Roof Repair vs Replacement

by Josh Champagne on January 3, 2016

asphalt shingle new roof repair vs replacementRoofs will all eventually wear out and need replacement. The question is, how do you know if your roof just needs a quick roof repair job or whether it needs to be completely replaced? If you replace your roof to soon, you might just be throwing money away. Alternatively, if your roof is in terrible condition and has multiple leaks over a wide area, you may end up spending more money in the long run due to water damage in your home’s interior. To know which decision is right for you, let’s look at a few key factors in deciding to repair or replace a roof.

Roof Repair vs Replacement: The Statistics

Here in the US, according to Remodeling’s Cost-vs-Value Report, the average cost for a new asphalt shingle roof is just under $20,000. If you were to sell your home, you would recoup about 62% of that cost. Depending on materials, your roof replacement could cost significnatly more. For example, some high end roofing materials like standing-seam metal roofs could cost you as much as $40,000. If you have a smaller rolled rubber flat roof, your cost may be as low as $7-10,000.

But, back to the question of whether you actually need to spend all that money on replacement or whether a low cost fix will keep your home protected for a few more years. As a rule of thumb, if your roof is in good shape, it makes better sense to repair any small leaks that might occur. If however, you are approaching the end of the roof’s expected lifetime, you might need to consider the possibility of a replacement.

Keep an eye out for signs of a leaking roof

Check your roof once a year. If you can’t see your roof from the ground and aren’t too keen on climbing ladders, you can always get a reputable local roofer to come out and inspect it for you. Jaylan Martin, a local roofing contractor in Lancaster, PA says, “Early signs that your roof might need some attention would include water marks on interior ceilings, paint peeling off your roof’s overhang and soffit areas, and any extra humidity or mold spots on walls and ceilings directly below your roof.”

If you inspect your roof from the exterior of your home, look for missing or damaged shingles, loose flashing or damaged sealant around chimneys and worn areas around pipes and skylights. Another concern is large areas of roofing covered by creeping ivy, dark green moss or light green or brown lichens. Any kind of green growing plants with a root system in your roof is going to compromise the protection from the elements your roof provides for your home.

When to Choose a Roof Repair

When your roof is in overall good condition, you can usually get it fixed quickly and eliminate any risk of ongoing damage to your home. The cost of the average roof repair will run between $75 to $1,000 depending on the complexity of the repair and which materials are needed. Keep in mind, if the cause of damage is hail, wind or other weather related event, your insurance will probably pay for the repair. Most home insurance companies do require you to do everything in your power to prevent further damage. So, get out those tarps. Or, call a local roofing company who can come out as soon as possible to cover the damaged area with a tarp to prevent leaks causing more damage to the home’s interior.

When to Choose a Roof Replacement

With a roof replacement costing as low as $5,000 to as high as $40,000 and up, it isn’t a decision to make lightly. If however, your roof is in generally poor condition and won’t benefit from yet another repair, it’s time to bite the bullet and find a way to pay for a new one. Once you know you need to buy a new roof, you will need to find a reputable roofing contractor. Check home improvement directories like Yelp, Angie’s List or even the Better Business Bureau and get several bids for the roof replacement. Most bids should be fairly close in price. While tempting, you might not want to go for the lowest bidder. Going cheap on a new roof will only mean more repairs in the future. Pay for quality materials and workmanship and your new roof will reward you by protecting your home and loved ones for years to come.

Related Resources:
National Roofing Contractors Association – http://www.nrca.net/
GAF Roofing Contractors Directory – http://www.gaf.com/Roofing/Contractors
Professional Roofing Magazine – http://www.professionalroofing.net/
Roofing Contractor Magazine – http://www.roofingcontractor.com/
City Line Roofing – Lancaster PA Roofing Contractor – http://www.citylineroofingpa.com

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