Roof Replacement Versus Roof Repair and How to Make the Right Decision

Roof repair

Shingled roofs last for years, but eventually this durable material will break down. Time and exposure to rain, snow, wind and sun is bound to take a toll on your roof. And homeowners need to respond quickly when threatened with a roof leak. Is it better to plan for a roof replacement or simply schedule a roof repair project? Will these projects require different contractors? And which is the most affordable option - both in the short term and the long term?

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing between roof replacement and roof repair. Think about:

  • The Age of Your Roof - If your roof is fairly new (less than 8 years old) you are best to consider repairs. The shingles may even be under warranty, although that coverage could be prorated. Roofs that were installed more than 12 years ago have reached the average age of an asphalt shingle roof - replacement may be in order. For those between 8 and 12 years, you will need to consider the other factors fairly closely.
  • The Extent of the Damage - An inspection will reveal exactly what the problem is. Certain issues - like damaged vents, leaking skylights or deteriorating chimney flanges - are much easier to repair than a large patch of damaged shingles. Also, if the asphalt is crumbling and shingles are extremely curled repairs may be impossible or very expensive. Small areas of deterioration can be more easily repaired than damage that spreads across a larger area or occurs in more than one spot.
  • Your Future Plans - If you are planning on staying in your home for many years to come, a roof replacement may be a better long-term investment. On the other hand, if you will be selling your home in the near future a roof repair could be the best course of action. You should ensure that the repair is done professionally and be upfront with buyers, but a repair project will cost considerably less than a replacement.

How the Time of Year Will Influence Your Decision

Hopefully you will notice there is a problem with the roof before anything major occurs. Leaks and animal infestations will create serious damage inside your attic and throughout your home. But the timing of your discovery will affect whether a repair or replacement is in order.

Roofing issues that are discovered in winter or early spring and require immediate attention (serious leaks, for example) should likely be scheduled for a repair. If that project doesn't take care of the problem or more extensive damage is uncovered in the process, a replacement project can be completed later on in the summer. Roof replacements cannot be done well in the winter, due to cold temperatures and wet, unsafe conditions.

On the other hand, issues discovered in the fall are likely to get worse over the winter. Think about the wisdom of a roofing replacement in that case, which will create adequate protection for your home. Repairing a problem at this stage can be risky - it might not correct the problem and a wet autumn and early snowfalls can cause extensive damage.

Think about whether your area of the country is at risk of heavy storms. Do you often experience hurricanes or extremely heavy snowfalls? If this season is approaching and a roofing issue has been found, you are best to complete the most extensive and durable project. Most often that is a roofing replacement project.

Budget Issues

A roof replacement project can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of your roof and the material chosen. Your budget is obviously a factor and if a problem arises, the cost will certainly come into play.

Try to consider the other factors first, since a roof repair this year could very well mean a roof replacement next year. If it would be a better value to complete the replacement project now and pay for it over the next twelve months, try to arrange that.

Calculate the interest costs and be sure the payment fits into your monthly budget. Some roofing contractors have financing plans available. And many financial institutions will provide a line of credit secured against your home, making larger home renovation projects like a roofing replacement project affordable.

How the Interior of Your Home Factors In

The condition of your home's interior should also be considered. Do you have algae growing in the attic? Or are leaks causing discoloration in the walls or ceilings? When these major issues have already occurred, a roof repair is probably not an adequate fix.

You may still need to repair elements of your interior, such as the insulation, drywall or even wood framing, but a roofing replacement will ensure the water does not find its way into your home again.

Contact a Roofing Contractor

If you are still unsure have a trusted roofing contractor take a look at the damage. Explain your situation and ask them for an honest opinion. They should be able to give you a cost for both options, allowing you to make a fair comparison.

Look for a contractor that completes both roofing repairs and replacement projects. If you are interested in a certain type of roofing (metal or tile roofs, for instance), be sure the contractor offers that service.

Ask about warranty as well, especially if you are investing in a roof repair. Find out what the warranty covers and how you should proceed if a problem occurs. A professional repair covered by a solid warranty from a reputable company is much more valuable than an inexpensive job done by an untrustworthy company that offers little to no warranty.

Issues with your roof demand immediate attention. Leaks, shingle deterioration and animal infestation are costly and inconvenient problems. Homeowners need to thoroughly assess the situation and determine whether a roof repair or a roof replacement project is the wisest course of action. Make sure your home is well protected with a quality roof that has been properly installed.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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