Nothing lasts forever, and your roof is no exception to this rule. Daily exposure to the elements will eventually take a toll on any roofing system. When that time comes, you’ll have to decide whether to repair or replace your roof.
In today’s post, we share some tips to help you determine whether a repair or replacement is the best choice for your situation.
Deciding Between Repairs and Replacement
The following factors can cause serious wear and tear on your roof over time, leading to damage that will need to be addressed via repair or replacement:
- Precipitation – Rainwater and snowmelt can infiltrate the gaps underneath damaged shingles or flashing. If not addressed right away, moisture can penetrate the roof and cause problems that will compromise the overall health and performance of the system.
- Changes in Temperature – Fluctuating outdoor temperatures can affect certain roof materials and surfaces. Some shingles, for instance, are prone to curling, cupping, warping or bending. These problems detract from the roof’s aesthetic appeal and also make the roof more vulnerable to damage.
- Storms – Wind, hail and rain can wreak havoc on your property. Depending on the severity of the storm, roof components like shingles and panels may become dented or get torn off.
- External Threats – Roof damage may occur because of other threats such as falling tree branches, projectiles like baseballs and debris, and animals and pests.
Some of these problems can be prevented through regular roof maintenance. This helps preserve or even extend the roof’s lifespan. However, if the roofing system is nearing or has already reached the end of the lifespan, it may need to be replaced. Before deciding what to do, you’ll need to schedule a professional roof inspection.
What to Look in a Roof Inspection
Through a proper inspection, you can get a clear picture of your roof’s overall condition. You may know that your roof needs attention, but only through a professional inspection can you truly make informed decisions about what type of attention would provide the best solution.
There are two types of inspections: regular inspections and emergency inspections. Here’s an overview of each:
- Regular Inspections – These are designed to detect and identify signs of developing problems before they worsen and cause costly damage. These should be done twice a year; once in the spring to check how well the system withstood the frigid winter weather, and once in the fall to ensure the roof is in good shape to face the brutal winter ahead.
- Emergency Inspections – These are meant to assess the roof after severe weather or any other unexpected incident that may have caused damage. Time is of the essence here; delaying the scheduled roof inspection could compromise the roof’s structural integrity even further and make problems worse.
You can also conduct a preliminary inspection yourself. With a flashlight, go up to your attic on a bright day and check for signs of damage—roof deck sagging, dark spots on surfaces and insulation that may indicate moisture problems, and spots where sunlight comes in through the roof. From the outside, use a pair of binoculars to look for signs of damage on your flashing, gutters and downspouts. Look for curling, buckling or missing shingles as well. Call your roofer if anything looks amiss and they can conduct a more thorough inspection.
How Severe Is the Roof Damage?
After you’ve confirmed there is indeed damage to your roof—now what? It is time to determine the full extent of the damage. From there, you can determine whether a roof repair or replacement is needed. Here’s what you need to know about the two options:
- Roof Repair – This is a good choice in situations where the damage isn’t too severe and your roof is relatively “young.” It is also a viable choice if you can’t afford to replace the roof right now and want to squeeze a few more years out of its lifespan.
- Roof Replacement – If the damage is severe and/or widespread, repairs might not be enough to address the problem. If your roof is nearing the end of its projected lifespan, repairs might not be cost effective–after all, why would you put more money into a failing system? Roof replacement is more costly than repairs, but in the long-term it’s often the most practical and cost-efficient solution. If you have the budget for it, a roof replacement is a more prudent investment than repairing an old, failing roof.
Keep in mind that your roof could be harboring damage to its underlying components, which can only be discovered and addressed once the shingles are removed during replacement. This is why it’s important to set aside a contingency fund in your roofing budget. That way if unexpected damage is uncovered, you’ll be financially prepared to address it.
What to Look for in a Contractor
With so many contractors bidding for your business, choosing one company can feel overwhelming. When vetting your contractors, look for these essential qualities:
- Local – Your chosen roofer should have an established business in your local area. Choosing a local contractor ensures they’ll be more available to you in emergency situations.
- Insured – Working with an insured roofer protects you from liabilities that may arise during the roof repair or replacement, including unpaid work and property damage. Make sure the company carries both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Licensed – Only hire a roofer that has the required permits and licenses to operate in your local area. These are proof of their adherence to the standards set forth by state and local authorities. Choosing a roofer with these credentials ensures that your roof will be repaired or replaced “by the book,” according to the local building codes.
- Recommended – A roofer’s claim to be a quality business must be backed by industry authorities and homeowners alike. Look for a roofer with excellent customer reviews and a high rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- ·Manufacturer-Certified – A high-quality roofing contractor is worth hiring if they’ve received certifications from top roofing manufacturers. This means the team is trained and certified to offer and install the manufacturer’s products, ensuring your roof repair or replacement will be done according to industry standards.
Looking to repair or replace your roof? Turn to Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal, Ltd. For over 30 years, our team has delivered residential roofing expertise to homeowners in our local area. Our team is fully insured, manufacturer-certified (GAF Master Elite® roofing contractor), and participates in regular health and safety training to bring you the best services with the utmost care and professionalism.
We are experienced at installing a variety of roofing materials, from asphalt shingles to metal and flat roofing systems. Schedule a free estimate for your next residential roofing project by calling (905) 875-2888 or filling out our contact form.