Should You Invest in a New Roof or Have It Repaired?


Every roof eventually meets its end. Unfortunately, it can be hard to decide when that time is, especially since many roofs seem like all they need is a small repair or patch. If you’ve never replaced or repaired a roof, and the cost makes you worry about which is the right choice, that’s okay! In this article, we’ll break down how to tell when your roof needs a replacement and when a repair can help you save money for a little longer.

How Long Is a Roof Built To Last?

House entrance with front yard
Used with permission of Blackband Design

The average classic shingled roof is only built to last for ten-thirty years. Many roof building companies offer warranties on their shingles to ensure they’ll last a guaranteed number of years. 

If your roof has metal shingles, it may be guaranteed to last fifty years or longer, depending on the area you’re in and the materials that were used. Although these are beautiful and last longer, many don’t like them because they’re noisier and not great at keeping heat out or cold air in.

Some stretch the life of their roofs by putting on a layer of roof sealant, and although this can add ten to twenty years to your roof: if your roof is already in disrepair, it may be too late to use it.

How To Tell How Old Your Roof Is

When you purchase your home, there should be some information on the age of your roof, but if there’s none, there are a couple of ways to tell. First, look at the roof’s shingles and see if there’s aging or tough wearing down of them. This is easiest to tell by looking at an area of the roof that’s completely exposed to sunlight and the elements and comparing it against an area of the home that gets less sunlight. The more worn it is, the older it is.

If you’re buying a home and looking at the roof to consider it: ask the inspector you hire to see how old they think the roof is and if they believe a roof repair or replacement is in your near future.

When You Should Replace It

Roof with solar panel and sky in the background
Photo by Ulrich Derboven on Unsplash

Unfortunately, not every roof is fixable. Before you hire a home renovation contractor, check to see if it’s time to replace the roof fully. The best way to tell this is to look at the shingles and check if any recent leaks are from damage to them or if they generally all have the same amount of wear. Ideally, most people would want to replace their roofs before these leaks happen.

If your roof is reaching the end of its time, and you notice the shingles wearing down and strongly warping or discoloration, it’s probably time to fully replace your roof. 

When You May Be Able to Just Repair It

Sometimes a replacement isn’t the cure! If your roof is mostly in good shape, but a couple of shingles came loose, or you have a leak in one specific place: it might be time to hire a roofing contractor to fix it.

Patching it up before it gets worse can save you from having to replace your roof early. Ensure that you get it properly replaced instead of trying to patch it yourself, to take care of the insulation and stop future leaks from happening. Although you may assume you can handle it, poorly repairing a roof can lead to further damage inside and outside of your home.

How To Make Your Roof Last Longer

Exterior of the white house
Used with permission of Blackband Design

The best way to make your home last longer is to take care of it and ensure you pay attention to any warning signs like shingles moving or leaks happening. In the autumn, take the time to remove all leaves and debris and give yourself the chance to clean it off fully. In the winter, if there’s ice build-up, take a look at the insulation in your attic and get that repaired quickly. 

Although it can seem like a lot of work to keep up with your roof, making sure it doesn’t freeze or have leaves rotting on it can give it the chance to last longer. There’s nothing you can do to make a roof last forever, but you can give yourself another five years with a roof by planning ahead.

A New Roof Is Pricy: But Not Always The Wrong Choice

Even though it’s expensive to buy a new roof, sometimes it’s the best choice. When you’re looking at your roof and trying to decide if it’s the right time or not, consider how old it is, what wear and damage it has, and how much longer it might last. Although it may have another year in it: is that year worth it if the roof leaks and floods your home?  Make a careful and intelligent choice, and do what you can to make your roof last longer without the risk.

Thanks to all the companies linked above.


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