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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.

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.

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

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.


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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