Freeman Exteriors

Roof Leak: Do You Repair or Replace?

eaking roof or pipe burst: woman calling insurance or plumber

Water makes us feel calm. Lounging by the pool, playing at the beach, or taking a warm shower can wash away the stress of the day and leave you recharged for tomorrow. 

But this couldn’t be farther from the truth when that water is dripping through your roof. 

A roof leak equals a lot of stress and money spent. But do you have to repair or replace your roof when this happens? We’ve put together this guide to help you pick the right options for your home. 

So let’s get started! 

What Should You Do If You Get a Roof Leak?

First of all, don’t panic. 

Just because your roof springs a leak doesn’t mean the whole thing is failing. While you’ll want to ack fast so you prevent the damage from getting any worse, you aren’t facing a pressing emergency (unless the leak is severe). 

Put a bucket under the leak and figure out whether you can patch the leak with a simple repair or if it’s time for a full roof replacement. Not sure how to choose? Here are a few tips to follow. 

Repairing or Replacing Your Roof: Things to Consider 

Start by asking yourself a few questions about the condition of your roof and your financial situation. These will help you narrow down the pros and cons to the best choice for your home (and your wallet). 


Depending on the material, roofs can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years (or even longer). Odds are, you’ve never had to worry about replacing your roof before, which means it might be starting to fail. 

Don’t know how old your roof is?

There are a few ways to get a rough estimate. If you see any of the following on your home, you have an old roof: 

  • Curling or blistering shingles 
  • Missing shingles 
  • Bald shingles 
  • Moss growth 
  • Sagging 

Go outside and take a look at your roof. If it seems like your roof is past its prime, it might be a better idea to go ahead and replace it than try to get by with a patch job. While a patch might fix the problem now, more and more leaks will continue to pop up over time. 

Your Budget 

Roof replacements are large, extensive projects, meaning they cost a lot of money. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, this might not be something you can afford. 

Figure out how much both options will cost

A patch job can keep the water out of your house and give you more time to save for a replacement later if necessary. 

However, keep in mind, while a repair might be cheaper upfront, it can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Old roofs have more problems and fixing them costs more money. A roof replacement can actually save you money in the long run. 

It’s always a better idea to replace your roof if it is reaching the end of its lifespan instead of trying to keep it going with repairs. 


If you have an older or unique roof, it might be hard to find shingles (or other material) that match what you have on your home. In some cases, it can be basically impossible. You might end up with a small section of your roof that’s a completely different color than the rest of it. 

Don’t like that idea? Replacing your roof might be the only way to get a seamless fix. 

That said, spending all that money on a full replacement if the rest of your roof is still in good condition likely isn’t worth it. In this case, you might just have to find the closest match you can and call it good. 

How Long Do You Plan to Stay in the Home?

If you’re only staying in the home for another year, it might be a good idea to put off a replacement and choose a small repair instead. After you move, the new owners of the home can spend the money on the replacement instead. You won’t get to recoup the value of the new roof if you leave soon after replacing it.  

However, selling a home with an old roof can be difficult. You’ll probably get less money in the sale, which may make it worth replacing the roof anyway. 

Finding a Compromise – Partial Reroofing 

Do repairing and replacing your roof both sound like bad options? There is one more route to choose from. If one section of your roof is much more damaged than the others (and the rest of the roof is still in relatively good condition), you can choose to partially reroof your home. 

This will fix the problem area but won’t be as expensive as a full roof replacement, which can give you the best of both worlds. 

How to Decide Between Repairing and Replacing Your Roof 

Still not sure what the best choice is for your home if you get a roof leak? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Freeman Exteriors! 

Tell us about the damage, and we’ll help you decide the right way to fix the problem, both structurally and financially. To make sure we’re giving you the best service, we’ll take a look at your roof ourselves before we recommend the next steps. This way you know what we suggest will work for your roof. 

Give us a call at 217-355-5447 today! 

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Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman

Freeman Exteriors is a family owned and operated general contracting company. We specialize in roofing and commercial renovations. We serve Champaign County, Vermilion County, including Champaign, Danville, Paris, IL and Crawfordsville, Covington, West Lafayette, IN and surrounding areas. Our goal is to be the general contractor of choice through our pledge to maintain the highest quality of standards and workmanship. Give us a call today to begin your next project!

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