Why Does My Roof Have Soft Spots, and Are They a Problem?

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated November 9, 2021
close up of a house roof with shingles
Rattanachat - stock.adobe.com

If you find a soft spot on your roof, repair it ASAP

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Moisture is the culprit behind the soft spot on your roof, which could indicate a weak roof, and could eventually collapse. Depending on the damage and severity of the soft spot, you may even need to replace your roof entirely.

Roofs aren’t cheap; protect that home investment by springing for a professional inspection and cleaning each year. If your inspector finds a soft spot, repair it as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. If you live in an especially wet climate, soft spots are even more pressing. Don’t put off repair until you have a leaky roof.

What Causes Roof Soft Spots?

Soft spots form when the layer underneath your roof gets doused. This often happens due to gaps in your roof’s shingles. If your roof has shingles, it likely has plywood sheeting underneath its tiles or shingles. 

While shingles have a relatively long lifespan (they can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance), plywood does not. Over time, plywood’s exposure to the elements—high heat and humidity, heavy rain, piles of snow, and overall dampness—weakens it and causes it to dip and soften in spots.

Soft spots can occur anywhere on a roof, and, often, there several at a time. They are easiest to notice in the spring when warming temperatures cause shingles and other roofing materials to expand, making dips and buckles visible.

Are Soft Spots on Roofs a Problem?

Soft spots on roofs are always a problem, but they don’t always mean you need a full roof replacement. This is welcomed news; roof replacements can be expensive, with most contractors charging thousands of dollars to get the job done. Spot repairs are less expensive, usually between $300 and $2,000.

But to avoid a full roof replacement, you need to catch the problem early. That’s why regular roof inspections are so important. Hire a professional near you to inspect and clean your roof every year so you can catch any soft spots and address them quickly. Left unchecked, seemingly small soft spots can lead to a seriously leaking roof and even collapse.

How to Repair Soft Spots on Roofs

Man installing roof shingles
brizmaker - stock.adobe.com

As soon as you notice a soft spot on your roof, call in a pro. Hire a qualified roofer near you to thoroughly investigate the soft spot and make necessary emergency roof repairs or replace your roof as needed.

The roofer will remove damaged shingles and underlying plywood in the soft spot and replace it with new material. The new roofing material should keep water from coming in while allowing heat and moisture to escape without building up in your rafters, which encourages mold growth and can be a contributing cause of soft spots on your roof. They will also make sure your gutter system works correctly to efficiently route water off your roof, which is another way to prevent soft spots.

Don’t DIY Your Roof’s Soft Spots

Unless you’re a professional roofer, you shouldn’t attempt to DIY your roof replacement. Roof repairs and replacements aren’t cheap, and there are many opportunities for mistakes, so saving a few bucks on professional help isn’t worth the risk. 

If you notice soft spots on your roof regularly, it’s possible that your previous roofer incorrectly installed your shingles or used improper materials. Hiring a top-notch roofer to replace your roof may eliminate moisture issues and save you money in the long run.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.