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To Repair Or Replace Roof? Here’s How You Can Decide

Published On October 12 , 2023

Roofs are essential for protecting buildings from the elements, like sun, rain, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures. Without a sturdy roof, both homes and businesses would quickly deteriorate.

A damaged roof can lead to problems like leaks, pests, mold, higher utility bills, and difficulties selling a property. Although roofs are built to last, they can still suffer from unexpected events and wear-and-tear. Deciding between repair and replacement can be tricky if you’re not a roofing expert.

This article will help you make that decision, providing insights from experts. Plus, we offer a free roof inspection to provide personalized advice. Now, let’s explore key factors to help you decide whether your roof needs repair or replacement.

Things Involved in Roof Repair

Minor to moderate roof damage can often be addressed with a roof repair, potentially extending your roof’s lifespan. While home and business owners may attempt this themselves, it’s advisable to hire a certified roofing company like Forever Slate for proper repairs.

Roof repairs target specific problem areas rather than replacing the entire roof. Depending on the damage, this could involve patching holes, addressing gaps, or replacing damaged shingles or materials. Identifying the issue is crucial and can be done by you or a qualified contractor.

A basic inspection from the ground using binoculars can help you spot broken shingles, punctures, holes, nail pops, cracked flashing, or granule loss, indicating roofing issues.

For a comprehensive assessment, consider a free professional roof inspection. ForeverSlate offers both traditional and drone-based inspections, providing a detailed report. We can also assist with financing if necessary.

Things Involved in Roof Replacement

When it comes to roof work, there’s a crucial distinction between repair and replacement. Roof repair targets specific issues in a limited section of the roof structure. Conversely, roof replacement involves entirely replacing the visible area, which requires stripping away everything to expose the deck and may involve repairs to sheathing, rafters, and trusses.

Roof replacement typically comes with higher initial costs compared to repair services due to its more extensive scope of work. However, there are instances where a new roof can result in long-term savings.

Another crucial consideration is a sagging roof, indicating a severe problem and the potential risk of collapse, necessitating a replacement.

The roof replacement process is more intricate and time-consuming than a repair. Many roofing contractors take three to four days or longer to finish a moderately-sized roofing project. At, we’ve streamlined this process, often completing it in just one day, especially with shingle roofing.

Like roof repair, a replacement begins with a comprehensive inspection. A roofer assesses the damage carefully to determine if a repair is adequate or if a complete replacement is necessary.

After identifying all the issues on your roof, the contractor proceeds with the following steps:

  • Removing the old roofing: Ensuring the protection of your property, we remove all old shingles or roofing materials to inspect the wood decking.
  • Roof inspection: We thoroughly examine the deck, checking for weakened wood, rot, or hidden mold.
  • Preparing the deck: Following the inspection, we install drip edges along the eaves, ice and water shields around chimneys, vents, and roof valleys, and heavy-duty roofing felt on the deck.
  • Installing the new roof: Starting from the bottom and overlapping materials correctly, we lay out new roofing materials and install the roof covering, including ridge caps, flashing, and ridge vents.
  • Cleanup and final inspection: Our work is not complete until we remove all waste and debris from the site. A final inspection ensures everything meets your satisfaction.

Roof Replacement vs. Re-Roofing

Homeowners often confuse roof replacement with re-roofing, as both projects aim to rejuvenate the roofing system and provide new shingles. However, these two endeavors have distinct differences.

Roof replacement becomes necessary when significant damage exists on the roof and the decking beneath, including issues like mold growth, extensive gaps, missing shingles, waterlogged shingles, or severe leaks, especially during heavy rain. On the other hand, re-roofing is a viable option when your roof has only one layer of shingles and experiences minor damage or leaks.

In roofing projects, re-roofing stands out as a simpler and more cost-effective method to restore a roof’s appearance. Unlike roof replacement, it doesn’t entail extensive time, labor, or materials because it doesn’t require dismantling any parts of the existing roof. Instead, you add a new layer of shingles or roofing material on top of the old, as long as you can match the new materials with the existing ones.

However, it’s important to note that re-roofing offers a temporary solution to prevent leaks and doesn’t have the same longevity as a full roof replacement. Additionally, since you can’t inspect the deck during re-roofing, you won’t be aware of any underlying damages.

How to Decide Between Roof Repair or Replacement

Repairing or replacing your roof differs significantly from giving a room a fresh coat of paint or refinishing cabinets. These are substantial home improvement projects that demand thoughtful consideration. Selecting the right approach is vital to ensure your roof attains peak performance and provides a solid return on your investment.

Nobody wants to merely cover damaged areas with new shingles, only to discover underlying issues later. Likewise, there’s little sense in completely tearing down your roof and depleting your savings if minor repairs can resolve the problem. Before making a decision to address your roofing concerns, it’s essential to weigh various factors carefully.

Roof Age

Roofs, designed to withstand the elements, have a limited lifespan, often determined by the roofing material. For instance, asphalt shingles last around two decades, while clay tiles and metal roofing can endure much longer. As roofs near the end of their lifespan, they deteriorate, signaling the need for replacement, which is often a more cost-effective choice than frequent repairs.

Roof Condition

Assess the condition and damage extent of your roof carefully. If your roof exhibits minor to moderate damage, particularly limited to a small section or covering up to 30 percent of the roof, a repair could be a viable solution. However, certain damages, such as severe physical damage, might be too extensive for repairs, as in the case of a tree falling on the roof and causing large holes. It’s essential to remember that some damage may not be immediately evident, especially if it’s hidden underneath. Collaborating with an experienced and professional roofing company like for a thorough inspection is a wise choice.

Roof Area Affected

The extent of the affected area plays a crucial role in determining whether to opt for roof repair or replacement. If the damage is localized or limited to a small section, it’s often possible for a roofing company to perform repairs. For example, if you detect a leak in your bedroom or dining room, it may be due to a minor hole in that specific area.

Generally, any damage confined to a small space can be repaired and patched, eliminating the need for a new roof. However, if the damage extends beyond 30 percent of your roof’s area, it’s usually more advisable to consider a complete roof replacement.

How Long You Plan to Stay in Your Home

Many homeowners undertake home improvement projects, such as roof upgrades, to increase their property’s value. However, if you’re planning to sell your home and want to maximize its value, timing becomes critical. Certain situations may need an immediate roofing improvement.

For instance, if you’re relocating for a new job in another city and have a tight schedule, a complete roof replacement might not be the most practical option. This project typically spans several days, contingent on factors like roof size, complexity, weather conditions, and more. Roofing companies typically take three to five days to complete it.

While generally completes most roof replacements in a day, the entire process, including filing claims, obtaining permits, and securing approvals, can extend up to 20-30 days. If you’re working within strict time constraints, opting for a roof repair may be sufficient to ensure your roof remains in good condition.

Related Article:  5 Signs You Need A New Roof Now

Bottom Line: Repair or Replace Your Roof

Having learned about the distinctions between roof repair and roof replacement, you likely appreciate the significance of a thorough inspection to evaluate your specific roofing needs. We strongly recommend scheduling a complimentary inspection with us. This will enable us to assess your roof’s current condition accurately, provide tailored recommendations, and propose the most suitable approach to address your unique roofing concerns.

Entrusting this decision to a professional not only simplifies the process but also comes at no cost to you, offering a win-win situation.

If you have any inquiries before scheduling your inspection, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We’re here to assist you!

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