repair or replace roof

Should you Replace or Repair your Roof? These 6 Key Factors will Help you Decide

When faced with roof damage, homeowners often panic due to the urgency of the situation. Any delay may result in further damage, removing the chance of a repair altogether. 

Nonetheless, it is important to be able to differentiate between when a repair is needed and when a total replacement is necessary. What constitutes a roof repair and what does a replacement entail?

What is roof repair, and what does it entail?

Roof repair is required when a tiny portion of the roof has suffered damage due to exposure to UV rays, hurricane impact or old age. These areas can easily be fixed by replacing broken or lost shingles or other types of roofing materials you have on your building. 

Roof repair is more common than you think as every homeowner has to face it one time or the other. Proper maintenance may reduce the damage but eventually, you will need it. Neglecting the damage, however, is what leads to the need for a replacement. 

When you notice a leak or light penetration in your roof, carrying out an inspection is the first smart thing to do. This assessment can be done by using a ladder or binoculars to spot the affected area and the extent of the damage. However, because you cannot do a thorough inspection, a roofing expert should be contacted for the job. 

What is roof replacement, and what does it entail? 

A roof replacement is recommended when the entire roof has degraded and needs to be removed to install a new one. Unlike the repair where only the bad portion of the roof is replaced, here the whole roof is stripped. 

As expected, replacement is much more expensive and time-consuming compared to repair. The contractor inspects the deck for damages, prepares the deck for a new roof and installs a new one. 

It is important to note that if you are going to file an insurance claim, you must keep your policy provider in the know before replacing the roof. Insurance companies like to know the cause of roof damage before approving a replacement cost. 

Now that you know the difference between a roof repair and a replacement, you should also know the basic factors to consider before deciding on which is best for you. 

Factors to Consider when Deciding between a Roof Repair and Roof Replacement

1. Age

Before tearing down your entire roof or settling for a repair, you should consider how old it is. Every roofing material has a life expectancy so if your roof is old and has exceeded its life expectancy, then you most likely need a roof replacement. 

If your current roofing material is shingles, they should last up to 20-25 years if well maintained while metal roofs should last up to 50-70 years. If your roofs have completed their lifespan, then repair is a trap.

2. Area of the Roof Affected

The area affected is also a major determinant. If the damage is spread across the roof, repair may cost almost as much as a replacement so it’s economically wise to go for a replacement. 

If the damage is however restricted to only a small part, a repair should suffice.

3. The Condition of your Roof

The extent of the damage can help determine what solution is best for your roof. If the roof has suffered up to 50℅ damage, it may be too complex to repair. An instance is when a tree crashed over your roof, breaking your shingles, a full replacement may be recommended by an expert.

4. How long do you plan to occupy your home?

If you plan to stay in your home for much longer, you still have more time to tackle repair work and maybe have a maintenance routine in place. If you plan on selling your home, however, go for a roof replacement if the damage is much. It will also get your property off the market early. 

5. Insurance claim

Before deciding on replacement or repair, enquire with your insurance provider if the damage type is included in your policy. Your policy may cover storm damage but not wear and tear or poor installation. 

If it’s your first insurance claim, it is advisable you work with contractors who have experience handling roofing insurance claims.

Final Thoughts

Roof repair or replacement is no minor home project, they both require careful and informed thoughts before making a choice. If you make the wrong choice, you will face the consequences early enough or much later. 

The point is to make the right choice. Why was so much money on a new roof when the old one can serve you for a few years more? Likewise, you do not want to bear the repair cost only to find out that the damage is way worse than you suspected. Hence, the need for a professional inspection. 

Finally, when hiring a roofing contractor, ensure that they are at least familiar with the building codes and roofing requirements in your state.