weigh the value of using someone with extensive experience versus someone who bids the lowest. If a non-professional charges hourly and for tool rentals, it may end up costing more simply because they don’t have the speed, skill, or equipment to do the job efficiently and correctly.
If your roof needs repair or replacement, before choosing a quickie repair, do your research. You’ll most likely find that hiring a respected roofing professional in the beginning saves you a lot of headaches, as well as your hard-earned money, in the end.