When your roof starts showing signs of damage or wear, deciding what to do about it can be challenging. Sometimes all you need is a simple repair and sometimes it’s in your best interest to replace the whole thing before something terrible happens — such as:
- Leaks that turn into severe structural damage or a fire hazard
- Your roof collapsing, putting you and your loved ones in danger
- Your roof blowing off during high winds or a bad storm
- Excessive mold and mildew growth, leading to significant health issues
- Rodent and insect infestations
If you’re wondering whether it would be better to repair or replace your roof at this point in time, you’ve come to the right place. While only a trusted roofing contractor can help you determine whether to repair or replace your roof with certainty, you’ll find that there are some obvious factors that can point you in the right direction.
Consider this your quick and simple guide to roof replacements vs roof repairs. Read on to learn more.
5 Factors to Consider for Your Roof
When it comes to deciding between repairing or replacing your existing roof, there are five critical factors to think about.
1. The Age of Your Roofing System 🧓
The average roofing system should last at least 20 years— and the type of roofing material used, plus the age of your roof, are excellent indicators of whether it’s worth it to replace your roof completely.
However, If you’re not the first owner of your home, chances are, you may not know exactly when the roof was installed.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to find out the age of your roof:
- Get in touch with the realtor that helped you find the home to see if they have any specifics about your home on file
- Speak with the previous homeowners
- Reach out to the contracting company that installed the roof
- Look up your municipality’s building permit records
You’ll also want to look up the various signs of an aging roof, such as:
- Worn, curled, or cracked shingles
- Bald spots
- Dark streaks
- Moss growth
- A sagging roofline
If you notice that your neighbors are having new roofing installed, that’s also a good indicator that it may be time.
Of course, the signs of an aging roof may also be signs of light damage, which can easily be repaired rather than replaced. However, it’s important to keep in mind that at some point, the cost of repairs will outweigh the cost of a roof replacement — so if you have to constantly schedule repairs, it’s likely time to start fresh.
2. Roof Leaks 💧
Leaks are among the most common reasons for homeowners to get their roofs repaired or replaced. If you start to notice water stains growing inside your home on your ceilings and down your walls, it’s a surefire sign that your roof has a leak somewhere.
Finding the source of the leak and knowing the extent of its damage is best left in the hands of an experienced roofer. Regardless of the source and amount of damage, however, something will need to be done as soon as possible, as even the smallest leaks can erupt into:
- Mold and mildew formation
- Rotting roof framing
- Rotting roof sheathing
- Rotting foundation beams
- Damaged ceilings and walls
- Wet or destroyed insulation
- A fire hazard if the leak spread to areas with electrical wiring
If you have one small leak with little damage, you’ll likely be able to get away with a simple repair. If there are multiple leaks and extensive damage, you’ll probably want to go with a replacement.
3. The Extent of Your Roof Damage 🔨
When deciding between repairing or replacing your roof, sometimes it’s as simple as looking at the existing damage. The signs of roof damage will vary depending on the type of roof you have and the materials it’s made from, but there are two general categories of roof damage to consider — aesthetic damage and structural damage.
- The roofing system will look old and worn, with obvious signs of deterioration
- There will be moss, algae, or lichen growing on and in between the roofing materials
- Curling edges on asphalt shingles (and wood shingles)
- Missing granules, leading to obvious bald spots on asphalt shingles
- Cracked or broken shingles (this includes asphalt, tile, and wood shingles)
- Dented or perforated shingles (this includes asphalt, tile, wood, and metal roofing components)
- Rusted metal panels or shingles
- Rusted roof flashing
Only a reliable roofing contractor will be able to help you determine the extent of your roof damage and whether that damage requires a repair or full replacement.
4. Your Geographical Area 🌍
If you live in an area that’s susceptible to severe storms, including hail storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, it’s important to take care of roof repairs immediately following each storm to prevent issues in the future.
Damage from hail and even falling debris can easily affect your roof’s performance down the road, as well as its appearance and ability to maintain a waterproof roof deck.
5. The Cost of a Roof Replacement 💰
The cost of replacing your roof is one of the most important considerations for homeowners. Generally speaking, repairs cost less than replacements — but repairs over the years add up, both in cost and the integrity of your roofing system.
While a roof replacement will be more costly upfront, it’ll save you money in the long run when it comes to damages and repairs. Plus, most quality roofing contractors will provide you with a fair and accurate estimate as well as special financing plans to help you afford a new roof.
When to Repair or Replace Your Roof
Keeping the above considerations in mind, it’s still essential to know when you need to repair or replace your roof.
When to Repair Your Roof
- There’s minor damage. If you only need to replace a few asphalt shingles in isolated areas, the repairs can be simple and inexpensive. The only downside is that it can be difficult to find roofing materials that match your existing roof due to UV exposure and newer colors. It can also be expensive if you have to replace metal panels, slate tiles, or wooden shingles.
- There’s moderate damage. If you have more significant damage, such as storm roof damage that’s confined to one area of your roof, you may be able to get away with either shingle replacement or a partial reroof.
When to Get a New Roof
- You want to boost curb appeal. Roofs make up a large portion of your home’s curb appeal. Not only will a newer roof look more attractive, but it’ll also add to your home’s aesthetic. This is especially important if you’re looking to sell your home
- To increase energy efficiency. With today’s advanced technology and materials, a new roof can vastly improve your home’s energy efficiency while protecting it from the elements.
- There’s extensive damage. If you have extensive damage throughout your roofing system that’s threatening your home’s structural integrity, no amount of repairs will be able to save it.
- Your roof is more than 15 years old. As mentioned earlier, the average roof will last about 20 years (25 if you’re lucky). Of course, it all depends on where you live and how well your roof has been maintained. If your roof is more than 15 years old and is showing moderate damage, it may be best to replace your roof while you’re ahead — especially since newer materials can last much longer.
Will You Replace or Repair Your Roof?
Now that you know what goes into deciding whether to repair or replace your roof, it’s time to start thinking about what your roofing system may need at this moment — and there’s no better place to start than with a professional roof inspection.
Reach out to the roofing team at Distinctive Roofing today to schedule a thorough roof inspection and get an accurate estimate for your roof replacement project or repairs!