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Is it Better to Replace or Repair Your Roof?

Your roof is a vital piece of your home. Ensuring you get the best out of it lies in the decisions you make now and in the future. Long-term costs can be reduced while optimal performance can be maximized. Reroofing is a complex job and the decisions you make before hiring a contractor are imperative to the process.

repair or replace roof

First, analyze and determine if your roof is damaged enough for a repair or replacement. Patching leaks and torn shingles may occur, but is it bad enough for a complete overhaul or simple repairs? No matter what you choose, there are consequences either way.

Shingles are easily replaceable if they are damaged, as well as inexpensive. Damaged and torn shingles are removed with new ones installed in its place. The patch job may not suite your current roof however, because more than likely you don’t have your existing roof’s shingles lying around as spares and may have to buy new shingles. Replacing the shingles can still be worth it despite this dilemma, as it would extend the life of the roof by 1o to 15 years. If you plan to sell the home soon, ask a contractor to find the shingles closest to your existing ones for better aesthetics.

Reroofing part of the roof is an option if the damage is confined to one side of the roof. This will reduce your costs by thousands of dollars than replacing the entire roof. It can be easier to blend the new with old if you were to just repair the damaged section, as small color differences will be less noticeable.

Based on cost per square, partial reroofing jobs are more expensive and add more problems. For instance, an asphalt roof with two plus layers will need removal for the reroofing process to work. Labor and disposal costs will increase due to the removal of additional layers of an asphalt roof. Partial reroofing can cause lopsided ridge effects and humps, making it not so pleasing to the eye and can cause future headaches.

Is it Cheaper Long-Term to Get a New Roof?

If you find that part of your roof is showing signs of wear, consider doing the whole roof while you have your contractor on sight with the crew’s equipment. Doing a whole reworking of the roof despite just a part needing repair, can save on costs. For example, one part of a four-sided hip roof can need $2,500  in repairs, but to do the whole roof would be $8,000. You will save $2,000 down the road by doing the whole roof.

A question that may arise is, when is the best time to reroof? That depends on several factors, such as the season, climate and how bad is the damage. If a severe storm were to pass by and you needed to replace just a few shingles, it may be in your best interest to do a touch-up if the damage is not that bad. Going to a home goods store to get a few shingles can save you hundreds, maybe even doing it yourself.

If a powerful hurricane however came through removing dozens of shingles, it will require more shingles and materials. You may find this is a good opportunity to get shingles that are for high-impact wind areas, which have six nails per shingle instead of four. Getting more durable, improved adhesive shingles may also be in your best interest.

Overlay or Tear Off?

You’ve decided you want to reroof, but unsure if you want to add a layer over the existing roof or tear it completely off. It’s up to you based on the cost and if the investment is right for you in the future. Getting the job done now can minimize expenses and reduce the risk of anything worse from happening.

Having two layers of shingles already means the decision has been made. International Residential Code (R907.3) states you cannot put a new roof over two or more applications on any type of roof covering. The weight and structure are the reasons why you cannot add another layer. Shingles may seem light in the hand, but hundreds on a roof can weigh hundreds of pounds.

If you just have one layer of asphalt shingles, you can remove them if you want, but it is not required. If you live in an area with high-impact winds, removing them may be the right choice since shingles fastened directly to the roof deck are more stable. Removing shingles allows you to inspect the sheathing or deck as well.

Removing shingles also allows you to evaluate the condition of the deck. The roof deck may have rotten wood or inadequate sheathing, so an opportunity to fix this may present itself. You can now make the necessary repairs to avoid huge losses and avoid loose sheathing than can blow off during an intense storm, causing even more damage. Starting your reroofing with a clean roof deck also gives you the chance to add ice-and-water shield membrane, since they are only installed on clean decks.

The decision will be tough when it comes to your roof, but be sure to know a new roof can last you decades. Make the right decision now and you will not have to worry about the condition of your roof when nature strikes. You will save money in the long-term by reroofing it no matter which choice you make.