One of the biggest questions homeowners have regarding their roof is: ?should I repair or replace it??
Many would choose to just make repairs because it is cheaper than replacing a section of the roof or the entire roof. However, there are times when repairs are appropriate and there are times when a replacement is necessary. There are lots of homeowners who go the cheap route and ignore the need for replacing the roof and instead choose to make simple repairs thinking that is enough to extend the functionality of the roof. The problem is that some roofing problems cannot be answered by merely doing repairs, and these problems will sooner or later surface again leading to more expenses.
When to repair and when to replace?
Even the least expensive of roofing materials is guaranteed to last 15-20 years. However, with the changes in the atmosphere, shingles now tend to become brittle and their lifespan considerably reduced. The degradation in the quality of their material also decreases their efficiency in protecting the roof from the elements, especially water and the damage it can cause to the roofing structure and other parts of the house.
So should you repair your roof or replace it?
Most roof leaks can be repaired since leaks are usually caused by problematic flashing between two roof components like the roof and chimney or roof and wall.
A few damaged or loose shingles can also be repaired or replaced easily without the need for overhauling the entire roof structure.
When there is major damage to the shingle materials, i.e. when they have become too brittle and cracked that the roof is virtually exposed to water, then replacement may be necessary. A work around could be a spot repair IF the roof surface can still obviously last a long time. However, if the roof is nearing the 20-year or so mark, a replacement is the best way to go.
If replacing, should you replace the roof completely?
When replacing a roof, you have the choice of either removing the old roof and installing a new one or adding a new layer atop the old roof. Your decision will depend on how long you plan to stay in the house.
If you plan to live there for many years, a brand new roof is best:
– New materials with longer lifespan (20+ years)
– Secure sealing
– The latest in underlayment materials are used
If you are staying only for a few years,
then a second layer is the practical option but it also depends on the following:
– Existing roofing is in good condition and one layer thick
– Old shingles compatible with the new application
– Old roof has strong decking
Bear in mind however that a second layer of roof won?t last as long as a new one and that could affect the market price of your home should you decide to sell it.