Your house roof is one of the most exposed parts of your house. Every day it battles with elements like heat and moisture during different seasons. It is not regular for homeowners to repair or replace roofing and only seek it when needed. Such leaks in the ceiling or a speck of light coming from the roof would have you thinking about the best option; is it to repair or replace your roof?
The scary part is when leaks from previous rainy days reach the electrical wiring and cause short circuits, or worse, damage your equipment at home. Hence, a regular check-up for damages and repairs could help save you from all these hassles.
Roof Repair Vs. Roof Replacement
It is essential to know when you should have your roof repaired and when is the time for a new one. Let us differentiate the two and help you decide the best option for your house roofing.
Roof repairs pertain to fixing damages without replacing major parts of your roof. We do this by applying a patch, coat, or sealant. Small leaks are the common damages that a repair can fix. Roof repairs are generally inexpensive, especially if the roof is under five years of use. However, these repairs must be planned well and be done by professionals to ensure that appropriate repairs are made, and you would not waste any money.
Roof replacements occur when the roof is badly damaged and is considered beyond repair. This means you would be installing new materials in place of the old roofing, as the damage cannot be saved with a simple patch-up or sealant.
Replacing a roof comes with a substantial cost but would do best for your roofing, especially if the roof has become a major issue in your household. It is best to contact professionals rather than do it alone, as the job requires knowledge and skills for the best results.
Indicators to Have Your Roof Repaired or Replaced
To further help you decide whether to get your roof repaired or replaced, I have listed some things to give thought to for your next roof project.
1. Roof Age
It is best to know when your roof was installed and its type of material as an indication if it needs replacement or repair. If it has been through storm damage or has been housing you for years, leading to leaks, the best way to go around this is to replace it.
This option is better than having to pay for repairs repeatedly and getting the same problems. A one-time investment for roofing that lasts for decades could save you lots of money for roof repairs. However, if the roof is under five years old and has some minor damages, a simple repair would do.
2. Expanse of Roof Damage
The extent of roof damage differs but generally falls into two categories, aesthetic and structural damage. The aesthetic damage is easily seen in the roof’s appearance. If the roofing material is extremely old and worn, with moss, dark streaks, and algae buildup, then a replacement is what you need.
Structural damage is seen on curled or cupped edges on asphalt, tile or wood shingles, or dented wood or metal roofing components. If this is the case, a patch-up will cover some of the damaged parts of the roof. But if the patch-up didn’t work, a replacement is needed.
3. Your Budget
The cost of roof repair or replacement is one of the top considerations you need to look into. Roof replacements generally cost more than repairs. However, if you constantly pay for repairs over the years, the cost may equal or even exceed the total cost of replacement, so knowing the right choice will help you save money.
If you are unsure of your options and the amount you’ll need to prepare, it is best to contact a roof repair specialist and let them do the assessment. The roofing contractor will give you budget estimates on repair vs. replacement.
While complete roof replacement is more ideal than multiple repairs, it does not mean that you won’t need repairs in the future. So, be smart with your choices and weigh both factors that your contractor will tell you. After all, you have the last call, and the contractor will just guide you.
4. Roof Leaks
Leaks are one of the top indications that a roof is deteriorating and needs repair or replacement. We commonly see this in residential areas, and homeowners often have difficulty searching for its source. Water stains running across the ceiling and along the walls could be a great sign that your roof is leaky and needs repair or replacement.
When left unsolved, these leaky roofs would further lead to greater problems such as mold growth, rotting of framing and roof sheathing, destroyed insulation, and damaged ceilings. A common solution to this is using a sealant to patch up the holes and open spaces in your roof.
However, over time, these sealants may still deteriorate. When a roof no longer accepts the aid of these adhesives, then roof replacement would be your only option.
5. Geographical Area of Your House
If you reside in an area that is highly vulnerable to hail storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, then a roof repair and replacement are not new to you. It is essential to replace missing shingles and other roof parts right after a storm. This prevents further issues like leaks and rotting in the future.
Always make it a habit to let a roofing expert look into your roof for possible repairs or replacement. As homeowners, some damages won’t be easily visible to our eyes, but experts could easily discern them.
Pros and Cons of Roof Repair and Replacement
Although roof repairs are not always ideal in certain situations, it is better than doing nothing, especially when you start having issues with your roof. Roof repairs are affordable and do not take long. It also expands the life of your roofing.
However, replacing a few shingles on your roof would be hard on the color matching, as the replacement would not match the original color. This would further affect the aesthetic factor of your roof. Furthermore, poor work on patches may lead to other problems or can mask an underlying problem you just don’t see as a non-expert.
On the other hand, roof replacement is a bigger investment on your part but addresses all your roofing problems, especially the ones that are hard to detect. A new roof can also increase your home’s energy efficiency and significantly reduce utility bills. It also lasts longer than repairs do.
When to Choose Roof Repair
1. The Roof Only Has a Minor Damage
A total replacement of a minorly damaged roof would be costly. Roofs are meant to last for years, and it is more often than we get them repaired rather than replacing them each time there is minor damage. Roofing specialists could patch up small holes, so there is no need to invest in a new one.
2. Architectural Integrity of the Roof
Some houses or establishments have a certain design that when you change any part of it, like the roofing, you’ll inevitably change its whole look. Roof repairs would allow you to retain the structure’s design with minimal to no changes.
3. When the Budget is Tight
If your budget is tight, a repair is a smart choice to prolong the life of your roof. You could save thousands of dollars in roof repairs compared to total roof replacement. You might have also done this in your other equipment at home to save you money and time.
4. You Need the Repair Service Immediately
Roof replacement takes a lot of time and planning and would not be recommended if you are pinched for time. If you discover a leaky roof and need it to be serviced immediately, calling for a roof repair is the best option.
5. The Roof Was Replaced Recently
If a roof has been recently installed or replaced, and there is already a leak or damage, repairs on certain parts would do. Roofs are made to last for years, so there is no need to replace them with a new one if it is recently installed.
When to Have Your Roof Replaced
1. Roof Has Reached the Sell-by Date
Roofs made to last for decades also have their time for deterioration. Upon reaching certain years of use, roofs should be replaced with a new one, as the old material would not do its job best because of its old age.
2. Roof is Damaged Beyond Repair
When the roof is repaired many times, but the same issue arises or worsens every time, it is safe to say that a replacement is the best option. You would be surprised to know that the sum of your repair costs would equal or even be more than the price of getting a replacement.
3. Damaged Due to Recent Natural Disaster
You’ll be left with no other choice but to replace your roofing after being hit by a natural disaster like storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes. It may seem like the roof is still intact after the disaster, but your roofing expert should check underlying issues for your and your family’s safety.
4. You Plan to Install a New Roof
If you are considering installing a new roof, then repairs would not be needed, as all these would be addressed and solved with a new set of roofing.
5. Repeated Repairs
Observe how often you have your roof repaired and notice if the same problem arises every time you have them fixed. If so, then maybe the repair is not working and is just a stop-gap. Have a good look at your roofing and assess whether the damages could be fixed with a repair or if a replacement is badly needed.