Repair or Replacement? Getting Advice from a Roofer

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Is Roof Recovery Right For You?

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If you have a roof that is having problems with leaks, deterioration or insulation issues, then you might wonder if replacing the entire roof is the solution. Depending on the problems and your roof's overall condition, you may only need to have it recovered and not entirely torn off. Recovering your roof means laying down a new membrane and set of shingles on top of your existing materials without tearing down the entire structure. Though recovery can be cost-effective, it is not an option for everyone. Here are some things to consider before deciding on recovering or replacing your roof.

How damaged is your roof?

Repairing and recovering works mostly for minor problems such as spot leaks or insulation issues, especially if the trouble is mostly in a few small areas. Have your roof examined to find out how much of your roof needs to be repaired. If more than a quarter to a third of your roof needs repair, then you will be better off replacing your roof.

How old is your roof?

Roofs are generally designed to last at least 20 years or more depending on the materials and climate. If your roof is older than that, you might want to think about replacement. Newer innovations in roofing materials and technology may be available to provide even better insulation and efficiency than what was originally installed by a professional roof installation company in your home to begin with.

How long do you want the repair to last?

If the amount of repairs needed are not extensive and you're hoping to put off replacing your roof for a few more years while you save for a new roof, then recovering may be a better option. If your roof is old and you have structural problems with the home or roof supports, then this will probably not be cost-effective and could make things worse.

Has your roof been recovered before?

International codes state that a roof can only be recovered one time, so if you've already had your roof recovered, you may not be able to do it a second time. Recovering sometimes causes issues with moisture between the membranes and can facilitate mold growth. Added membranes and other materials can also add weight to the roof and cause additional problems with insulation and ventilation.

If your roof is experiencing leaks and moisture issues and you think recovering it will solve the problem, then talk to a roofing professional. Roofs made of certain materials, such as shake or clay, may not be able to be recovered. Older or severely damaged structures may not benefit from recovering. The roofer can do an inspection and determine whether or not your roof needs a full replacement, recovering or a simple fix.