When it comes time to repair or replace roof shingles, making the right decision is key. A bad choice could lead to thousands of dollars in repair costs that only end up requiring a full replacement in a few years anyways. It can be a tough call since some signs of roof damage could go either way— repair or replace— such as:
- Roof leaks
- Damaged shingles
- Poor ventilation
- Hail and wind damage
You name it, your roof is going to face it at some point. But, how can you tell when simple repairs will do vs. needing to replace your entire roof? Our guide should help you know what to do!
What Are the Common Signs of Roof Damage?
Some roofs are more durable than others, like metal, wood, and tile, but that doesn’t mean they are impenetrable from damage or issues. So while our roofs are our home’s first line of defense against the elements, they are also the first to experience damage from severe weather. Some signs that your roof was damaged and needs to be repaired (or eventually replaced) include:
1) Missing, Cracked, or Lifted Shingles
If you notice any shingles are missing, cracked, or lifted after a storm, it’s time to get an inspection. Damaged shingles not only make your roof look bad but leave it open to leaks and water damage. Tarping the roof can provide temporary relief while you wait for repairs, and if your roof is newer, repair should do the trick.
2) Loss of Shingle Granules
Standard asphalt shingles have a protective layer of granules that fight the constant barrage of UV rays and inclement weather. Hail, wind, and even heavy rains can cause these granules to slough off into your gutters. When your shingles lose these granules, they are no longer protected against the elements and you can face leaks, water damage, or damage to the roof decking underneath.
3) Water Stains on Your Ceilings
If you have water stains on your ceilings, it’s a sure sign that your roof is leaking. While the leak might be small now, it will only get worse with time if left unrepaired.
4) Poor Ventilation or Insulation
If you have poor roof ventilation or insulation, it can cause your shingles to warp and rot. Not only will this lead to more repair issues down the road, but it also causes your energy bills to skyrocket in the meantime. It can also cause mold and mildew growth in your attic due to this trapped moisture in the attic.
5) Damaged or Leaky Flashing
Your roof’s flashing is the metal or rubber sealant around pipes, vents, skylights, and any other protrusions from your roof. If this sealant is damaged or missing altogether, it can cause water to seep in and cause all sorts of problems like leaks and rot.
6) Higher Than Usual Energy Bills
If you’ve noticed your energy bills have gone up but can’t figure out why it might be due to poor roof ventilation. When heat and cool air escape through the attic, it causes your HVAC system to work overtime to make up for the loss, which drives up your energy bill.
When Is It Appropriate to Repair Your Roof?
There are a few times when repairing your roof is the ideal scenario and highly beneficial for a few reasons.
Damage Is Only Minor
If the damage to your roof is only minor, it’s probably not worth replacing the entire thing. This is especially true if your roof is still relatively new or you recently had repairs done.
You can repair small leaks, replace a few shingles, and take care of other cosmetic issues without having to spend nearly as much for a new roof. The roofer that inspects your roof will know for sure whether a repair will do or if the damages are much more extensive.
You Can’t Afford a New Roof
Another time when a roof repair is a wiser choice over replacement is when you just can’t afford it. While we don’t believe that you should put off a critical roof replacement, if the cost to repair your roof is a couple hundred dollars and the cost of replacement is several thousand, the repair will obviously be more budget-friendly.
You may also be able to get away with making repairs now and then replacing your roof down the line when you’ve saved up for it or are able to finance it.
Your Roof Is Less Than 10 Years Old
If your roof is less than a decade old, repair is probably the way to go. Not only are newer roofs more resilient, but also most shingles come with a 20- or 30-year warranty.
This means that you may be able to get free repairs or replacement from the manufacturer if your shingles are damaged during the first 15 years of your roof’s life.
Additionally, the benefits of roof repair include:
- Ensuring your existing roof is well-maintained
- You can take advantage of warranties and insurance claim coverage
- You save money
- It upholds the integrity of your roof
- You can keep the same aesthetic of your existing roof
When Should You Replace Your Roof?
There are times when repairs just aren’t going to cut it and it’s time to do a full roof tear-off and replacement. This can be highly beneficial (and necessary) during some key moments.
If Your Roof Is Sagging
A sagging roof is never a good sign and is an indication of some serious structural damage. This can happen over time and if your roof is really old. Or, it can also come from a natural disaster causing massive water damage. If you have any noticeable dips or sags in your roof, it’s time to replace it before the damage becomes irreparable.
When Water Stains Keep Reappearing
If you repair a leak and the water stains keep reappearing, the leak in your roof may be more severe or hidden than you once thought. For every day water continues to leak through your roof and attic, the faster your roof will age and require replacement.
You Are Trying to Sell Your Home
A new roof can add up to $15,000 of value to your home, which can help sell it faster, while recouping funds quicker. Even if you plan to sell your home in a few years, getting a new roof now can mean you benefit from it now, but also become a huge selling point when the time comes.
Your Roof Is No Longer Up To Code
Codes for roofing change over time as new technology and materials become available. If your roof is more than 20 years old it’s probably not up to current code, which could make it difficult (and expensive) to insure.
Your Roof Has Reached the End of Its Intended Lifespan
The average lifespan of a shingle roof is 20-30 years, but this can vary depending on the type of materials used. For example, tile roofs last much longer (up to 100 years in some cases), while slate roofs have been known to last over 150 years.
If your roof was made with cheaper materials or it has experienced a lot of wear and tear, it could shorten the time of its life, thus requiring a replacement much sooner. Regular inspections (at least once a year) can help mitigate this and ensure timely repairs until its inevitable replacement comes.
Plus, the benefits of a roof replacement include:
- Getting a renewed warranty (workmanship and manufacturer)
- Boosting curb appeal and home value
- Protecting your home from water damage
- Bringing your roof up to code
Repair or Replace: Get Tectum’s Professional Recommendation
Making the decision to repair or replace your roof can be tough, but luckily you don’t have to go at it alone. Tectum Roofing is here to help with a FREE roof inspection and our best repair/replacement recommendation.
We will come out and inspect your roof, assess the damage (if any), and recommend whether or not we’ll repair or replace your roof. Contact us today to get started!