28 Sep 2017

You know your roof is damaged. You’ve seen water spots on your interior walls or ceiling. Or you may have noticed some outside damage, such as raised shingles or soft spots on the roof. How do you know whether to repair or replace your roof?

That depends on the kind of damage, of course. Though it might seem like a complex issue, it’s generally a fairly straightforward decision based on cost. If your shingles have at least 3 to 5 years of wear and tear left in them, and the repair will cost $500-$700 or less, it’s usually best to repair the roof.

If, on the other hand, you need a $700-$800 repair, it will probably save money in the long run to replace the roof and skip the repair cost, even if you have to finance the replacement (since you will then end up replacing the portion needing repair). But keep inflation in mind! The longer you wait to replace your roof, the more expensive it will be; and that increased cost can offset the “savings” that you intended to gain by delaying.

Roof repairs are usually done to address leaks. What are some typical kinds of leaks?

Penetration leaks. Except in the case of major storm damage, the first thing to leak on any roof is a “penetration.” These leaks around vents, soil pipes (“stink” pipes), or your chimney are often relatively inexpensive repairs, requiring only new flashing, a new collar, or a new vent. These are cost-effective repairs that can stave off the need for a full roof replacement.

Valley leaks. The next most likely leak is a valley leak. Valleys are the seams between sections of your roof, where the slopes meet. These are typically more expensive to repair. You may be wasting your money to spot-fix these.

Mid-roof leaks. These are the most difficult leaks to locate; and, cost-wise, they are the least effective to repair. Perhaps you have a water stain in the center of your living room ceiling, away from any vent or valley. The source could be one or more of the hundreds of nail holes in a large section of your roof. It’s likely evidence of a larger problem that may warrant a full roof replacement.

Contact a local professional roofer for a thorough assessment and a free estimate of roof repairs or replacement. Check out this blog post to learn how to prepare for your estimator’s visit.