According to Remodeling Magazine, a new roof can add between $15,000-$24,000 to the value of your home. This number is appealing to homeowners. However, like anything of value, it comes with a price.
The average cost of a new roof ranges from $8,000-$15,000. Therefore, homeowners deciding between roof repair and replacement shouldn’t take their decision lightly.
In deciding whether to repair or replace roof damage to your home, you should consider several factors. These include the age of your roof, the frequency with which it has needed repairs, the cause of the damage, and its extent.
Read on to explore these factors.
As a roof ages, deterioration is inevitable. While roofs made with slate, copper, and tile can last upwards of 50 years, most roofs have an average lifespan of 20-30 years.
Roof warranties can cover this lifespan, making repairs during the term of the warranty the logical choice. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that warranties tend to cover defects in materials or craftsmanship. They don’t cover damage due to normal wear and tear or other causes, like extreme weather. Plus, warranties expire.
If your roof is older and requires extensive repairs that fall outside the warranty or your warranty has expired, roof replacement may be the way to go.
Frequency of Repairs
Related to your roof’s age is the frequency of repairs. Perhaps this isn’t the first time you’re investigating roof repairs. Maybe you’ve invested in several seemingly minor roof repairs over the past year or even the past few years.
If so, it may be time to replace your roof. Investing in a series of “minor” repairs can become a game of whack-a-mole where you just can’t win. Signs that patch jobs just aren’t doing the job include:
- Fixing one problem only to discover another
- Fixing one problem only for the same problem to pop up elsewhere
- Repairs that just don’t seem to stick
It’s usually not a good idea to fix the same problem repeatedly. These repairs signal a broader problem and the need for a replacement roof.
Causes and Extent of Roof Damage
Among the most common reasons homeowners seek to repair or replace their roof is simple wear and tear over time. However, other causes can contribute. Identifying these causes and evaluating the extent of the damage can help you decide whether to repair or replace your roof.
Lack of Maintenance
An annual roof maintenance routine includes inspecting the roof and removing debris from the roof and gutter system. Falling behind on this routine can speed up normal wear and tear. It can also allow what could have been minor and fixable problems to become sources of significant damage.
If your roof has fallen into significant disrepair, it may be best to replace it.
Roofs also deteriorate before their time due to improper installation. While warranties can cover this type of damage, you’ll need evidence that poor craftsmanship is the cause.
Because craftsmanship lays the foundation of a strong roof, flaws in the craftsmanship tend to cause significant damage. This is especially true if the flaws go unnoticed, and the damage worsens.
In these cases, replacing your roof may make more economical and longterm sense.
From water damage to extreme heat and cold to high winds and storms, Mother Nature possesses an impressive arsenal. That arsenal can wreak havoc on your roof.
Damage from High Winds and Storms
In fact, damage from storms is among the most common reasons homeowners seek emergency roof repair services.
Professional roofing experts can usually repair or replace roof shingles quickly, easily, and relatively inexpensively. Cases of isolated damage from wind or fallen tree branches, therefore, tend not to require a full roof replacement.
However, more extensive storm damage, including damage to the overall structure of the roof, may require more extensive repairs. As these repairs become more costly, replacement makes better sense.
Damage from Extreme Heat and Moisture
Other kinds of weather damage can also damage your roof by speeding up your roof’s aging process.
Heat can damage your roof by causing its structural elements, like rafters, joists, decking, and support beams, to expand. Water damage from humidity and undetected leaks can also warp these structures, causing the roof to sag. Furthermore, it can allow mold to grow, which weakens the roof overall.
When the roof’s structures expand, warp, or weaken, the roof’s flashing can break, producing leaks. Plastic flashing that has already been damaged by the hot sun is especially prone to breakage.
While heat can expand wood structures, it can also cause shingles to shrink, loosen, and blister. Here, heat from the outside and heat from inside the attic can be the culprit.
Again, roof repairmen can replace flashing, patch isolated leaks, and replace sections of damaged shingles. However, extensive damage and multiple leaks may signal the need for a replacement roof.
Damage from Extreme Cold and Ice
Most residential roofs are sloped roofs, which face the most significant winter weather threat from ice damming. Being able to recognize and address ice dams when they form is essential to preventing or limiting damage.
Ice dams form when ice gathers at the roof’s edge. These dams are problematic because they allow melting snow to pool on your roof. As water pools, it makes its way beneath the shingles and leaks into the structure of your roof. Undetected, it can produce mold, mildew, and structural decay.
Ice dams can also damage your home’s gutter system. Therefore, they require quick action.
Even better than removing ice dams, however, is preventing them in the first place. Commercial roof repair experts can assess your existing roofing, insulation, and ventilation systems and recommend improvements.
Other Benefits of a New Roof
As an added bonus, the improvements that come with a new roof will also incorporate the latest technology and materials. This means that a roof replacement is likely to increase the energy efficiency of your home. It may also qualify you for tax credits and discounts on your homeowner’s insurance.
Roof Repair or Replacement: The Decision Isn’t Over Your Head
Putting a roof over your head and over the heads of your family members is a vital element of the American Dream. It’s also necessary for your peace of mind.
That’s only true, though, when the roof over your head is solid. Like anything “solid,” roofs deteriorate over time. They’re also vulnerable to damage from outside factors.
Knowing when to repair or replace your roof is essential to ensuring that your American Dream doesn’t disintegrate along with your damaged roof.