Repair or Replace: What To Consider First

repair or replace

Do you need to repair or replace your roof? All roofs require maintenance. They protect your home and family through all seasons, so it is obviously an important part of your home. So, how do you keep it in the best condition? When should you repair, patch, or fully replace your roof? We explore everything you need to know about roof repairs and what to consider when doing so.

Warning Signs

Roof damage can be very obvious or really subtle. You must be on the lookout to recognize signs of roof damage. If your roof is older, or your area has experienced a lot of extreme weather, you may want to get a professional inspection done more often. 

Some warning signs to look for are the presence of water spots and discoloration on your roof. Water damage can warp the shingles and exterior finish. Pay special attention to spots where the roof meets the exterior walls. 

When you’re on your roof inspecting it, make sure to check your gutters. A damaged roof may have things, like granules from shingles that are damaged, clogging the gutters. These granules can also be a sign of damage to your roof.

Inspect the shingles on your roof. If they’re cracked, this could mean they’re breaking down. 

To monitor inside roof damage pay attention to the attic space and rooms closest to the top of the house. Water damage will begin to warp the ceilings and walls of the rooms below. 

If you find any outside debris in your home, this may mean there is a hole somewhere in your roof. Inspect where the debris came from to locate the hole.

All of these warning signs mean you need to take action right away. But, what kind of action is needed? Now it’s time to decide whether you need roof repair or if an entire replacement is necessary. 

When To Repair Your Roof

Putting off replacement with repairs might save you money in the short-term, but it will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. However, sometimes it’s possible and entirely acceptable to repair a roof rather than replace it. This depends on several factors including the type of damage and what percentage of the roof surface is in need of repair. 

Your shingles are the first line of defense in protecting your roof. The various layers beneath the shingles do most of the heavy lifting and protecting your house from the elements. Therefore, if you are only missing a few shingles, it’s very likely that they can be replaced. Make sure to have an expert inspection done prior to repairing shingles though, to ensure there is no more damage underneath. 

If you are planning on selling the home soon, make sure your roofing professional matches the shingles or roofing material as best as possible to your original roof. A roof with a prominent patch is unattractive and will not inspire a potential buyer’s confidence.

Patching Damaged Areas

Patching can work for a damaged roof, but it has the same risks as replacing shingles. It’s important to consult with a roofing professional when considering patching damaged areas on your roof. It can be difficult to match the new section with the original roof. Also, if a section of your roof needs repair, a patch may not be adequate to address the situation.

Replacing The Roof

So, how do you know it is time for a whole new roof? There are many factors that you need to consider when you are debating on whether to replace your roof or not.

  • If there are signs of water damage, it is probably time to replace your roof. Once the water seeps through your roofs shingles, it quickly finds its way inside, causing serious damage. If you see signs of moisture inside your home, which includes brown spots on the ceiling, peeling paint, or mild, opt to replace your roof.
  • Is your roof five years old or twenty years old? Most roofs have a lifespan of 20-30 years, so if it is on the older end of the spectrum, it’s likely that a replacement is better than repairs. 
  • If any hurricanes, tornadoes, or otherwise violent storms have come through your neighborhood, you may have enough damage to require a total roof replacement. Even just a harsh winter can do serious damage to your roof. 
  • Consider the roofing material when considering replacement. An 80 year old slate roof may have a few more decades of life in it. An 80 year old metal roof would be well past its time. Asphalt is the most common roofing material. The latest generation of asphalt shingles are made to last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. 

At some point in any roof’s life, it will need to be replaced. Remember that while you can continue to make repairs, the older the roof is, the less efficient repairs will be. 

One More Option: Partial Re-roofing

If the damage to your roof is significant, but confined to one side of the roof, partial re-roofing is an option that will save you thousands of dollars. It is important to note that partial re-roofing jobs are more expensive on a cost per square basis. They can also create other problems. An asphalt roof needs all of the layers removed in order for the partial re-roofing to proceed. In addition to the increased labor this would require, you face the chance of a lopsided effect, with the old roof ending up a couple of inches higher than the new one. It is important to contact a roofing professional for an inspection before any partial re roofing is performed. 

Prolonging Your Roof

The best way to avoid most of this from happening is taking preventative measures to protect your roof. This includes making sure roof repair or replacement is done immediately. The longer your roof is left damaged, the more exposed your house is to the elements. Having a professional assess and repair or replace your roof is also a good decision to minimize long-term costs related to any roofing projects. 

Final Thoughts

It is always smart to get your roof inspected regularly to avoid costly repairs and replacements. An expert is the best way to get a clear understanding of what needs to be done and why. For a free estimate, give us a call at (636) 699-0449 today. We look forward to helping you!