How to Know When to Repair or Replace Your Roof

repair or replace my roof

Roofing replacements can be quite expensive, but sometimes a patch roofing repair isn’t enough

Here are the tips you need to decide if a roof should be replaced or if a repair is sufficient.
Taking care of a home can be difficult when you’re not a professional carpenter, architect, or plumber. Many people make the mistake of dumping more money into a project than necessary. The opposite is also true, people try to do as little as possible to repair a problem only to spend more time and money in the future to fix the problem again; this can be said for most any home improvement repair.

3 Signs You Can Repair a Roof

minor roof repair

1. Only a few random shingles are missing or cracked

This is perhaps the most obvious circumstance. If you live in area with heavy winds, or your roof is just getting a little old and some of the shingles have peeled off, have a professional come look at it. They’ll likely just tell you all you need is a small roll of new shingles, as the supports in your attic are probably still holding up.

2. Your roof is less than 10 years old

If there’s a visibly damaged section, such as the wind example above or perhaps a leak, and your roof has a projected value of about 20 years left, it’s probably not necessary to replace the entire roof. It’s safe to assume the rest of it is structurally sound (but it’s always a good idea to have a professional opinion).

3. The decking and support boards in the attic are intact

If there’s a chunk of your roof that looks beat-up, but the roofing boards in your attic have no moisture damage and are holding up just fine, you won’t need to replace the entire roof and a patch job should be sufficient.

5 Signs Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

entire roof replacement

1. The shingles appear to be fine but the roof deck is damaged

Unfortunately, laying new shingles won’t fix a decking underside that’s been subjected to age and other wear and tear. Fortunately, plenty of roofing contractors include decking replacements in their shingling patches. How can you tell whether the roof deck is damaged by looking at the shingles?

If you’re walking on your roof and feel a bouncy, trampoline-like sensation, this is a sign that your supports are weakening. If you can go into your attic and see any daylight coming in through the slats or rot along the supports, this is a more obvious sign that your roof needs a replacement.

2. Shingles are curling and buckling

This is a tell-tale sign that your roof is getting old : shingles begin to curl up on the edges as a result of prolonged exposure to the elements, such as sun and wind. Alternatively, shingle edges could stay flat but the middle could hunch up to make a cupped shape – this may look different, but it’s generally indicative of similar damage.

3. You’re noticing shingle granules in your rain gutters or on the ground

This is a sign that your shingles are nearing the end of their life expectancy, as their protective coats are beginning to wear off. If all of your shingles were installed at the same time (which is the most likely case), then it’s more likely that you’ll need to replace the whole roof rather than patching up one section.

4. Your current shingles are laid over an older layer

Most state codes prohibit having more than two layers of shingles on your roof at a time. Even if you technically only need to repair one small section and the whole roof isn’t damaged, it’s probably in your best interest to scrape up all the old layers and replace the whole roof.

5. The roof has areas that seem to be sinking or sagging

You should be able to spot a sagging roof even from the ground. If you see obvious sagging, call a contractor right away – there’s no need to check for curling shingles, loose granules, damaged decking, or any of the other symptoms. A sagging roof means that the supports are wearing out, which could lead to leaks in the best-case scenario and collapse in the worst.

Replacing a roof instead of repairing it could be the better deal

When in doubt, think about how much it’s going to cost. Depending on the extent of the patch job, a new roof may be the best bet in the long run. For example, if a patch job is going to cost $3,000 and you can have the entire roof replaced for $6,500, it might be smarter to make the investment now instead of waiting.

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TeamEstrellaAuthor posts

Juan del Leon is the owner of Estrella Roofing Company in Phoenix, Arizona. He has severed Arizona since 1997 with repair and installation services. Throughout the years he has gained knowledge of of the industry and utilizes his website as a place to blog about his experiences and share his expertise.

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