Your Roof: To Repair or Replace? That is the Question

Your Roof: To Repair or Replace? That is the Question
  • Opening Intro -

    A home's roof is a critical part of the structure. It regulates temperatures in the home, keeps moisture out, and fights off storm damage.

    Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect the roof because it is so difficult to see.

    When a leak or other problem develops, the owner must make a decision whether to repair the roof or just replace the entire thing.

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Repairing a roof involves going into problem areas and replacing damaged roofing materials with new ones. This can be a perfectly good option, but there are certain circumstances where your best option is to replace the entire roof. Work through these steps to decide if your roofing contractors should be repairing or replacing.

Overall Condition

Think of a roof like a car. If a vehicle will only last 100,000 miles no matter what you do, it would be a mistake to spend very much money on it when the odometer reads 95,000. A roof is the same way. If the home was built 20 years ago with 25-year shingles and you want to make repairs now, you are probably wasting your money. That’s because the repairs will not be able to survive when the entire roof must be replaced a few years from now. You would be throwing away 20 years of their useful life by putting new shingles down now.

Signs You Need a Roof Repair:

On the other hand, a roof that is just a few years old and was damaged by weather or other factors is a good candidate for repairs. If work is done in year five of a 25-year shingle roof’s life, you are only giving up five years of life on the new shingles. So sometimes the best tool to use is a calendar! The important thing is to be thorough and to find some guidelines to help with the process.

Aesthetic Impact

A roof is a functional part of your home that also contributes to the beauty of the home. When shingles or other roofing materials are replaced only in certain places, a patchwork appearance results. This is true even if the new materials are identical to the original ones, and even if they were bought at the same time and stored for later use. That’s the impact of weather. The sun, rain, snow, and dirt that impact the roof over the years change the color and texture of roofing materials enough that you can never match them.

A home that has a roof with any significant age just may not look as good with repairs instead of replacement. You can get an idea of just how much it has changed by carefully lifting the lower edge of a shingle to expose the protected area below.

Changing Circumstances

Sometimes a new roof is necessary even if the condition of the old roof is still good. Many areas have local ordinances requiring certain building materials, roof pitches, or other features due to special weather considerations. Wildfires and heavy snow can be two very common reasons such ordinances are enacted.

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If your local government has put mandates on new construction for these reasons or similar ones, the time you make repairs might make a perfect time to proceed with a replacement in order to save the expense later on. Homes are normally grandfathered in on these laws, but they are still a good idea and could ultimately save your home.

It’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your home is on the border between replacement and repair, think about the trouble each option will save you down the road.

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Categories: Roofing and Gutters

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