Should You Repair, Patch, or Replace Your Roof?

Every homeowner comes to that point when they have to consider whether it’s time to replace their roof, or if a repair is all that’s needed. You’re probably at that point right now, and are wondering what is your best bet in this situation.

Making good decisions at times like this will be important to preserving the value of your home, and keeping it in good shape. But there’s a lot to think about, and many situations that may swing your decision one way or the other. For instance, you might view the problem with your roof as a fundamental defect that requires reroofing, when in actual fact a repair may be the better solution.

We know how hard this decision can be, so we called on our roofing experts here at GBC Remodeling and have had them weigh in on the discussion. Should you repair your roof, or are you at the point where nothing but roof replacement will suffice? Here’s all you should know.

When should you repair your roof?

Repair is often the first point of consideration for both homeowners and roofing experts. This is because it often represents a gentler outlay, both financially and in terms of effort. If you are considering repair, here are circumstances when this can be a good decision:

  • Minor damage: Obviously, there’s no need to spring for a new roof when all you have is a minor issue with your roof. Minor issues will include a leak, mold, or problems with very small areas of the roof. Replacement of a few shingles also qualifies as minor damage. In these cases, total replacement may be excessive.
  • Quick service: Repair can be a handy option when you have discovered concerning damage on your roof, but do not have the time for lengthy repairs. If left alone, a roof leak can deteriorate quickly, but if you have to leave town shortly, a roofing expert can help conduct some palliative work at short notice. But keep in mind that you may need to do a more thorough job as soon as you have enough time to consider and negotiate roof replacement.
  • Recent replacement: If you recently replaced your roof, it may be best to see that investment through before attempting another replacement. Roofs are typically built to last decades, meaning some damage from heavy rains or a snowstorm may not be enough to warrant a replacement. If you have concerns that some real damage has been done to the structural integrity of the roof, then calling in various expert opinions before making a decision might be best.
  • Tight budget: A replacement roof is a great thing to have, but not when the cost is well outside your budget. If you do not have the immediate funds for a total replacement, going for a repair instead may save you thousands of dollars. In any case, you should consider having a specialist come out to look at the problem before making a decision. What may seem like a significant problem at first may actually be remediable by some targeted repair work.
  • Aesthetics: Finally, repair is often a compelling option when you need to preserve the aesthetics or architectural uniqueness of your roof. If you live in a classic home with a distinctive roof, you likely want to keep it as close to its original shape as possible, so you don’t tank its value. With roof repairs, this is more easily done than with a full replacement.

When is a replacement roof necessary?

roof replacement

Replacement begins to factor into the discussion when repair is simply insufficient to solve the identified issues. Here are scenarios when you may begin to seriously consider replacement:

  • Extensive damage: If you have discovered severe damage to your roof, replacement may be your only option. Instances of severe damage may include rotting beams or extensive mold that covers a large expanse of the roof. A good rule of thumb is – if the damage exceeds 30% of your total roof area, you should be considering a reroof.
  • Recent natural event: Weather events can be very hard on a house, especially its roof. Strong winds, driving rain, and heavy snow can all cause significant damage that weakens the structural integrity of your roof. The damage caused by these kinds of events can be hard to see or estimate from a superficial inspection though. While you may only see a few missing or cracked shingles on the outside, there may be more significant problems such as cracked or broken beams, or serious leaks. You should invite a roofing specialist to conduct a thorough inspect before making a decision here.
  • The relative cost of repairs: Although repair represents a lower financial outlay than reroofing, there may be a point where that cost difference is minimal. If the cost of repair puts you a few hundred dollars within the cost of replacement, it may be better to spring for a replacement instead. This way you can comprehensively fix the identified problems, and enjoy the increased curb appeal that a new roof provides.
  • Roof has expired: Age is an important factor to keep in mind when considering replacement. This is because the older a roof gets, the more problems you’re likely to see springing up. Besides, when you consider that the roof will need to get replaced in a few years, it may make more financial sense to purchase a replacement now instead of conducting expensive repairs.
  • Non-compliance with codes: If your roof is not in compliance with modern building codes, you may have no option but to get a replacement. Although this may not be a problem while you hold possession of the property, you may face problems should you decide to sell in future.
  • Opting for a new roof: Lastly, you may decide to get a new roof simply to enjoy the advantages of the fresh, new look a replacement roof provides. If you are looking to dramatically increase the curb appeal of your home, transform its façade, or boost your home value, then a replacement roof can be a good option.

What should you do next?

Considering the different circumstances that will dictate how you address the question of repair vs replacement, it makes sense to get some help before making a decision. A certified roofing specialist can assist with a thorough inspection of the issues you have identified with your roof, and help you understand if the problem is merely superficial or one requiring a lot of work.

This assessment, and the advice a specialist can provide, will help you make a decision that preserves your home value, and the good condition of your home. At GBC Remodeling, we have assisted residents of San Diego with their roofing needs for over 30 years, and will be happy to lend you our expertise. Contact us today so we can get started on helping you make the best decision possible.