If you're like many homeowners dealing with an aging roof, you may find yourself subconsciously searching for puddles or water marks every time you're hit with rain or strong winds. Because the damage a damaged roof can wreak on the rest of your home is substantial, it's important to stop roof leaks as quickly as you can. Unfortunately, at a price range of $1.20 to around $4.00 per square foot of roof, replacing the roof of even a modestly sized home can cost thousands of dollars, and this expense usually isn't covered by insurance if your roof has been depreciated to an amount exceeded by your homeowners' insurance deductible. If you simply can't afford the cost of a new roof, do you have any options to protect your home from additional wear and tear? Read on to learn more about your options if paying to replace your roof just isn't in the cards for you this year.
Whether you have rubber shingles, asphalt shingles, or another crude oil–based roofing product, utilizing a rubber sealant to patch any holes or bare spots can go a long way toward keeping your roof watertight. Often, heavy wind or ice can cause shingles to shift, leaving the flashing or moisture barrier beneath exposed—and something as simple as an errant tree branch can puncture this moisture barrier, providing a direct path for any water or debris to head into your home.
By applying this sealant on a dry, temperate day, you'll be able to reinforce the moisture barrier beneath your shingles and prevent any further water damage (although if you notice any evidence water has already made its way in, you'll want to examine this from the inside to ensure you're not just trapping water below the surface of your roof).
For homes with metal or slate roofs, utilizing sheets of recycled aluminum as patching materials can be an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to shield your home from water damage. These sheets can usually be purchased at hardware or home-supply stores and installed by a homeowner with just a few basic tools.
It's important to note that none of the above options are ideal or foolproof when it comes to resisting rain, wind, and even sun damage. Although these repairs may be able to buy you a few additional months, it's worthwhile to begin saving in earnest for a roof replacement once you've applied a temporary patch. Talk to a roofer to get more personalized advice.