We all only want to know how to cut the cost of roof repairs when we have a problem with the roof, usually in the form of water leaking in and causing damage to the fabric of the room below.
The main problem we all face here is that, unless we are willing and able to get up onto the roof ourselves, we are completely in the hands of a roofer to find and fix the defect.
Many roofers are good at their work and give a good service at a competitive price, but there are some who will take advantage of the situation where they tell you what is wrong and how much it will cost and you have no way of getting up there and seeing what they are up to.
In fairness, it’s often very difficult to give a quick diagnosis of exactly what is causing rain to leak into a loft or room, and what work will be necessary to put it right. When you see a damp patch on the ceiling, for example, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the point of entry of the rainwater is immediately above.
Roofs are built with beams, joists, rafters, purlins, struts and other structural components. They all interconnect in sometimes quite a complicated way, and one of the results is that water can enter through a damaged tile or slate and then travel along part of the framework timbers before dropping onto the surface below and manifesting as a damp patch on the ceiling or part of the attic woodwork.
Because of this, it will often take a roofer a considerable time before being able to isolate the problem and fix it. This time, of course, has to be paid for, so if you want to cut the cost of the necessary roof repairs, find out exactly where the problem is before calling in outside help.
Sometimes it will be obvious, e.g. after storm damage has removed a tile, but more often you will have to get up there and look yourself. If you can’t do this because of infirmity or illness then you will have to rely on a friend or family member to help you.
If you need specialist equipment such as a roof ladder then check the prices of hiring one for a day or two. It will probably be much cheaper than paying a roofer to spend a lot of time searching for the damage. Get up there with a digital camera in good light and take plenty of pictures from several angles of the area of the roof that is suspect.
Unless you’re sure you’ve found the fault, you may have to get a hosepipe up there and test each suspect area by spraying water on it for a few minutes. Give it an hour or two before moving on to the next suspect area, for the water to have time to seep through along its route to the damp patch, where you will be waiting to see if there is any further appearance of damp.
Also, start with the lower suspect areas so you can treat each one in isolation and pinpoint where the problem is. You obviously want to test each suspect area one at a time.
Once you have discovered the exact cause of the problem you may by then feel that you don’t actually need to call in a roofer at all. If you have some elementary DIY skills you can purchase the necessary materials quite cheaply and do the job yourself. Only if there are several tiles or slates to be taken off and replaced will you possibly feel the need to call in a roofer.
But if the solution is merely to apply some flashing to cover up a gap, or to apply some new mastic where the old sealant has rotted away then you can probably do this yourself.
That’s how to cut the cost of roof repairs.