Roofs are an essential defense against harsh weather and elements, keeping you secure day and night inside your home. Without the reliable protection of your roof, your home would be unlivable. But when your roof is experiencing problems, how do you decide how to solve them? Choosing to repair vs. replace a roof can be a tricky decision for any homeowner.
Check out this article to learn the differences between roof repair and replacement. Find out the pros and cons of getting a new roof and the contrasts between roof repair and replacement costs. Don’t wait to get your roof fixed — discover the best option for your home with this information and get your house back in shape in no time.
What Is Roof Repair?
Roof repair involves fixing minor, more superficial damages to your roof. Repairing your existing roof can give it a longer life and prevent more severe damage if done correctly. Since roofs often last 25 years or longer, homeowners will have to deal with a repair at some point.
Roof repair involves isolating a small portion of your roof where the damage is and fixing the issue in that one section. The repair process might involve fixing small holes, replacing missing shingles and filling in small gaps.
While you might be able to see some of the problems from the ground, a roofing contractor will evaluate the roof safely and effectively. They’ll check the entire roof and make the necessary repairs to get your roof back in great condition.
What Is Roof Replacement?
A roof replacement involves just that — removing your existing roof and replacing it with a new one. Roofers strip off the roof decking and replace it with completely fresh material to give you a new roof. Replacement is more involved than repair, so you can expect it to take longer.
While repairs are great for solving minor issues, there comes a time when a complete replacement is necessary. Maybe your roof is simply too old to protect your home the way it once did or your area recently experienced severe weather that damaged it. If your roof has missing shingles, excessive leaks or other serious problems as a result of age or excessive wear and tear, a roofing company may determine that a replacement is the best option for your home.
What Is Re-Roofing?
Re-roofing is a step that’s more involved than repairs and less expensive than replacing a roof. Both re-roofing and roof replacement give you new shingles and an updated roofing system, with a few key differences. There’s no dismantling of the existing roof with re-roofing — shingles and new material are placed directly on top of the old ones. Because of this, re-roofing is less expensive, intensive and time-consuming than a complete replacement.
However, because re-roofing is just covering up existing problems with new material, you aren’t fully correcting your roof issues. This will give your roof more time, but some areas don’t allow more than two layers of shingles on a roof for safety reasons. If your roof already has two layers, you’ll probably have to get a replacement anyway.
While re-roofing is a suitable fix for the short-term, you’ll have to get a new roof eventually. Re-roofing can save you money in the present, but you’re better off getting the recommended repairs or replacements. A replacement might cost you more upfront, though you’ll save money in the long run with a new, durable replacement than through a quick fix re-roofing.
Things to Consider When Debating Roof Repair vs. Replacement
While picking new furniture or deciding to re-paint your home is a relatively simple decision for most people, choosing between roof repair and replacement costs is more complicated. Roof work is more involved, expensive and intrusive than many other home improvement projects, so you must do your research and see what’s most affordable and suitable for your situation.
The last thing anyone wants is to get roof repair work done only to discover there’s a deeper issue with the roof and a total replacement is necessary. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend money on a complete roof replacement when less-expensive roof repairs could have done the job just as well.
Here are some points you should consider when looking to repair vs. replace a residential roof:
1. The Roof’s Age
Roofs are built to last you many years — well-constructed roofs withstand harsh conditions like wind, snow, hail and sun. They’re crucial to the comfort and safety of your home. But even though they’re built to last, roofs won’t hold up forever. Like everything, your roof has a predicted life span based on its materials, installation and environment.
While some materials take longer to break down than others, after around 25 years or so, you should consider getting a roof inspection to see if you need a new roof. A roofing contractor can evaluate the condition of your roof to see if it’s nearing the end of its life and if replacement is an option.
As your roof gets older, you might notice signs of deterioration. The older a roof gets, the more problems you’ll see and the more repairs you’ll have to make. Deciding whether to repair or replace often comes down to cost and roof age. If your roof is old and requires extensive repairs, a replacement is usually more cost-effective.
2. The Roof’s Budget
You can’t invest in an entirely new roof if it’s outside your budget. In most cases, as long as your roof isn’t too old or severely damaged, a roof repair will work well. Talk to your roofing contractor about your options. Making the necessary repairs might be less expensive than an entire replacement. If your roof is in generally good condition aside from a few problems, repairs are often easier, more affordable and smarter for your home.
What happens if you need a roof replacement but the cost is too high? This is where finding a high-quality roofing company pays off. Some roofing companies offer low-interest financing to help you take care of your home without stretching yourself too thin. Talk to your contractor about your options and see if you can find a plan that works for you.
3. How Long You’ll Be in Your Home
The amount of time you plan to stay in your home might affect your roofing decision.
If you plan to stay in the house for a while, but it’s not your forever home, repairs might be the best decision. This option is less expensive and could take care of the problem for a few more years. Getting repairs and simply investing in regular maintenance could significantly extend your roof’s life.
On the other hand, home renovations are often a great way to bump up the resale value of your home. Any serious roof problems or deteriorating conditions could lead to problems selling the home. A bad roof might not pass inspection or could turn away potential buyers. If you have time before moving to complete a full roof renovation, you should consider it to help you get the best selling price possible.
4. The Roof’s Condition
The overall condition of your roof is a good marker for comparing a roof repair vs. replacement. Your roof might appear to have more damage than it really does. For example, you might have a hole in your roof from a fallen tree — this could look like a fix but might end up being an entire replacement.
If the roof damage is moderate or even minor — covering less than a third of the roof — a roof repair is probably the easiest and best choice. However, if you get a roofer to look at the structure, they might uncover more issues than you thought existed.
Regardless of what you think your roof needs, always get an expert to look at it before making any decisions. They’ll have the knowledge and experience to correctly evaluate your roof for the best solution going forward.
When to Repair Your Roof
If you’re looking into fixing your roof issues, a repair will probably be the first option you choose. If you don’t need a complete roof overhaul, that will be the most economical option. Generally, you’ll want to choose roof repair for minor to moderate issues.
Some situations that usually call for repair include:
- Minor tree damage
- Fascia replacement
- Poor maintenance
- Missing shingles
- Ventilation problems
- Granule loss
- Punctures and holes
Benefits of Roof Repair
Are you considering roof repair? There are many benefits to choosing repair for your home. If you think your roof needs some fixing up, here are a few of the advantages of getting a roof repair:
Most of the time, roof repairs are more affordable than roof replacements. Since roof repairs handle smaller problems like minor holes, leaks, gaps and shingle replacements, they don’t cost nearly as much as roof replacements.
Your roof system itself lasts much longer than its smaller components, which can easily be repaired when they wear out. With a roof repair, you can fix the issue without removing the entire roof structure, reducing your costs while giving your roof back.
Roof repairs have the benefit of being quicker than roof replacements. Since moderate and minor issues don’t affect most of your roof structure, they’ll take less time to complete. While roof replacements can take several days, roof repairs can typically be completed in a day or less. You don’t have to worry about roofing activities occupying your home for multiple days and disturbing your routine — you only need to block out a day for repairs.
3. Increase Roof Life
Overall, getting repairs for smaller roofing problems will help you save money and get the most out of your roof. If there’s no need to replace your roof, repairs will help correct moderate issues and keep your home secure through a newly strengthened roof. A repaired, well-maintained roof will also last longer, ensuring you get the most out of your initial investment.
Disadvantages of Roof Repair
While there are several benefits to roof repairs, there are some drawbacks, as well. Some potential disadvantages of roof repairs could set you back long-term, so do your research before getting any work done. Make sure repairs are what’s best for your home and always vet your roofing company thoroughly, so you know you’re getting the best service possible.
1. Poor Work
Unfortunately, not every roofing company will deliver good repairs. It takes specialized training to perform roof work safely and correctly. Hiring a not-so-experienced company or doing the work on your own is dangerous and ineffective. In some cases, not trusting your roofing project to a quality company can create more damage.
Research your roofing company thoroughly to ensure they’re reliable, efficient and qualified to perform your roof work.
2. Mismatched Shingles
Without a complete replacement, it might be challenging to maintain a cohesive roof look. As time passes, your roof is exposed to constant sunlight and elemental pressures. This leads to fading, and new shingles and replacement components won’t have the same wear as older pieces, so the color will differ from the original sections. This could reduce your home’s curb appeal since the newer shingles will be much more noticeable.
3. Cover Existing Problems
Finally, roof repairs might only cover up existing problems. If you aren’t getting work done from an experienced, professional company, you might end up hiding a larger, underlying problem. Leaks and moisture can sometimes seep into the roof structure, causing rot and mold. If this goes unnoticed and is accidentally covered up during repairs, the underlying issue will only worsen.
Get a roof inspection before committing to a repair. This way, you’ll get the full scope of the problem before diving into the project.
When to Replace Your Roof
A roof replacement is a big investment — you have to work out the logistics of budgeting, materials and time with your roofing company. However, a replacement is an effective way to restore the security and quality of your home, especially if you experience frequent roof issues. Roof replacements are valuable investments if done the right way at the right time.
You should consider replacing your roof if your roof is:
- Old or past its life expectancy
- Hit by extreme weather
- More expensive to repair
- Severely water damaged
- Sagging or drooping
Benefits of Roof Replacement
Replacing your roof can be a great long-term investment and give your home new life. Some of the benefits of a roof replacement include:
1. Improves Curb Appeal
Installing a new roof will boost your home’s curb appeal and value. New roofs mean better efficiency, technology and appearance. You can completely revamp the look of your home with a roof replacement. This is a huge improvement for many homeowners, especially if you’re looking to sell soon.
2. Addresses All Roofing Problems
While repairs fix minor problems, a full roof replacement will allow you to resolve every issue. Serious damages or structural problems hidden under surface repairs will become apparent and you can be sure you’ve corrected your roof problems. Additionally, you’ll save money long-term with a complete replacement since the new roof will have all new material and none of the issues of the existing roof.
3. Renewed Roof Life
While roof repairs are made to the existing roof, which still has older parts that will need replacing or fixing in the future, a new roof is a clean start. Replacement roofs involve brand-new materials and components that will last much longer than repairs on an old roof.
Disadvantages of Roof Replacement
While there are many reasons to choose a roof replacement, you’ll have to consider the disadvantages, too. Look for a reputable, insured roofer for your replacement — they’ll cover some of the disadvantages of a replacement, such as:
Roof replacements are more expensive than repairs. They involve more materials, time and labor, so they require a more considerable investment upfront. The existing roof will need to be removed and any underlying damages will need correcting. Additionally, if you get higher-end materials and features with your installation, these will cost extra.
While installing an entirely new roof won’t be inexpensive, it’ll be a rewarding and practical investment for your home.
2. Intrusive Work
A roof replacement is more intensive and involved than roof repairs. Tearing up and installing new materials will be a nuisance if you’re home during the work. Additionally, replacements might take a few days to complete, depending on the project scope and any setbacks that occur. This will leave you in a bit of a transition until the work is finished. If you’re typically home all day, you might have to get out of the house for a while to avoid all the work that’s going on.
Consult Coldstream Exteriors for Roofing Assistance
Don’t leave your roofing investment to just anyone. At Coldstream Exteriors, we have over 25 years of experience with roofing repairs and replacements. We’ll look at your roof for free and help you find the best solution for your roofing needs.
What’s more, we carry a variety of high-quality roofing materials for roof replacements at affordable costs. Additionally, we offer 0% and low-interest financing options, so you can rest assured you’re getting the right roof for the right price.
As an A+ rated company by the Better Business Bureau, you can trust you’ll receive premium roofing services from our expert team when you need them. To schedule your free inspection, contact us and get your roof project started today!