Deciding whether to repair the existing roof can be a large financial decision for homeowners. We’ll help make the decision a little bit easier.
Where to Start
Your first step is to get a full roof inspection. The inspection will help you understand the scope of work that needs to be completed on your roof. Most roofers conduct inspections at no cost to the homeowner. You should be doing a roof inspection of some kind every year or two to catch any potential problems early and to get an estimate of how much longer your roof will last.
Repair vs. Replace
Once you have had a roofing professional assess your roof, there are still other factors to consider:
- Do you need a partial re-roofing job, or a replacement?
- Will you roof over your existing roof, or remove it first?
It is wise to consider getting an entirely new roof while you have a crew at your home with scaffolding, ladders and equipment. Getting an entirely new roof now will be less expensive than re-roofing part of it now and doing the rest later. If you are going to put in the investment, you might as well get your money’s worth.
Replacing just a few shingles here and there is a very cost-effective way to maintain your home’s roof with minimal cost. If your home is regularly hit with extreme weather (think hurricanes or heavy winds), it might be worth the cost to pay for an entirely new roof with more durable shingles, using improved adhesives and additional nails. If you are getting a new roof, it is less expensive to remove one layer of asphalt shingles before re-roofing, if you only have one layer. Shingles will hold better if they are fastened directly to the roof deck, and not another layer of old shingles underneath.
Being able to inspect your roof deck is also an investment itself. You can check for wood rot and determine if there are any inadequate sheathing fasteners. If your sheathing is blown off your roof, your home is at risk of extensive interior damage—even bigger costs to you.
Other Things to Think About
When considering whether to repair your existing roof or re-roof your home, here are some other things to keep in mind:
- How easy will it be to match the shingles on your home? If you are looking to sell your home within the next five to ten years, you may want to consider re-roofing entirely.
- Do you have two layers of shingles already on your roof? If so, some building codes do not permit new shingles to be put over two existing layers of shingles, so you will have to completely re-roof your home.
- How old is your roof? A roof that is fairly new and having problems is more likely related to poor ventilation or even defective materials, rather than normal wear and tear. If materials defect quickly you might be able to receive a reimbursement for a percentage of the cost to replace the shingles. Whereas an older roof with a couple of problem areas most likely needs to be replaced.