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Roof Repair vs Roof Replacement | What to Know  

April 1, 2021


When your roof is starting to show its age, it can quickly become a matter of repair vs. replace. At Diversified Roofing, we recommend taking a measured approach, one that factors in everything from cost to resale value. We’ll look at what you should know about making this major decision and whether you need a full roof replacement, partial roof replacement, or simple roof patch.

Signs of Roof Failure

When a roof gets to the point of replacement discussion, it’s usually because it’s old. However, this is not always the case. There are some unlucky situations where the shingles weren’t installed properly, and the roof needs full or partial roof replacement after just a few years.

Signs of roof failure often go unnoticed though. It’s essentially out-of-sight, out-of-mind — until you spy water spots on the ceiling or puddles on the floor. In addition to excess moisture in the home, broken or scattered shingles can also be a sign of roof failure. Chimney leaks, weather damage, and splitting or sagging are also key indicators that there’s a serious problem.

The best way to keep on top of your roof is to either use a drone or hire a professional inspector to take a look. It’s too dangerous for a DIY approach. Even basic repairs are full of risk and all too often end in the emergency room. From ladder malfunctions to missteps, the odds of an injury are too high.

Keep in Mind

There are a few key questions to ask before you make this decision:

  • How old is your roof? How long is it expected to last?
  • How long are you staying in the house?
  • How much money can you devote to the project?
  • What’s the property market like in your area?

Roof replacement can sneak up on property owners faster than they think. Lower-end asphalt shingles may only last for 15 years. That may seem like a long time when you first buy it, but 15 years isn’t that long when you’re talking about a roof. In contrast, better architectural materials can last 50 years or more. Talk about a long-term investment.

Blistered, curling, or balding shingles, granule-filled gutters, and moss on the roof are all signs that the roof is either wearing down or of low quality. If you’re not sure how old the roof is, you may need to talk to a contractor for an estimate of its age.

The Future Considerations

If your roof has just started to break down, it will take quite some time before it becomes a serious safety problem. If you’re planning to leave the house soon, you might opt for a roof repair in this case. Why spend the money when you’re just planning to move soon anyway?

If you’re in a seller’s market, this might be the correct choice. A simple roof patch can be completed to keep the elements away from the residents. Once it comes time to sell, just let the potential owners know that they’ll likely need to replace the roof within the next few years. An inspector will give them more information about what they can expect and then the buyers can make an educated decision from there.

However, if you’re in a buyer’s market, this could make the house more difficult to sell. If there’s more inventory than there are buyers, there’s no incentive for a buyer to choose a home with a major repair in the near future.

Fiscal Matters

A new roof is by no means an impulse purchase. It’s also not a very exciting one. (A new jacuzzi tub in the bathroom is a far more enticing upgrade than a roof.) Repairing it with a roof patch is always going to be less costly, so you’ll need to weigh your current budget based on long-term goals.

For some homeowners, especially those who aren’t planning to move anytime soon though, it might be worth taking out a home improvement loan if they’re unable to finance the replacement. This is because repairs may be more cost-effective, but they’re by no means free.

The interest you pay on a home loan might be less than the cost to repair the roof now and replace it in two years. This is not a straightforward formula though because how long your repairs last will depend on everything from your location to the materials of the roof.

So you might count on your roof repair to last three years, but then one major storm comes along and destroys the protections you’ve put in place. Roof repair work is a highly specialized field, and it’s easy to end up with poor workmanship. If you want roof repairs to go the distance, you’ll need to pay for someone who knows how to do the job.

Curb Appeal

If you’re replacing shingles on the roof, it will be nearly impossible to match the new ones to the existing shingles. Because the shingles will fade over time, you’ll end up with a sharp contrast that tells people that your roof was just repaired. Flat roofs will likely work with a partial roof replacement, but keep it in mind if you don’t want to compromise your curb appeal.

A new roof, by contrast, can actually improve your home’s curb appeal by up to 40%, which can make a difference for the current owners and future buyers alike. You can also rest easy if you have to go out of town for a while. If a tree branch happens to land on your roof during a storm, it won’t be a catastrophe when you have a new roof.

Contact Diversified Roofing

Roof replacements are major jobs, so it’s important to be prepared before a contractor shows up to do the job. From the noise to the inconvenience, you can expect this home improvement project to interfere with your life. Roofing companies might leave supplies around or you might have to leave for a while during the project.

Diversified Roofing has been helping residential homeowners keep their costs down by making smarter long-term decisions for their homes. If you have questions about whether you should repair or replace your roof, we’re ready to help. Our experienced staff can lay out the pros and cons of both decisions, ensuring that you don’t feel pressure to make a more expensive choice than need be. Contact us today for more information or for an expert opinion.

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