Roofing: Should You Get Repairs or a Replacement?

Unexpected roof repairs can shock both the wallet and the family. Repairs are inevitable; but knowing when to get them and when to move on with roof replacement is wise. Use these questions for deciding when talks about repairs should be talks about replacements instead.

What's Your Budget? 

Your budget will dictate much of what you're willing to do about missing shingles, ice dams, and roof damage. If you can get simple repairs when necessary without too many roofing staffers around or too little privacy, you may avoid huge, more expensive repairs or a replacement for a time. Avoid waiting on roof issues whenever possible so that replacement questions won't happen for a while. 

When Was the Roof Installed?

One easy way to come to the decision about what to do is to consider the life of the roof. The average roof lifespan is about 20 to 30 years; if you know you're nearing that amount of time, replacing the whole structure might be appropriate. If you aren't sure when previous owners had work done and you've been there for some years, replacement may be a compelling option. You might even be able to peruse old permits for the address to double-check whether roofing repairs have been completed in the past.

However, if your home is new but you have roofing issues anyway, repairs may be a better choice.

How Often Are Repairs Happening?

No matter the structure's age, repeated repairs should signal that something serious is going on. If a leak is the problem and you already know that you'll have repeated sessions to fix any damaged roofing components, that's workable. However, if it always seems to be a different part of the roof or different problems, you may need to re-assess the roof's strength and dependability. Candid discussions with your roofer about the reasons for repeated work and repairs will keep you informed about what decisions are required in the future.

Is Re-Roofing a Choice?

Sometimes homeowners are stuck between either repairs or replacement. Luckily, there's another possibility. Re-roofing would include re-surfacing the roofing structure while leaving the skeleton and original roof in place. This decision isn't entirely yours; just as replacement usually involves permit applications, zoning study, and other municipal approvals, re-roofing might too. Re-roofing is often more affordable than an entire replacement roof, and it can protect your home better than spot repairs, depending on the health of the roof.

Understanding these issues allows clearer thinking regarding roofing repairs or replacement. Good communication with roofers is vital.