Roof Repair or Replacement: How to Know What Your Roof Needs

How Can You Tell if You Need Roof Repairs?

March 03, 2022 12 Read

Residential roofing is generally designed to last about 20 years, but it could last longer if you take good care of it. If your current roof is relatively young and still in excellent condition, then it’s best to repair the roof rather than replace the material altogether.

Though roofing inevitably wears out over time, roof repairs might be able to extend your roof’s lifespan for a couple more years. But if you are unsure whether or not the deterioration has gone far enough to warrant a complete roof replacement, several signs can help you determine if it’s time for a new roof or not.

How Can You Tell if You Need Roof Repairs?

Many people aren’t sure if their homes will need a roof repair or a new roof replacement. Here are some guidelines for you to follow:

Damaged Shingles

When the shingles that make up your roof start to crack and peel, it usually means it’s time to repair them. Cracking and peeling of your roofing materials may also be due to other reasons such as aging and wear and tear, but this is typically what repairing the roof entails. Cracks in the shingles should be treated by filling them with a special sealer before replacing any of the roof shingles themselves because this will keep leaks from occurring again anytime soon.

Leakage & Stains on Ceiling

If you find traces of stains or leakage on the ceiling of your house, then it’s likely that water is making its way into your home through the cracks and damages in your shingles. Most often than not, a leaking roof will require minor repairs, such as replacing loose shingles and sealing off cracks.

Benefits of Roof Repairs

One of the main benefits of repairing your existing roof instead of replacing it is saving money. It can cost $3,000 or more to replace an asphalt shingle roof for an average-sized home completely. That’s not including any costs that might be involved with making any necessary repairs to the rest of the house before the new roof goes up, which is standard practice.

On the other hand, patching a roof can cost as little as $500 for small jobs and $2,000 on average, especially if it involves repairing or replacing a few shingles. This usually doesn’t include materials since those all depend on how much roofing specialists price per square foot - so factor in around 25 cents per square foot if you’re unsure how much it will be.

Disadvantages of Roof Repairs

Roof repairs shouldn’t be viewed as a permanent solution, although they will keep your roof in good condition for a few years. This is because once you patch up the problem, it can come back again if not solved entirely. That means that roof repair is only a temporary fix and that you should seriously consider getting a new roof installed when it’s time.

Another drawback of putting off replacement for too long is potential damage to your home’s interior from all the damages coming from a roof leak. There are also safety concerns from letting your leaky roof go on any longer since it can get pretty dangerous walking on shingles with holes in them or ones that have started peeling away from the underlayment underneath them.

How Can You Tell if You Need Roof Replacements?

If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time to call in a roofing contractor because your roof is beyond repair:

Missing Shingles

Missing shingles could be a sign of damage caused by water, which means it’s time to have your roof replaced. You might also notice that there are clumps of shingles along your roof. These should be removed and replaced with new ones to ensure efficient water drainage, which will prevent leaks from occurring in the future. One tell-tale sign of missing shingles is the presence of water stains in your ceiling.

Leaks Around Gutters & Skylights

The only time you’ll need a replacement is when leaks manifest themselves around skylights and rain gutters. This is simply because these parts of your roof are made with a different type of material, but they will eventually need to be replaced as well since water damage can also cause them to rot and crumble over time.

Blisters on Shingles

Blisters on old shingles are often an indication of inadequate roof ventilation, which means the roof could be damaged beyond repair. If you find any blisters or signs of leaks, your best option will replace the entire roof.

Damaged Ventilation Holes

If you find any cracks or holes in the ventilation areas of your roof, then this is another indicator that it needs replacement since leaking can occur when these holes are blocked off.

Overflow Pipes & Gutters

When your roof starts leaking, this will cause all kinds of problems, including overflowing pipes and gutters that indicate major leakage issues. Roofs usually need to be replaced when they start causing internal issues within the home itself.

Structural Damage

Sometimes, water damage is so bad that it will cause roof beams and support structures to weaken, sag, or even crumble. You might notice a few cracks or sagging in your roof until there’s an even bigger problem on the horizon, and you’ll need to consider calling a roofing contractor to ensure that everything is okay with your roof.

Age of Roof

Sometimes, it’s simply time to replace the roof. In most cases, roofs should be replaced every 20 years, but if yours is already 15 or more years old, then you might want to consider getting a new one to prevent damage and leaks from occurring in the future.

Benefits of Roof Replacement

The most significant benefit of getting a full roof replacement is that you won’t have to worry about any more leaks or water damage from now on, which means you can save a lot of money in the long run. You’ll also never have to spend time going up and down ladders again since installation happens at ground level with equipment. It’s also a good idea to choose a complete roof replacement option to get rid of an old leaky roof if there is severe damage from storms or hail because they can cause permanent damage that needs a safe and effective roof again.

Another benefit of replacing your entire roof is that it increases your home’s curb appeal. When you replace your roof, you are increasing the value of your home, which will benefit you if you decide to sell your home in the future.

Disadvantages of Roof Replacement

You can’t make any significant changes to your roof when you get a replacement, but there are some minor changes that you can make if you want. However, except for changing the color and adding roof vents and new skylights, you won’t be able to add anything else.

A new roof also adds about $1500 onto the cost of your home insurance for more reasons than just protecting it from further damage caused by leaks and flooding. Roofs play another essential role in keeping homes safe from winds over 60 mph, so getting a new one will also ensure your safety.

Another disadvantage of replacing your roof is the amount of time you have to wait for the roof replacement process to complete. This can take up to two weeks, so you’ll have to put up with a home without a roof for at least that long.

The final disadvantage of getting a full roof replacement is that you can’t determine whether or not it’s essential until leaks and damage become visible after storms and rain. This means you might wind up paying out of pocket for a roof replacement that would have cost less if you didn’t replace it.

How Much Does an Average Roof Repair Cost?

Households in the United States may be surprised to learn that they cannot rely on their roof forever. Most roofs will require some repair or replacement within a decade of installation. There are significant differences between roof repairs and replacements in terms of cost. Understanding these differences can help an owner make an intelligent decision regarding when to replace their roof.

Shingle Repairs Cost

A roof repair may consist of fixing a leak or even replacing shingles. These repairs typically cost $1,000 to $2,500 depending upon the size and number of leaks and the complexity involved with repairing those problems. The cost of a single roof shingle replacement varies from around $200 to a couple hundred dollars or more, depending on the size of the shingles.

Gutter Repairs Cost

The average cost of a gutter repair is around $100 to $500. The price of a gutter replacement ranges from about $800 to upwards of $1,200. A replacement is often necessary when a gutter’s downspouts and supports are corroded and cannot hold up the gutters.

How Much Does an Average Roof Replacement Cost?

The average roof has three layers made of various materials, including asphalt shingles, underlayment, and water-resistant tar paper. If these are damaged beyond repair, the only way to restore any semblance of normalcy is to remove them all and replace them with new ones. A roof replacement typically costs between $6,500 and $8,500, depending on the size of the house and how much work it requires for construction workers to access the roof.

Roof Replacement Cost by Size

When it comes to roof replacement, size matters. The average roof replacement cost is around $7,500 for roofs between 1,500 square feet and 2,000 square feet. For homes up to 3,000 square feet, the average price ranges from $10,000 to upwards of $12,000 depending on how much labor is involved and whether or not the roof has significant damage.

Roof Replacement Cost for Larger Homes

Expensive roof replacement costs are typically associated with larger homes, given their size of around 4,000 square feet or more. Such a home’s roof replacement could cost between $15,000 and upwards of $22,000 depending on its overall size and condition.

Average Prices of Asphalt Shingles and Other Roofing Materials

The average price for an asphalt shingle roof is around $3.50 per square foot, but this can vary significantly depending on the material costs in the installation region. Other materials that may be used to restore or replace a roof include wood, slate, clay tiles, metal, rubber, and plastic.

Other Factors That Influence Roof Replacement Costs

Since their size and weight can sometimes measure several hundred pounds, replacing a roof is no easy feat for construction workers. It takes time to remove all three layers to access the roof structure beneath them so technicians can build a spare support system before putting down new shingles or other materials. This process typically takes one week to complete, at minimum in many cases. On top of this, other factors that can increase the cost of a roof replacement include:

  • The need to rebuild structural framing.
  • The need to replace a damaged roof substructure.
  • The presence of chimneys on the roof.
  • Damage from past leaks or storms that require extensive work to repair.
  • A roof’s slope and pitch
  • Repairing or replacing gutters and downspouts, chimneys, skylights, and vents
  • Roof ventilation systems
  • Is It Worth to Repair a Roof?

While roof repairs are more attractive to homeowners than roof replacements, there are times when a replacement will be more affordable in the long run. Replacement roofs are given a warranty that may last for 50 years while repair jobs are only guaranteed for two years at most. Likewise, there may be times when contractors will not do a good job in their repair jobs and you may end up paying for a replacement roof nonetheless.

There may come a time when an owner gets tired of spending money on repairs and decides that enough is enough and it’s time for a total replacement. Homeowners must choose this case if they want to go with the lower expense option of repairing their roof or shell out the money for a full-on replacement. In some cases, it may be financially more prudent to do a total re-roofing job even though it initially costs more than repairs.

In many cases, when homeowners decide that it’s time to replace their roof, they are also faced with choosing between asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Metal roofs are significantly less expensive for those concerned about cost factors at around $1 per square foot. However, high-quality asphalt shingles can last twice as long as metal roofs which mean owners will have to spend less money on maintenance over time since the life expectancy of metal roofs is only around 20 years.

In the end, roofing repairs and replacements can be costly, and owners must understand their options before making any decisions. Asphalt shingle roofs are attractive and affordable, but they require regular upkeep if an owner wants them to keep looking good over time. On the other hand, metal roofs are very durable but are pricey upfront.

When it comes to roof repairs versus roof replacement, an owner’s best bet is coming up with a plan for regular maintenance so that roofs can look good and last long without too much trouble.

When Should You Call a Roofing Contractor?

If you’re not sure whether or not your roof needs repair or replacement, you should call a professional roofing company for help, especially with the roof inspection. Putting off repairs for just another day can lead to further damage that may cost more than the actual roof itself, so it’s wise to act fast on these sorts of problems. The adage “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” holds for roofs since minor roof leaks can lead to severe water damage in the future.

A roofing company can provide expert assessments, thorough roof inspection, and services on all roofing issues to help you decide whether to replace your roof or get a roof repair. Having an outside view of what might be wrong with your current roof will allow you to make better decisions about its current condition and prospects. Whether it’s time to repair or replace your roof, roofing companies will be able to do all and more of what you need to be done.

The Decision Is Yours

Nobody knows better than yourself whether or not your roof needs replacing, so it’s up to you to decide what route is best for you and your family. If you find any of the signs outlined above, then it’s time to consider a total roof replacement so you can start reaping all of its benefits as soon as possible.