Roof Replacement vs. Repair: How to Decide

roof replacement vs repair

At some point, every homeowner will be faced with the decision as to whether they need roof replacement vs. repair. Are the issues and damages okay to repair, or does the entire roof need to be replaced? Does the age of your roof matter? These are common questions homeowners are faced with at some time or another.

The roof of your home isn’t like other renovations you might make. The condition of your roof affects every room in your home. Energy efficiency depends on the condition of your roof and how much heat or air loss might be occurring. You want to make sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to repairing or replacing your roof.

Loose or Missing Shingles

If you have a few loose or missing shingles that may not be anything to worry too much about. It’s fairly simple to replace shingles and doesn’t cost too much. If you have a lot of shingles missing however, this might indicate your roof needs to be replaced rather than just patched up. Also look for granules of shingles material in your gutters as this is a sign of advanced wear and means that it’s time to replace the entire roof.

Leaky Spots

Minor leaks may also be something that can be patched up but need immediate attention and must be done properly. Even a slight amount of water can do a lot of damage and turn into expensive repairs. Dark or discolored spots are signs of significant water damage. It’s highly recommended that you consult a professional roofer to get any leaks patched so the problem doesn’t get worse.

Sagging

Sagging or bulging spots on the roof is a sign that your roof needs to be replaced SOON! These are signs that your roof could be on the verge of collapsing. For serious issues like this, DO NOT delay in calling in a roofing professional. By addressing the problems quickly, you can avoid costlier repairs later on.

Age

Finally, the age of your roof is an indicator of repairing or replacing it. Typically, if it is over 20 years old, it’s either time for a new roof or it’s getting very close to it. Keep in mind, there are some roofing materials that are exempt from this rule. Tile, metal and concrete roofs almost never need to be replaced unless there is extensive damage from a storm for example.

Keeping up with routine maintenance and performing regular inspections can help extend the life of your roof. By making repairs quickly you can avoid more severe problems later on.

All of these factors can help you determine whether or not you need roof replacement vs. repair before you decide to contact a professional.

Checklist: Hiring a Roofing Contractor

hire a roofing contractor

Hiring a roofing contractor may seem like a daunting task. You need to know a few things before you hire someone. Will you be replacing your entire roof? Do you have leaks you need to repair? Do you have storm damage? Here’s a helpful checklist to help with the process:

Define the Project

Make a list of your project needs, including a list of all materials needed. This would include what type of roofing you want to use and whether this is a complete replacement or a repair. Even if you are replacing the complete roof if you have leaks be sure to mention that.

✅ Call Your Insurance Agent

If your roof repairs are due to storm damage you’ll need to first make a claim with your insurance company. They may have a list of approved contractors and will send someone out to evaluate your claim, give you an estimate of about what they’ll pay to repair it, and what your deductible is.

✅ Ask Family & Friends for Referrals

Many times family and/or friends will have had roofing work done and can suggest someone to you. They’ll be able to tell you if they were satisfied with the work and if it was done on time and within budget.

✅ Check the Facts

Once you have a list of recommendations be sure to do your homework. Check to make sure they have licensing, certification and insurance. You should be able to find websites that give you more info about each of the referrals. You can also call them and ask them for licensing info before you arrange for them to take a look at your project.

✅ Invite Contractors to Bid

Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices you can invite two or three different contractors to bid on your project. Tell them you want very detailed bidding to explain exactly what is covered and what is not covered in the bid. You’ll also want a timeline to know how long the project is going to take and what you may need to do to prepare.

✅ Evaluate the Bids

Look over each bid and pick at least two you like. Keep in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best choice. Pick the bid that covers the most work, has the best timelines, the best details and seems the most professional. Then you can move onto the interviewing process.

✅Interview the Winning Bids

Now you’re ready to talk to each of the winning bids to ask a few remaining questions. What type of laborers they’ll be using, are they bonded and insured for this type of job, and how experienced they are at doing a project like yours. Try to ask each company the same questions so you can judge fairly. Ask them when they can start.

Now you’re ready for actually hiring a roofing contractor. Check all references and make sure their licenses and insurance are up to date. Since you’ve done the necessary work ahead of time, it’s likely you’ll have a good experience with your roofing project.