Do I Need to Repair or Replace my Roof?

This question frequently comes up for homeowners whenever a significant repair job is indicated, for instance after having suffered storm damage. There are several factors to consider before you make a final decision unless your budget only allows for making the least expensive correction to the problem. Assuming that you aren’t quite that constrained by budget considerations, here are some of the factors you should take into account before deciding which way to go.

Minimal damage can be repaired

If you have only sustained a few missing shingles as a result of high winds or some kind of storm, a simple replacement would be sufficient in most cases to restore integrity to your roof. You may not be able to precisely match shingle color, but it will still be worth applying a few odd pieces, in order to extend the life of your roof.

Medium damage, partial re-roofing

There are certainly times when only one section of a roof might be damaged, and this is probably the norm after some kind of severe weather – your entire roof is rarely destroyed. In this situation, a partial re-roofing might be your best bet, because it will be significantly less expensive than redoing the entire roof system. You’ll also find that matching the color to the undamaged portion of the roof is less difficult because you’re replacing an entire section.

Widespread damage, new roof

When your roofing system sustains widespread damage, it’s probably time to concede and install a new roof. It may also be that you’ve experienced some lesser level of roof damage that has caused you to think about completely replacing a roof that you know to be 20, 30, or 40 years old. This is a legitimate concern, which considers just how much life expectancy might be left in the roof, and whether or not the prudent choice is to simply install a new system.
Even when you’ve decided on a new roof, you might want to consider one more thing – should you completely re-roof, or install a new roof over the existing one? In most cases, it’s probably better to simply strip away the old roofing, so you can get right down to the roof deck level, and be sure that it’s still intact and weathertight. It’s also worth noting that shingles always adhere better to that roof deck than to another layer of shingles underneath – which you’d probably find out in the next wind storm.