Recently, a good friend had to face a tough decision about the condition of her roof. And whether she should repair or place it. That got me thinking about how to decide whether to repair or replace your roof. It’s a decision you need to research well before making. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some possibilities you need to consider first.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?
There is no denying that replacing a roof is a huge expense for any homeowner, especially if your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it. But when you stop to consider that it is the first line of defense between you and the exterior elements. Of course, maintaining a roof is an essential part of keeping your home safe.
There are times when repairs can extend the life of your roof. And others when it might just be throwing good money after bad. However, before you decide to hire a roofing company to either put a bandage on the problem or rip off the bandaid and start over, there are things that you have to consider to make the right choice.
Some Factors That Can Cause Roof Damage
Many things add stress to your roofing material and lead to gradual damage that may ruin your roof’s integrity.
Below, these things can take a toll on your roof:
- Wind – Wind can be incredibly destructive when it is really blowing. It can lead to shingles being lifted, which allows water to get underneath and to seep into the boards beneath the shingles, which can lead to rot of the underlayment. Once started, rot can do a whole lot of damage, and unfortunately, since it is on the roof, it isn’t easy to spot.
- Condensation – If your roof doesn’t have sufficient ventilation in the attic, it can cause a large discrepancy between the attic temperature and the roofing material, which can lead to condensation and moisture problems.
- Sun – Over time sun exposure can also affect your roofing material. It leads to gradual degradation in the strength and resilience of the roof.
- Snow and ice – If you live in a region where you experience snow and ice, it can lead to a freeze-and-unfreeze situation. That can put a whole lot of wear and tear on your roofing material, especially if you don’t have the proper gutter system to accommodate it.
- Rain – If you have shingles that are already damaged and you don’t know it, that can lead to water getting into your home via the attic, the walls, electrical system or insulation.
- Debris – If you have large trees that hang over your home, leaves and other seeds can get stuck on your roof and cause rotting, or damaged limbs can fall, leading to injury and damage to the roofing material.
When It’s Time To Replace Your Roof
The biggest determination for whether you should repair or replace is the extent of the damage. And whether it is something that you can fix or like a snag in a sweater that continues to unravel.
Below, you’ll find some reasons to consider for replacement of your roof
- Water damage or moisture issues – Moisture and water are two of the most destructive forces to construction. If repairing the roof will do nothing to stop water and moisture issues, then it is time to just tear it off and start again. Changing out a shingle or two isn’t going to change the fact that you are going to end up with water damage and the potential for rot and mold.
- Damaged or missing shingles – If you just have a missing shingle or two, then it is okay to replace them; you probably don’t need to replace the entire roof. But if more than 30% of your roofing shingles are missing, then it is time to replace.
- Was there a recent storm or catastrophe? – If there was recently a storm in your area that caused a significant amount of damage, then you might be able to get your homeowners insurance to pay for your roof. It is much better to replace when you have the help and means to do so.
- Age – Even if you fix the roof, if it is nearing the end of its lifespan, then it is smarter just to redo it than to continue to throw money into repairs, knowing the inevitable is right around the corner. If it is a newer roof, you might want to see if repairs are under warranty.
Always Research Your Options
Like many homeowners, we are always repairing, replacing, and improving our homes. We even took out an insurance policy on all of our appliances. We did this to ensure we wouldn’t get hit with a huge repair bill. But, unfortunately, it seems like something always requires repairing! And when faced with a huge decision like whether or not to repair or replace your roof, you can’t take things lightly.
We had a few shingles blow off of our roof during hurricane Sandy, and it was a scary feeling. Thankfully, we repaired them easily, and the damage could have been far worse! We don’t have any large trees surrounding our home as they are at safe distances from our house.
There’s also some good info on Bob Vila’s website about whether or not you should repair or replace your roof; that’s good reading as well. Remember, arming yourself with information is key when making this decision.
My friend will end up repairing her roof, which is good. She researched her options and was armed with good information before she decided. It got me thinking about my roof and my siding too. In addition to losing some roof tiles, we lost some siding during Sandy. And any bad storm can give us a repeat performance!
No one wants to spend money if they don’t have to. When it comes to a roof, however, ignoring the need for a new one might end up costing you a whole lot more. To make the best decision about replacing or repairing, consider all the above factors.