How To Determine If Your Roof Needs Replacement or Just A Repair

The roof of a home is the primary protection from the harsh elements of the outdoors. For this reason, we want to keep our roofs in the best shape possible. Maybe you’ve recently experienced some heavy winds or even hail. Or maybe your roof is just getting up there in age and you want to assess where it’s at.

How can you possibly tell if you should have repairs made to your roof or if you need to consider getting a roof replacement? This guide from Atlanta roofers, Colony Roofers, tells you all you need to know.

We have some tips to help you evaluate your roof and determine how to move forward…

Get a Professional Opinion

Okay, okay, we know this one seems obvious, but it really is the best way to get the right answer. The rest of what we share in this guide and other guides we’ve created is great, but ultimately a seasoned professional roofer that can actually see the roof is going to have the best ability to assess its sufficiency. Bring in a roofing contractor and ask them pointed and specific questions to test their knowledge. You also want to ensure that you work with an expert who isn’t going to take advantage of the situation and automatically recommend a new roof.

Choose someone you trust and if you aren’t familiar with local contractors, do some research and find one that comes highly recommended.

Look for Common Signs That It’s Time for a New Roof

There are some obvious things you can look for on your own that might pinpoint it is time for a whole new roof. Here are a few things to watch for.

  • Cracked shingles
  • Curled edges on shingles
  • Bald spots scattered over the roof
  • You know your roof is 15+ years old
  • The entire roof is looking worn out
  • Moss growth in the shingles

These are just a few things that can be quite apparent to the naked eye. These are indicators that the entire roof should be redone and they are typically related to the overall age of the roof.

If your roof is looking weak and worn down, it’s probably time to consider getting a new one.

Understand that regular maintenance and repairs to your roof are essential to maximizing your roof’s life, so make sure you take care of it once you get a new roof!

Things That Signal A Need For Repair

Localized leaking on a roof with less than 15 years of age is likely a repairable issue. However, you’ll want to have an expert take a look at it because the water often enters the home and travels horizontally before leaking through a ceiling, chimney, or other areas.

Another issue that’s often repairable is missing or damaged shingles. Again, you’ll want to make sure the roof is not close to its useful life prior to making a repair, but if there are simply shingles that have come detached or damaged (maybe from small animals or tree limbs), they should be able to be replaced while maintaining the protection of your home.

When it comes to making repairs rather than replacing a roof, there are some things you should be aware of. It is perfectly ok to patch areas and replace shingles at certain times. However, don’t expect your roof to look uniform when you do so.

Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that there is not an underlying leak. Examine the area closely to determine whether it truly is just missing shingles or whether the decking or underlayment is potentially damaged as well. Adding new shingles to an area that has underlying damage will not prevent a leak.

If it truly is just a matter of a few missing shingles, by all means, replace those shingles! Just be sure to take a look at the big picture first.

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Here are some other issues you might run into that could potentially affect your decision.

  • Mismatched shingle color – let’s be honest. You are not going to be able to match the shingles. Even if you have extras from when the roof was done, chances are what is on the roof has faded from new. The good news is, the new will quickly fade and blend to the other shingles.
  • Misplaced moisture – have a professional check both the inside and outside space to ensure that moisture is not making its way somewhere it shouldn’t be.
  • Covering a bigger issue – just because you put shingles over that bare spot doesn’t mean you’ve done away with a bigger issue. Yes, repairs CAN be made effectively but remember sometimes there is far more to repair than meets the eye.

When Should You Repair?

Repairs can be an efficient way to save some money on a new roof. If your roof is less than 15 years old and has a couple of localized issues, making repairs is probably your best bet. Think of it like getting a new tire on your car after it’s just 3 years old. You save money and it makes sense!

New roofs are certainly not cheap and that’s why repairs are an option. There is are also times that you might choose to do repairs to prolong your roof’s life while you’re saving for a new roof.

When storm season rolls around, roofing contractors can quickly build up a waiting list and it may take several weeks before they get to your roof. Repairs could help in the meantime.

Roof repair can be a great idea for these reasons and more.

If your roof has any kind of warranty, a repair may be the way to go, unless of course there is underlying damage that needs to be addressed.

Consider why you need a repair. Understanding what’s led to the need for a repair may be a great way to know whether a repair is the best option. Is the issue just cosmetic in nature’s is there more to it?

When Should You Replace?

There comes a time when you simply have to give in and replace the roof. The need for a replacement is typically related to the age of the roof, how extensive the damage is, and whether there is a leak involved.

If your roof is quite old (20-30 years), it’s time to replace it.

If your roof is leaking extensively, sagging, or showing signs of heavy wear, it’s time to replace it.

If the roof shows signs of extensive damage (even from a storm), it’s time to replace it.

The cost of repairs needed as your roof ages will be a large determinant in how you should proceed. Think about it, if your roof is 17 years old and had an expected life of 20 years when it was installed, does it really make sense to spend $2000 to repair the roof and risk that you’ll need more repairs to other areas of the roof in the near future? Or does it make more sense to go ahead and pay the extra to have it replaced so you have no extra costs for the next 20+ years? I think it’s pretty obvious which is best.

Conclusion

Roof repairs are often a great way to handle your roof’s issues but be aware that repairs don’t solve everything. Simply pay attention to the warnings that your home naturally gives you and trust the experts to lead you in the right direction. If you need roof repairs Atlanta expert Colony Roofers can help you out.

When it’s time to replace, just do it. If you work with a contractor that understands storm damage and can help you through the claim filing process, your insurance company could potentially help with the cost as well!

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21 Comments

  1. 1

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting such an awesome article. I’ve been meaning to do a photo walkaround on my roof and this reminded me. Especially the part about hiring a professional! Great advice on roof replacement!

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    My roof was damaged, and I’m not sure how to put it together properly. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to help me out with this. That seems like a good way to ensure that I put everything together nice.

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    I just read your article on determining if you need to repair or replace roof. I loved it! I have a gut feeling that my roof needs replacing but wanted to get the opinion of someone who knows what they are talking about. Thank you for posting this awesome article.

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    There are some obvious things you can look for on your roof like cracked shingles, curled edges on shingles and bald spots scattered over the roof might be replace or repair needs for roof.

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    If your roof is over 20 years old, it might be time to completely remove and replace your old shingles. Even signs of water damage such as water stains or presence of mold, and if missing, curled, or cracked shingles.

  10. 10

    After a bad storm, you should go outside and walk around your house to see if any shingles have blown off. And also Try to find any loose flashing around the outside of your house.

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    When you see multiple leaks, better replace it immediately than just sealing the wholes away. Harsh weather could also deteriorate your roof performance quickly than expected so the time period of last replacement could not be a good basis for replacing.

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    In most cases, all you would need is a repair job, not a whole roof replacement. However, if you’ve been frequently inconvenienced by leaks or other signs of roof damage, then maybe it’s time to opt for a replacement. Roofing is a very big expense, but it is also a lifetime investment since they usually last for decades without needing replacement. It’s best to learn more on the costs associated with roof replacements and the issues to be addressed before opting for one before you actually go out and buy a new roof. Roofs are very expensive and some people even take out loans just to invest in high quality roofs.

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