Angie's List: Replacing or repairing a roof - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Angie's List: Replacing or repairing a roof

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Harsh Wisconsin winters and active springs can take a toll on your roof. Now that the weather is getting nicer, you may want to check to see if it needs repairs or to be replaced.

Replacing a roof can cost $10-$20,000 or more. Inspecting it regularly will help protect your investment, but it's still possible to develop a leak. Roofing professional Justin Vorbroker says, "The two main causes of leaks are generally an elevation change - valleys, walls, ceilings, like that on the roof - and then where non-like materials connect, so your pipe boots, your skylights, your flashing and your wall flashings."

You can't do anything about elevation changes, but you can keep your roof clear of debris and make sure your gutter system works well. Angie Hicks with Angie's List says, "If you're not taking care of your gutters properly, it can actually lead to roof damage, as well as water in the basement, so be sure that you're attending to them, cleaning them, because it can very much prevent big costly problems."

Even if you do everything right, a storm or accident could require you to hire a professional. Find three local companies with solid reputations and ask for detailed quotes. Then, make sure you study each one carefully. Hicks says, "You want an apples-to-apples estimate, so make sure you know exactly the type of material your roof is made of. Is it an asphalt shingle roof? Is it a tile roof? Also, you're going to need the full dimensions of your roof if you're going to get an accurate estimate."

Steer clear of anyone going door-to-door in your neighborhood after a storm. They often do shoddy work and aren't around for any follow-up issues.

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