Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?
You notice a water stain on your ceiling and locate the source of the problem. Or so you think! The problem with water is that it can go anywhere—and when it does, it can cause a lot of damage and destruction. Have you seen the Grand Canyon? Before you risk life and limb scaling your roof and slapping on a patch that might not be a real fix, check with the professionals. A patch on a porch might be perfectly fine, but if your roof is old and there’s damage on multiple spots, it’s wiser to replace your whole roof. Roof repairs can also create a larger problem because they disrupt already worn materials around the intended integration of new materials. Often it creates a new leak in a different surrounding spot. Even a small leak can turn into a big problem and wind up costing you the patch, the roof, and everything it protects.
When to Repair Your Roof
Roof repair involves patching up holes or small gaps and replacing damaged or missing shingles or other roof materials. It usually only requires work on a small portion of your roof. You might be able to get away with a repair when:
- Your Asphalt Roof Is Still Relatively New: A newly installed asphalt shingle roofing system should last 20 to 25 years. If the roofing was installed over an existing layer of shingles, it won’t last quite as long. Clay roof tiles and metal roofs have even longer warranties. Unless your roof incurred extensive damage, you might get by with repairs. But before you pay for them, check your warranty; you may be covered.
- Leaks are only around pipes and vents: Rubber, tar and plastic are often used around some pipes and vents. These materials can degrade faster than your roofing material resulting in a leak. It may be easy to replace this material and prevent water from leaking into your home.
- Damage is Limited to a Small Section of the Roof: If you lost a few shingles in a severe storm, you may be able to do a patch and repair. Or if it’s only a portion of the roof, a repair might work. In fact, if you’re working with an insurance company, sometimes they will only cover a repair. Unless you can convince them—with proof—that the damage is more extensive than it looks. Call in an expert to inspect and assess.
When to Replace Your Roof
Even if there’s damage to only a portion of your roof, it’s generally wise to replace the entire roof. Especially if your roof is older, the faded shingles won’t match the news ones and the rest of your roof will need to be replaced soon enough. You’ll wind up paying more when you repair in piecemeal. On the other hand, you may be able to save some money by laying over existing shingles. Some roofers will suggest that if your roof has a single layer of shingles and only minor damage, that you can install new roofing material on top of the old roof. But while a layover may stop a current leak, it could also create other issues such as ventilation problems. Obviously two layers of shingles is a bit stifling paired with the fact that the ventilation is rarely if ever addressed at the time of shingle install. A layover can be done in some circumstances but is often not recommended. And if you already have two layers of shingles, you are required to tear them off, since the International Residential Code doesn’t allow three layers due to weight.
Here are examples when you should replace your roof:
- Significant Storm Damage: Storms can wreak havoc on roofs and leave both visible and invisible damage. Work with your insurance company, but don’t hesitate to get advice from an expert too. Some states require insurance companies to pay to replace a roof after a storm if more 25 percent of the roof is damaged but you may need a replacement with even less damage.
- Sagging Roof: Sagging is a severe problem and a warning sign that your roof is at risk of collapsing. Replacement is urgent.
- Missing, Damaged, or Deteriorated Shingles: If many of your shingles are blistering, have extensive moss or algae growth, are shrinking or curling, or if more than a few are missing, replace the roof before your problems grow faster than the moss.
- Unavailability of Shingle Type, Style, or Color: You may go to patch your roof only to discover the roof tile manufacturers no longer offer the same color or design that you have now. Or the fade-to-new look might be so stark that it aesthetically displeasing. Mismatched shingles probably aren’t the look you want for your home.
At NOW Remodeling, we’re happy to inspect your roof for free. Located in Boise, Idaho and Spokane and Richland, Washington, we are Preferred Contractors for CertainTeed Roofing Systems. Because we install roofing systems to the exact manufacturer specifications, we provide you with a double lifetime warranty that covers products and labor. Request a free roof inspection or quote today.