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Roof Repair Guide


Homeowners Roofing Guide

Homeowners Advice Guide to Roofing Services, Maintenance and Care

The following Irish Roofing Guide is an advice and guidance best practice to caring for and maintaining your roof.  The information is just a guide and professional advice should be obtained by a professional before making final decisions.  For more information from our roofing guide: roofing repairs, Gutter repairs, fascia & soffits, flat roofing.

Roof Repairs

What are Roofing Repair Services? 

Roofing repair services is a process of restoring a roofing system using expert tools, knowledge and experience, if you as a homeowner have a leak and water is dripping from your roof, then roof repairs are required to restore the roof back to its original state. So essentially its returning the roof to its original state where it functioned correctly sealing all weather elements from the building directly below it.

This is essential to prevent further damage and deterioration of the building and its contents below. To achieve (Step 1 ) correctly Leak Identification a full inspection needs to be carried out to prevent the problem continuing in the near future.

Once a leak is traced by a contractor, then the repair of it is a second step (Step 2) after it has been traced and identified. The repairs need to be carried out and appropriate to the repairs required otherwise continued leaks will occur.

Many different areas on your roof can cause leaks, from flashing and skylights to old shingles. Even a hole in your siding or leaky windows can appear as a roof leak. Address leaks right away to avoid mould and interior water damage. Water in your attic can pose a fire hazard and waste energy as insulation becomes saturated. Your roof and your home can suffer major structural damage if left unchecked.

The Problem:

Roofing like most industry services is broad and can be complicated for a homeowner who does not know what the problem is, to what extent if affects the overall roof and the related costs.

The Solution:

Get a roof evaluation and get an outline the specific damage to roof and what the specific costs are, after your second or third quote, you will be well informed as to the problem and compared costs and possible solutions depending on the budget.

Services Are Include in Roofing Repairs

When it comes to roofing repair services, almost all roofing problems fall under roofing repair services, below are a few of the main ones that are more common and used by local home owners, we have guides and further info on these if you nee more info.  Go here for a full list of guides.

fixing a roof tile

Roof leaks & general repairs

For the majority of homeowners, roofing is very much a permanent structure that is on their home and will require very little maintenance and repair over the years.  With the exception of some roof structures like older flat roofs, can require replacement after about 20 years or so.  Most maintenance like broken tiles and slates or leaking from some flashing or excess water run-offs.   

Gutter repairs

Gutters are placed under the drip edges of a roof to take and carry water away from the roof and minimise leaks and future repairs that can arise if this starts to fail.  Often gutters require resealing and repairs due to excess water and strain be placed on the gutters themselves.

Fascia & Soffits

Fascia and soffits are the structure of the roof that join the roof and the building and protect the joists of the roof while providing a place to hang the gutters and direct the water from the gutters.  Often gutters and fascia and soffits are replaced together but less often will require maintenance unlike the gutters that need regular cleaning and maintenance.  

How to Find A Good Roof Repair Expert?

Finding the most appropriate roof repairs specialist can be a bit of a challenge if you don't know anyone off-hand, however there are a number of options available to make sure you find the best person for your project. Some ideas include:
Searching the internet and using services such as Google, or Bing search engines depending on what you have available on your device. If using Google, you should play close attention to where you are searching, the first options are alway ads and they can be fine to find reliable contractors, these contractors are paying for the ads so will be keen to get the work. 

Also examine Google Maps as they have providers local to you if you prefer someone in the immediate area. The organic search which is the third option will also have some reliable options. See below for more info. 

The Problem

Often it can be difficult to hire a local expert if you have not required their services before and are less familiar with what is expected of a service like roofing without hiring an expert on a regular basis.  Apart from gutter repairs, hiring a roofer may not be a regular experience for most homeowners..


The Solution

  1. Directory services, these are directories or lists of providers such as Estimate.ie Directory YelpOnlinetradesmenTrustedpeople.ie or for more specific services such as flat roofing, you can check out flatroofs.ie 
  2. Local Supply Stores this may seem like and odd choice of information but the local supply stores DIY and hardware stores know the better companies that come in there on a regular basis and would be able to give you a good idea of what companies you should consider, the better firms will be a bit more busy and will be regular callers there so they will have a good idea from all the service providers which ones to call. Just pick up the phone and they're usually happy to give you advice.
  3. Online Reviews are a good start guide to point you in the right direction, you should not totally rely on them but they are a good option when added to some of the other choices above.
  4. Social Platforms can be a good way of getting somebody very local and reputable especially in platforms such as Facebook, they can often have local area groups see example below that will be only too happy to recommend. If your area does not have a specific district or area group, then simply ask some friends on an open post and often you will get plenty of replies.
  5. Carry out Checks on Roofing Contractors before you make a choice. Ask for insurance and business details, look for reviews on previous work, Are they based locally so you can follow up if there are any problems etc, do as many checks as you need to have reassurance.


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Planning For Roofing Repairs

1  Do you need repairs or a full replacment?

Well you'll need to have professional advice on that but some things to remember, it's important to always be more proactive when it comes to your roof as earlier action and will alway save you money in that the longer the damage goes on, the more it will usually cost you. Now unless your roof has significant holes in it and you are using a lot of buckets to keep the water out, the chances are it can be repaired, but keep in mind the age of the roof and will you save but having it replaced and has it done its time with regard to its age and state of repair?

2 Finding A Roofing Contractor?

You can refer to our information above “How to find a roof repair specialist” sources of information. Remember some checks on your choice should be carried out however you find them.

3 Are Small Minor Repairs Enough?

Would Minor Repairs Be Enough? Get the contractor to evaluate the roof, before getting an evaluation some things you can consider:
  • How old is the roof? A very old roof may have done its time and any repairs will be more short term? However some older roofs just require cleaning and maintenance and have more life in them, you will probably have an idea yourself.
  • Does the roof leak regularly? Repeated leaks can be a sign of ware and tare on the roof but also it can be a sign of poor workmanship. 
  • Do you have heating and insulating issues? 
  • 4 How Long does your home take to heat up?

    Does your home take a long time to heat up and get cold fast after the heating off? If so you may need to consider some renovation.  Renovation may involve insulating your home as well as repairing the roof.

    5 Which Materials Are Right For You?

    After identifying the job and selecting the roofer, choosing the most suitable materials will be the first step. Now the materials already on the roof depending on their success will be a guide to anyway. Cost will also be a factor as better and more durable materials will give you more time usually. Again the type of home you live in such as contemporary, traditional etc will also predetermine the type of materials you should use such as slate, tile, flat roof etc.: Clay and concrete tiles, slate, Metal Roofing, Composition Slate, Flat Roofing (rubber, fibreglass & asphalt). 

    6 How long will the job take to complete?

    How Long Does The Job Take? Professionally installed roof is an obvious added cost but also knowing that it's done right can be a great relief. It also minimises the risk of knowing you can expect no problems from it in the future. Depending on the size of the roofing company, large firms can replace a roof in a few days, smaller firms can take longer

    Criteria To Consider When Hiring A Roofer

    As we outlined all-ready, choosing a roofer can be difficult and we wanted to extend on what we already covered and outline what you should consider when looking to identify a local and reputable roofing contractor, what are the things you need to consider as a basis to choose the best local company for the job: 

    This can be a difficult question to answer without being bias and one can alway debate as to which company is best to serve you needs but the following are some things to consider:

    Consider These....


    • Experience overall and the roofers experience in dealing with your specific job for example, if your roof is a flat roof, asking the question, are you a flat roof specialist?
    • Qualifications and certification on being able to do the work required.  Are they more qualified than trainees doing the work?
    • Company reputation and overall credibility to stand behind the work to be done and guaranteed offered.  Is the company enthusiastic to get the job and what is there reputation for the work already completed against their competitors? 
    • Reliability and credibility of individuals or business, some people are more reliable than others but look for signs of reliance and consistency when asking questions and the answers and evidence given.
    • Insurance and work guarantees offered for project, is there any question as them standing over the job and coming back if there are any problems.
    • If you can speak to previous clients who got work done by the contractor.
    • Number of reviews the company has online and quality of reviews, good companies are enthusiastic to get consistent good reviews for the work they do and usually follow up on this as part of their work.  


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    How To Get Cheaper Roof Repairs Without Sacrificing Quality


    1. Choose a local contractor as distance will be a factor in pricing the work to be done.
    2. Larger companies can be more expensive but you have to way up the cost against the company and its credibility, with a larger company you get more resources and you pay for that, with a local roofer often can be cheaper but that can come with  its own downside of resources and backup and often guarantee, now this is not a hard and fast rule, some small local roofers can be 100% reliable and you may not want to deal with a larger business.  See what you prefer is and do your checks.  
    3. While you are looking for a cheaper price, it may seem contradictory to say going for the cheapest price may often be more expensive if you have problems down the road. Weigh up the price against value and reliability.
    4. Get a few quotes to compare and see if the preferred contractors price can be negotiated without sacrificing quality.
    5. Get the job details in writing so you have details of the project for future reference. This is handy if you have any issues with the work at a later date.
    6. Its not always possible but getting roofing work done in off-season or at a time when tradesmen are quiet will always get you a better price but this is not always possible if you have a leaking roof.
    7. Consider your home insurance to cover the repairs if these damages are a result of severe weather such as storms etc, they usually will only cover more unexpected circumstance unlike general wear and tear of room over time. Check with them to be sure.

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    Gutter Repairs & Installation Costs

    Gutters & Their Purpose and Function

    Gutters are the rain shoots and downpipes attached to your Fascia & Soffit directly underneath the end lip of your roof.  Their specific purpose is to direct water and rainfall away from the roof and down to ground level where it can be directed into drains and soakaways.  Without this, water will start building at the end of your roof and start causing other damage or alternatively non-directed rainfall builds and causes rot and dampness in the long run.  

    Life-span

     You can expect properly installed gutters to last at least 25 years depending on what you install, how well it's installed and how exposed your property is to weather.  Harder weather conditions can shorten its lifespan but you should still expect this approximate timeframe.

    Why They Leak

     Gutters can leak for a range of reasons but primarily they leak because of a build up of rainwater putting pressure on the joints and seals of the adjoining shoots.  This is caused usually from heavy rain or both heavy rain and blocked gutters holding leaves, moss or debris etc.

    Do My Leaking Gutters Need Replacement?

    Difficult to answer but here is something to consider when asking the question? Without a professional seeing it, here are some questions to guide you in figuring out if you need to get someone to see them and give you an estimate. 

    • How old are my gutters? (if they are older than 20 years, the may need replacing)
    • Do They Look Broken or Just Leaking? If they look in good condition but just leak from the joints and are not over 20 years old then its more likely that they can be repaired.
    • Are There Any Section Missing Like Missing Clips or Joints? (If there are pieces missing then its more likely you will need to get them replaced.) 
    • Have you carried out any recent changes to the house?  (Any changes to the building may create leaks due to the changes and the breaking and reconnecting of the joints)

    The above things can impact if you need to repair or replace the gutters, most gutters just leak and can be repaired, or maybe are missing a clip and as result the water gathers in that specific section causing overflow.  In the case of older homes with aged gutters, it can save you money to replace them if they are giving you regular problems.  This often can minimise future damage to the roof.

    How Often Should My Gutters Be Cleaned?

    Like we mentioned earlier when it comes to your roof, the more proactive you are when it comes to its maintenance the more you save on money and hassle in the long term.  Ideally you should get the gutters cleaned at-least once a year especially after winters that you’ve had a lot of storms and heavy rain.

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    Types Of Gutters To Choose From:

    When it comes to Irish homes, the majority of gutters and downpipes are PVC gutters which are made of plastic and come in a range of colours and sizes.  Common colours are white, black and grey.  This type of gutters are light and durable and can hold up to the weather we are accustomed to.  The shapes can vary from half round to half octagon shape. 

    Types
    • Cast Iron Gutters
    • Aluminium Seamless 
    • PVC Gutters
    • Fascia Gutters 
    Choices

    Depending on the style of your house and what you have already on there, will greatly depending on what is best to replace your current gutters with, for example, if you have cast-iron gutters on an older house, replacing them with PVC gutters maybe a cheaper option but may not suit your home, best to get professional advice before making any decisions.  

    Fascia & Soffits

    We’ve written a separate section here for fascia and soffits but essentially fascia and soffits are part of your guttering system and because the gutters are attached to the fascia boards, when you are getting your gutters replaced, most times, this is replace as well because if your gutters need replacing most times the fascia and soffits will also and will have a similar expiry time in any house.  See image below to explain.

    Purpose 

    The purpose of the fascia and soffits are to cover the end rafters and seal your home between the upper walls and the roof.  It covers and seals this joining and also provides a place to attach your gutters to.

    Cost of Fascia & Soffits

    The Average Cost of Replacing Fascia Soffit & Gutters on a 3 / 4 Bed Semi

    The cost of fascia and soffit replacement is usually included in the cost of your gutters so see gutter costs above to get an approximate average of what to expect.  You can assume when you need to get your gutters replaced you will in most cases need to get gutters, downpipes, fascia and soffits replaced at the same time and the costs above for gutters is an inclusive average.  Most Irish homes will cost between €800 and €1200 for three and four bedroom semi detached homes.  Larger detached homes can cost a little more.  Assume an average cost of €1000.  Larger detached bungalows can be up to €1500 for a full replacement of gutters, fascia and soffits and downpipes.

    Cost of Fascia & Soffits Replacement (3 Bed Semi)

    The cost of fascia and soffit replacement is usually included in the cost of your gutters so see gutter costs above to get an approximate average of what to expect.  You can assume when you need to get your gutters replaced you will in most cases need to get gutters, downpipes, fascia and soffits replaced at the same time and the costs above for gutters is an inclusive average.  Most Irish homes will cost between €800 and €1200 for three and four bedroom semi detached homes.  Larger detached homes can cost a little more.  Assume an average cost of €1000.  

    4 Bed + Replacement:

    Larger detached bungalows can be up to €1500 for a full replacement of gutters, fascia and soffits and downpipes.

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