Should I repair or replace my roof? That’s an age-old question, isn’t it?
Maybe you’ve experienced storm damage and need to repair your roof quickly, but it’s nearing its expected lifespan, so is it worth replacing instead? It can be hard to know, especially for the average homeowner. Ultimately, a professional inspection is the best way to know for sure, but this guide will help you make the best and most educated decision on whether to repair or replace your roof.
What’s the Difference Between Repairing and Replacing a Roof?
The first step is understanding the difference between repairing and replacing your roof because they are not the same thing. One significant difference is the cost. The average cost of roof repairs is around $1,500 (depending on the severity), while the average cost of a standard asphalt shingle roof, today, is closer to $9,000.
Repairing a roof means fixing specific areas or existing problems, such as replacing missing shingles or sealing leaks. This can usually be done without having to replace the entire roof. Times when roof repairs will suffice:
- Minor hail or debris damage
- A small roof leak occurs
- Some wind blew up or off a few shingles
- Your roof is newer
- Poor installation caused issues
Replacing a roof, on the other hand, means removing the old roof and installing a new one. This is a much more involved process and is often reserved for when a repair is no longer an option or when significant damage has been done. Times it’s appropriate to replace a roof:
- When you are trying to sell your home
- Your roof is over 20 years old
- More than 30% of your roof was damaged from a storm or other disaster
- Your warranty is up
Signs You Need to Repair Your Roof
Even if you think your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, some repairable issues can pop up and extend its life. These include:
Missing or Damaged Shingles 🌬️
This is one of the most common repairable issues and usually happens after a storm. If only a few shingles are missing or damaged, a repair is usually all that’s needed. However, if more than 30% of your shingles are missing or damaged, it’s probably time to replace the roof.
Water Spots on the Ceiling 💦
If you’ve noticed water spots on your ceiling, it’s a sign that there’s a leak in your roof. This is usually an easy repair and can be done by finding the source of the leak and patching it up or relaying new shingles and roof decking in the trouble area.
Cracked Shingles 💔
Cracked shingles are another repairable issue and usually happen due to age or severe weather, including being hit with hailstones or large debris like branches. They can be replaced with new shingles pretty easily.
Hail Damage 🌨️
Hail damage is one of the most common repairable issues and usually happens after a storm. If only a few shingles are missing or damaged, a repair is usually all that’s needed. However, if more than 30% of your shingles are missing or damaged, it’s probably time to replace the roof.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Roof
More extensive damage or an aging roof will lead homeowners toward total replacement vs. just buying time with more repairs. Signs it’s time to replace the whole thing might include:
More Than 30% Of The Roof Is Damaged 🏚️
This is a pretty clear sign that a repair isn’t going to cut it, and you’ll need to replace the whole roof. The cost and time intensiveness of the repairs for that large of an area will not bode well for your roof’s overall health or your wallet. Most honest contractors will recommend replacement in this case.
Your Roof Is Sagging or Buckling 😞
If your roof is sagging or buckling, it’s a sign of serious structural issues that cannot be repaired. A repair, in this case, would be putting a band-aid on a much bigger problem. Replacement is the only way to go.
Widespread Water Leaks 🌊
If you have water leaks in multiple places throughout your home, it’s a sign that your roof is no longer doing its job of protecting the inside of your home from the elements. A repair will only fix the immediate problem, and replacement is inevitable.
Light Shines Through the Attic 😎
If you can see sunlight shining through your attic, it means there are holes in your roof. And that’s a repair that won’t last because without replacing the entire roof decking, water will find its way in eventually and cause even more damage.
You Get Recurrent Ice Dams 🧊
Ice dams form when heat escapes from the house through the roof and melts the snow on the roof. The water then runs down to the roof’s edge and refreezes, creating a dam that prevents melting water from draining properly. This can cause severe damage to your roof and your home. If you have recurrent ice dams, it’s time to think about replacing your roof or at least reinsulating the existing attic.
Your Roof Is Over 20 Years Old 🧓
While some roofing materials can last much longer than 20 years (i.e., metal, slate, tiles), standard asphalt shingles have a lifespan between 15 and 30 years. And as you approach your roof’s expected lifespan, consider investing in longevity with a new roof and new warranties.
A Professional Roofer Can Help Determine Whether to Repair or Replace
In the end, working with a reputable roofer can best determine whether it’s time to repair your roof or replace it. Both are highly beneficial and cost-effective depending on the extent of damage, the intent of the replacement, and whether you want to upgrade to a more long-lasting material.
Bay Valley Roofing can help you navigate the process and develop a roofing solution that works for your needs and your budget— worried about paying for a roof replacement? Don’t fret— we offer convenient financing options for you! Get started here with one of our GAF Master Elite contractors.