Roof Repair vs Replace: 6 Things to Consider
You just discovered your roof is leaking or has broken tiles, soft spots, bulges or water ‘ponding’ — just to name a few of the common roof problems.
Now what? Do you repair or replace your roof, otherwise known as a re-roof? In many cases, the answer is, “it depends”.
Here are some factors to consider in your decision-making process.
Tip 1: Age of Roof
How old is your roof, and what is its remaining life expectancy? On average, asphalt shingles can last up to 20 years and tile 30 years. Check with your roofer or the manufacturer to get this information. TIP – The closer the age of your roof is towards its life expectancy, the more financially sensible it is to re-roof instead of repair.
Tip 2: Size / Scope of Roof Damage
Is the issue limited to a small, localized area, or spread across a large section or the entire roof? This includes damage to the exposed areas such as tile or shingle, as well as covered areas like underlayment and plywood decking. Be sure to get a thorough exterior and attic inspection to identify any and potential problems. TIP – The smaller the size of damage, the more likely a repair will suffice.
Tip 3: Life Expectancy of Repair
Just like a re-roof, repairs have an expected life expectancy. TIP – Get from the roofing contractor the life expectancy for the proposed repair. Learn how long a repair is expected to last and what type of warranties (workmanship and manufacturer) come with it. Compare that to the expected remaining life of the existing roof to determine if a repair or re-roof may be the best course of action.
Tip 4: Warranties
If you’re lucky, you may be eligible for a free or reduced-priced repair or re-roof. TIP – Check to see if you have existing workmanship and manufacturer warranties. They may cover or reduce the cost of a repair or, possibly, a re-roof if a product defect or installation negligence can be substantiated.
Tip 5: Staying or Moving
Do you plan on living in the home for a long time, or moving in just a few short years? TIP – If the extent of the damage is minimal to slightly moderate and you’re expecting to move within five years, a repair may be your best option. But also consider the resale value of your house based upon if you choose a repair or re-roof. If you’re planning to remain for five or more years and the damage is moderate to significant, then it may be advantageous to re-roof.
Tip 6: Insurance Savings
You may be able to benefit from significant savings on your homeowner’s policy. TIP – Talk with your insurance agent to learn about potential insurance premium savings realized from a repair and re-roof. Based on the savings over a specified time period, a re-roof may be the financially smart decision. Also ask about wind mitigation savings, which can also reduce your premium. These savings may help you afford a re-roof over a repair.
Take some time to develop various scenarios, then pull out a calculator to determine if a repair or re-roof is the best option based on your goals and financial status.
In the end, the decision to repair or re-roof is a case-by-case situation driven by a number of personal and financial factors. Many people simply do not have the financial resources to afford a re-roof, so a repair is the next best option. While a repair, in some cases, may not be as good as re-roof, it’s better to temporarily solve the existing problem as well prevent the arrival other related roof issues.