Roof Repair or Roof Replacement?

Deciding when and how to roof is always an agonizing decision for homeowners. The sticker shock is difficult to swallow, and therefore people look at ways to economize.

The problem is that a lot of the ways most people think they’re saving money is really a false economy. One of the ways homeowners seek to put off the inevitable is to repair their roof instead of replace it.

Please understand, we are not unilaterally against roof repairs. It’s just that there are very few situations where it makes sense. Most of the time it is just a matter of being “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

The first consideration is the state of the roof. Why does it require repair? If a tree branch landed on a roof in otherwise excellent condition and tore off a few shingles, then that roof is a good candidate for repair, provided there was no structural damage.

But what usually happens is the roof is reaching the end of its natural life (or is beyond it) and it is beginning to lose shingles or leak during rainstorms. At this point, it does absolutely no good to protest; the roof is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Sometimes, however, a proactive homeowner will notice that a middle aged roof, perhaps 12-15 years old, is beginning to show wear. The most obvious signs are that roof granules begin to clog the gutters and, if they are three-tab shingles, the edges begin to curl a little. And of course if any shingles are loosening, that’s a big red flag.

When that happens, we recommend homeowners watch the state of their roof like a hawk, and start saving immediately in order to make the call to reshingle immediately when a leak occurs or a batch of shingles flies off in a storm. It’s always a judgement call, but when your roof only has another five years left in its life anyway, repairs typically stack up, and then at the end of five years you wind up replacing your roof anyway.

However, if you do need to repair your roof, we recommend that you ensure that whatever company you hire is willing to certify the repair. That means they’ll take it upon themselves to guarantee the repair, and return to fix it if any more problems result. If you can’t find a roofing company willing to do that, it’s a good sign that your roof needs to be replaced.

Is your roof iffy? Call for a quote and we’ll give you our opinion! (703) 754-9906.