Roof issues and roof replacement can make many homeowners understandably worried… Roofs are a big investment and there are many questions to consider when needing to replace or repair one. Luckily there’s also more options than ever before, and if you check out the possibilities online, you may be thoroughly surprised!
One of the age-old questions with roofs is “repair or replace?”. And sometimes just repairing a roof can be the best choice.
However, if any of the three reasons below apply to you , you should start considering repairing or replacing your roof entirely.
When To Replace Your Roof
Your roof has signs of physical damage
Even if your roof has served you spot-on, you shouldn’t ignore signs of physical wear like cracks, missing shingles, or bent roof flashing. Sooner or later, water is going to start seeping through a damaged roof – it’s just a matter of time.
Right now, it may seem that your roof is holding up, but with time, the cracks will inevitably become deeper if you don’t take action.
You found a leak
If you find dripping water or wet spots in the attic, your roof needs at least a good repair. If you don’t do anything, then you could end up having to deal with :
- Attic and ceiling damage.
- Interior mold and mildew.
- Health issues associated with mold.
- Fire hazard due to shorted wires.
- Slip and fall hazard.
- Wasted energy and higher utility bills due to compromised roof insulation.
- Compromised structural integrity.
Do these sound like serious consequences that you should try to prevent, even at high costs? Absolutely.
Your roof is out of warranty
If your roof is out of warranty or is more than 20 years old, replacing it now could save you from huge costs in the future. If an old roof starts leaking, it’s more likely that your property will become severely damaged than with a new roof.
If a leak leads to damage to the wood sheathing beneath the shingles, you will need to spend money not only on a new roof but also on new sheathing. This could add several thousand dollars to the invoice!
In addition, if you wait too long to repair or replace a roof and then suffer an unfortunate event, your insurance company could try to refuse to pay out on the claim, arguing that you were negligent in not addressing the issue sooner.
So rather than wait until you have no other choice than to replace your old roof, start considering your options now.
To Repair Or To Replace Your Roof?
If your roof’s condition is far from perfect, you have two options – you can either repair the roof or entirely replace it.
It’s obvious that a completely new roof is a much bigger investment than a minor repair. And most people would not want to needlessly replace their roof.
But how do you know what’s the right course of action for your situation?
Well, you should have your roof repaired in case of minor or moderate damage . If only a small area of your roof is affected and the rest is completely fine, then there’s no need to splurge on an entire roof.
With that said, finding matching materials for an older roof may be challenging, especially if your roof has a unique texture or is decades old. So if aesthetics matter to you, you may want to install a new roof.
You could also replace your roof purely to enjoy the benefits of modern roofing materials. Today’s roofs are better than ever at reflecting sunlight and keeping out moisture.
Last but not least, replace your roof if there is widespread damage. Damage localized to one area of the roof can be repaired. But if the damage is likely to spread to the rest of the roof or has already done so, the most cost-effective option would be to replace the roof.
What Roof Replacement Options Do You Have?
These days, the five most popular residential roofing materials are as follows :
- Asphalt shingles. These are cheap and very popular in the US, but their durability is not as great as some of the other options.
- Wood roofing. Wood makes for the most beautiful roofs, but it is more expensive than asphalt and requires more maintenance than other materials.
- Metal roofing. Metal roofing is very durable and not too expensive. Modern technology also makes metal roofs resistant to rust, keeps them quiet during rain (or even pleasant-sounding), and ensures good insulation.
- Tile roofing. Very tough and expensive, tile roofing is kind of a luxury option. Tile is very attractive as well and may considerably increase the value of your home.
- Slate roofing. This kind of roofing is second to none when it comes to durability, but not everybody will like its appearance. Slate roofing can sometimes be astronomically expensive as well.
Most roofers do have these materials at their disposal, but some will do a better job than others. It goes without saying that you should carefully research roofing contractors in your area, and only hire those who are licensed + bonded + insured, and who have solid references from past customers.
Consider Your Roofing Options Before Making A Decision
As a general rule, you should get bids from at least 3 contractors before making a choice. This may involve some work, as it may take 20 phone calls to schedule 5-6 appointments to get those three bids. Doing the work upfront is much better than hiring a dishonest or subpar contractor however!
The good news is that there are more and better options for roofing today than ever before, and if you haven’t researched the possibilities in awhile, you might be very pleasantly surprised!
“Roofing Buying Guide”, Consumer Reports, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/roofing/buying-guide/index.htm.
“7 Unexpected Dangers of a Leaky Roof”, Angie’s List, https://www.angieslist.com/articles/7-unexpected-dangers-leaky-roof.htm.
“Roof Replacement VS. Roof Repair: Which One Is Right For You?”, Owens Corning, https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/tools/reroof-vs-roof-repair.
“Knowing When To Repair or Replace Different Roofing Materials”, HomeAdvisor, https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/repair-or-replace-roofing/.