When your home's roof is starting to show signs that it is wearing down, homeowners tend to ask themselves the same question: Should it be repaired or replaced? While a repair is usually preferred because it is much cheaper in the end, sometimes replacement is the better option. In fact, doing a repair on a roof that clearly needs replacement will just lead to spending more money by not getting it replaced from the start. Here are 3 ways to help you decide which option will be best for your home.
The Age Of The Roof
A great way to figure out if it's time to replace a roof is its age. Each type of roofing material has a different life expectancy. Some popular materials include:
- Asphalt shingles: 15-25 years
- Wood shingles: 10-20 years
- Wood shakes: 20-40 years
- Metal roofing: 20-60 years
If your home's roof is below this age range, try repairing the roof first. Once the roof reaches the maximum age range, the material will decay at a faster rate. This makes spot repair not very practical as a long-term solution.
The Roof's Structure
A common problem with an older roof is leaking, but sometimes leaks are not a big enough reason to warrant replacement. What you must consider is the structural integrity of the roof itself. If the joists and roof deck are still in great condition, the best option could be to do spot repairs. If the leaks are caused by storm damage, the repair costs may be covered by your homeowner's insurance.
Keep in mind that even if the structure of the roof is good, consistent problems with leaks can justify replacement. Since the structure is solid, you could do a cheaper roof replacement by having a layover roof installed that doesn't require ripping off all of the old shingles.
The Condition of The Shingles
If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, there are ways that you can tell that that need replacement. Start by looking at the ends of the shingles and if they are curling upwards. Individual shingles that are curling can be replaced on their own, but if a lot of them are looking out of shape, replacing the whole roof should be considered.
You will also want to look at the texture of asphalt shingles to determine if the granular surface is washing away. This will require taking an up close look at the shingles, since the granular pieces tend to wash away and end up in your gutters. Shingles that are looking bare will need to be replaced before the entire shingle deteriorates.
If you need help doing asphalt shingle repair or replacement, contact a professional roofer in your area.