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Can You Repair a Brittle Roof?

March 1st, 2022 | 10 min. read

Can You Repair a Brittle Roof?

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A brittle roof is one of the most common issues homeowners encounter. Although brittle roof damage may appear to be small and easily fixable, that's not always the case. There are many factors that you need to take into consideration before deciding on repairing your roof. Sounds fun, right?
We know, thinking about if you can repair your roof or not isn't the most exciting task, but it's an important one. At RoofCrafters, we've been repairing brittle roofs for nearly three decades, and we've seen firsthand that decisions that homeowners make can impact their eligibility for a proper repair.
Nonetheless, we're glad you're here; We're eager to teach you the ins and outs of brittle roof repair. In this article, you'll learn if you're able to repair your brittle roof, how to perform the brittle roof test,  and how a professional can repair your brittle roof damage. Let's jump right in!

Can You Repair a Brittle Roof?


There are four main questions that you should answer before you decide to start working on a roof repair. These questions are:


1. What is My Budget?


Almost all residential roofing services are based on budget. How much are you willing to spend to get your roof fixed? If you are on the lookout for pocket-friendly solutions, then perhaps a roof repair, as opposed to a new installation is your best option.


However, if your roof is near the end of its expected lifespan, or the damage is severe, then getting a new roof installed will be a much better option for you. Won't it cost more?  Upfront, yes, a new roof installation can be a bigger investment. However, you'd be saving money on repairs down the line


2. When Was My Roof Installed?


It's best to always make a repair decision based on the average lifespan of your roof. Every type of roof has a different lifespan, including yours! Here’s what the average lifespan of some of the most common types of roofs looks like:

roof installation progress


  • Asphalt: 15-20 years
  • Slate: 100 years
  • Metal: 50 years
  • Tile: 50-100 years


3. What's the Frequency of Maintenance and the Size of the Damage?


Depending on how often you hire a professional for maintenance of the roof, you can minimize most repairs and avoid premature roof replacements. Think of it as a haircut; the more you delay your hairstylist appointment, the more time and effort your haircut will need. Additionally, if you don’t take care of your roof, well all kinds of bad things could happen, right?


The size of the damage will also contribute to the overall decision. Is the damage small enough for a repair? Or will a replacement be needed?  For example, if one or two shingles have gone brittle, it may be easier to repair them. However, if most of the roof is in a brittle state, you may consider replacing the entire roof at this time.


Also Read: How Do I Temporarily Fix My Roof?

4. Does the Location of My Home Matter?


The weather conditions in your area of residence will highly impact all the other factors involved. If you live in a moderate temperature zone, a small repair could last you a long time. However, If you live in harsh weather conditions and the roof is highly susceptible to damage, you should definitely consider contacting a professional roofing contractor to see what your best options are.


The Brittle Roof Test


To determine whether or not your roof’s material is brittle, you can perform an easy test. To do this, lift a part of the shingle or tile and move it at a 45 degrees angle 2-3 times. If the roofing material shows more visible cracks and seems, then it is beyond the repairing stage. A total roof replacement may be necessary.


However, if it remains in a similar state, you might still have time left on the roof and then you can probably make the repairs. Fingers crossed!


Identifying signs of a brittle roof

How Can I Repair My Brittle Roof?


After considering the factors mentioned earlier,  you can decide if your roof is repairable or not. If you believe your roof is in a state that can be reversible with a simple repair, there are three things you can do to start the process. Let's start with replacing a part.


Replacing a Part


roofer replacing shingles

If a small part of the roof is damaged beyond repair, you can look for similar parts and replace them. Replacing a part of a shingle is comparatively harder because you will have to match your roofing material’s exact color, size, and shape.


In addition to this, if many parts are brittle and you replace all of them, then your roof repair will probably not match and look, well, unique.  Remember the look of your roof adds value to your property, so it’s often best to let the professionals handle these small repairs.


Gluing the Corners


If the corners of the shingles or tiles are bending, you can easily take care of this problem yourself. Using a caulking gun, apply a roofing sealant at the bottom of the shingle or tile. Press it down with a spare brick and leave it to dry for 24 hours. This is a quick remedy; however, using correct tools is important to increase the roof’s lifespan.


Hiding Cracks


One of the most common signs of brittle shingles and tiles are cracks. If you wish to take care of these issues yourself, you can do a quick repair yourself. Follow these simple steps to repair a brittle roof:


  1. Apply glue or roofing sealant on the cracks
  2. Press the shingle or tile down and hold firmly or place a heavy object for a few minutes
  3. Apply the sealant once again on the top of the crack
  4. Spread the sealant using a trial
  5. You can also sprinkle leftover granules over the sealant to hide the sealant completely

When Should I Repair My Brittle Roof?


If you notice your roof is brittle, you should reach out to a reputable contractor as soon as possible. Delaying a repair can worsen the state of your roof, potentially causing a need for a total roof replacement. Not to mention, it could be dangerous. The longer you let your roof deteriorate, the higher are the chances for roof leaks and unwelcomed pests.


Now that you have a new sense of hope and knowledge provided to you by this article, you're ready to make an informed decision about your brittle roof. If you're ready to schedule an inspection with a professional to assess your damage, drop us a line on our contact page. One of our friendly experts will reach out to you as soon as possible.


If you think you need a little more time and knowledge before you can reach out to a professional, feel free to browse the extensive resources we have available to you in our learning center. We recommend brushing up on roof maintenance tips so that in the future you can swear off brittle roofs for good!