Our roofs often face harsh weather conditions throughout the year, so it is natural for them to wear out over time. Even with regular maintenance and inspections, you will need to replace your roof at some point. Deciphering between a simple repair, or a totally new roof installation is no easy feat.
As a homeowner, you have enough on your plate to worry about. Leave the big roofing decisions up to the experts. At RoofCrafters, we have more than 29 years of experience repairing and replacing roofs, so we know a thing or two.
We’re glad you’re here to learn more about if you should repair your roof, or if you should take the plunge into a roof replacement. We know this can be a big pill to swallow, so we broke it down for you. In this article, you’ll learn when you should repair your roof, when it may need a replacement, and the components that affect these outcomes. Let’s jump right in!
Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?
Sadly, your roof is not immortal. We all wish that they’d last forever so we don’t have to worry about any big home improvement projects for the foreseeable future, but they simply don’t. After their golden years are over, you need to have them replaced. While some materials are more durable and last longer than others, eventually, you’ll still need to replace your roof.
It’s possible that your roof is savable with a few minor repairs, though. The components that affect the outcome of your decision to repair or replace include:
One of the key factors in determining whether you should repair or replace your roof is its age. Ultimately, you should be thinking about replacing your roof when it nears the end of its expected lifespan, even if it appears to be in good condition.
Old roofs have a greater likelihood of failing and causing leaks, which can cause high repair costs down the line and even create more serious problems, such as harmful mold.
You should generally start looking for a new roof when it reaches the 15- 20 year mark if you have an asphalt shingle roof. Even insurance companies offer little or no coverage for roofs older than 15-20 years old. Suppose you have invested in a premium roofing material such as metal roofing. In that case, you will not require roof repair or replacements as often because metal roofing installed properly could last over 50 years.
Frequency of Repair
It sounds redundant, but if your roof has been repaired a few too many times, continuing down that road is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. Sure, it’s well-intentioned and you’re only trying to fix your roof, but one too many repairs oftentimes mean it's time for a replacement.
If your roof is developing leaks frequently, it indicates a problem with the roof or faulty installation, making it unsafe. We recommend contacting a credible roofing contractor to inspect the roof and come up with a decision together. This will save you time and money.
Some signs of damage show up inside the house on the ceiling, while others could be in the attic under the wood decking. For example, if your ceiling keeps sagging, gets discolored, or the paint peels away repeatedly, you might have a roof leak that has caused severe damage and will require replacing the entire roof.
Other signs such as extensive granule loss might be visible on the roof’s surface and cause significant loss of life to the shingles. To prevent roof leaks from damaging the inside of your home, you might need a new roof.
A roof with cracks is a bad roof because it allows moisture, debris, and pests to enter your home which can often cost a lot of money to resolve. If your roof is cracked or has missing granules or curled shingles, you should call a roofer and get the roof inspected. Any rust on the chimney flashing or rusted roofing nails could indicate that the roof is compromised and may need to be replaced.
Saving money on a roofing job is probably not the best idea. While it may seem like you are saving some money during installation, contractors charge according to their expertise and skillset. A cheap roof quote most often means cheap work.
An inexpensive contractor will get the job done for less money, but you are likely to pay more for repairs and maintenance in the long run. Remember, insurance does not cover improperly installed roofs.
The Extent of Damage
Regardless of how new your roof is, external factors such as strong winds, rain, hail, fallen tree limbs, and fires can be extremely destructive. After any incident, call a roofer to examine the damage and they can guide you on your next steps.
In this case, a contractor should be able to repair small damage such as strong winds blowing off a few shingles. However, large-scale damage requires you to replace the whole roof. If you decide to repair extensive damage, it results in poor roof system integrity and increases the possibility of more problems down the line.
Your Maintenance Schedule
Depending on your maintenance schedule and how promptly you address any roof problems, you may only need a minor repair instead of a total replacement. Here are a few things to consider:
1. When Was Your Last Inspection?
You should contact a roofer to inspect your roof bi-annually to check for any problems and address them promptly. Additionally, you should conduct visual inspections yourself to monitor any significant impact damage or mold growth to diagnose potential problems preemptively.
Regular inspections can save you from a world of hurt. When you catch roof damage in its early stages, you can get away with repairing the damage, and not needing a replacement.
2. How Often Do You Clean Your Roof?
Debris accumulates on your roof and causes all sorts of problems. Not only does it trap water, but it also adds more weight to your roof which can cause leaks. Neglecting the gutters can be detrimental to your roof, so you should have them cleaned out to remove any debris trapped inside them.
Doing so prevents any blockages and allows the gutter to drain easily instead of pooling and backing up on your roof. A clean roof = fewer repairs, and an avoided replacement.
3. General Wear and Tear
General wear leads to roof damage. More often than not, this is out of our control. Regardless of what type of roof you have, it is inevitable that you will need to call a contractor to repair your roof at some point or another. If you notice any damage, you should schedule an inspection promptly, because leaving problems unaddressed leads to higher repair costs in the long run or even a necessary replacement. Always invest in a credible and experienced roofer with a history of delivering great results.
Do I Need a Roof Repair or Replacement?
In a perfect world, you could make this decision on a whim and jumpstart your next roofing project. By now, you’re probably painfully aware of tough this decision can potentially be. Generally, if your roof damage is small enough, it’s safe to say you can get away with a minor repair. However, if the damage extends beyond just “small”, you may need a roof replacement.
Your best bet is to get in contact with a credible roofing contractor to help you make this decision. When you’re ready to schedule your inspection, contact RoofCrafters, and one of our friendly experts will contact you as soon as possible.
My name is Kevin Mills, and I am the lead estimator for RoofCrafters’ Tampa division. I’m originally from Michigan, and I enjoy hunting, fishing, and spending any free time outdoors. What I’m most passionate about, though, is helping business owners and homeowners alike achieve their roofing goals, all while providing a seamless customer journey.