Should You Replace or Repair Your Roof?
Replacing your roof is a huge expense you want to delay for as long as possible. Yet you also don’t want a situation where you constantly have to fix problems with the roof. Trying to fix a roof when it should be replaced will cost you more in the long run.
There are clear signs that tell you when your roof has reached the end of its life. There are also circumstances where you are better off fixing the roof than replacing it. How can you tell when your roof needs to be repaired versus when it needs to be replaced?
When to repair the roof
If the following apply to your roof, repairing the structure may be the best option for you.
- The damage is minor and confined to a small area
Most roof damage can be repaired if they are not extensive. Replacing a few shingles blown away by a heavy wind is fairly easy. Damage that does not affect the decking/under layer and which is localized to a small section of the roof can be repaired without risk to the entire structure.
- When you can match the shingles
Sometimes, even when the damage is limited to a small area, you may find it difficult to match the new shingles to the old ones. But, if you can replace the damaged portions without significantly altering the appearance of the roof or diminishing your home’s value, as Paramount Management & Realty advises, you will be better served by repairing the roof.
- The roof was recently replaced
You may find yourself in the unfortunate, but not unlikely situation, where a roof that was recently replaced starts to show signs of damage. If this happens, the best option is to try and see through your investment. This will mean applying temporary measures that will help you postpone roof replacement.
- You can’t afford it right now
A problem with your roof may occur at the most inopportune time. Roof repair will cost far less than roof replacement. As long as you use this as a stop-gap and not a permanent solution, you can repair the roof. But remember that the cumulative cost of frequent roof repairs may eventually be greater than the cost of a roof replacement.
- You need to retain the building’s style
If it is not possible to replace a roof without altering its architectural design, you may want to consider roof repair instead of roof replacement. This may be the case if you own a classic building or an old home from over fifty years ago. Altering the style of such buildings will affect its architectural integrity.
- You have a pressing emergency
Negotiating and funding a roof replacement takes time and sometimes you just don’t have that time. For instance, if your roof is damaged one week before your family is due to go on vacation, you may not want to cancel your travel plans on account of that. It is better to arrange a quick repair job to keep the home safe while you are away.
When to replace the roof
Most times, what determines if you should fix or replace a roof is the degree of damage. Here are a few things that will tell you when it is time to get a new roof.
- The roof is severely damage
If more than 30% of the roof is damaged, you need to replace the entire structure. If problems are widespread and frequent, that is a sign of overall roof failure. The roof should also be replaced if any of the following is evident: the roof is shedding excess granules, there is water damage in the decking, underlayment or attic, the roof is sagging, or shingles are curling at their edges.
- If the roof suffered a recent disaster
If the roof was severely damaged by a natural disaster – hurricane, tornado, or heavy snowfall – it should be replaced. A roof may also be badly damaged if a tree falls on it. In such circumstances, even if the damage seems to be limited, the internal structures of the roof will be forced out of place and the roof’s structural integrity compromised.
- The roof has reached the end of its life
If a roof has reached the end of its useful life, it should be replaced, regardless of the physical condition of the roof. Most roofing materials will last upwards of 30 years. Asphalt shingles last up to 50 years if properly maintained. Slate roofs will last more than 80 years. The date of installation, maintenance, and weather are other things that determine roof longevity.
- The roof is not up-to-code
If your roof is not in compliance with the building codes, the only way to remedy that is to replace the roof. In some locations, you are allowed to install a new layer of shingles over the old ones. But if you have exceeded the maximum number of times you are allowed to do this, replacing the roof is your only option.