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When To Repair & When To Replace Your Roof [Flow Chart]

sunny weather on roof replacement day affecting how long does it take to replace a roof

What’s the difference between a roof repair and a roof replacement? One buys you time, and another buys you a brand new roof.

Your roof is one of the most essential parts of your home. It protects you from the elements and keeps your family safe and dry. Sometimes repairs are necessary, but when it comes time to replace your roof, you don’t want to cut corners. So today, we’ll help you determine when to repair vs. when it’s time to replace your roof.

When Is It Time to Repair Your Roof?

Roofs aren’t built to last forever, especially without the maintenance and care they need. And being that they’re your home’s first line of defense against wind, hail, and rain, they take a beating that can lead to damage that requires repairs. But storm damage is just one aspect of roof repairs—it’s essential to know when and how you may need to repair those shingles.

You should repair your roof if you notice:

  • Discolored spots on the shingles from hail damage
  • Signs of leaks in the attic
  • Loose or curled shingles
  • Cracked or loose flashing
  • Damaged pipe boots or vents
  • You notice issues right after a roof installation (due to poor workmanship)
  • You have a DIY repair fail
  • Your roof experiences damage early in its lifespan

Any of the above issues can indicate you need to repair your roof. Roof repairs for a few shingles here and there are simple and affordable and more likely covered under warranty. But if your roof is old and shows signs of regular wear and tear, it might be time to venture into roof replacement territory.

damaged shingles determining when to repair or replace your roof

The Downfalls of Doing Repair After Repair

If you find yourself making multiple repairs to your roof, you’re probably just losing money. Poor workmanship at the initial installation of your roof can cause many issues.

If you find recurrent leaks or notice high energy bills, it might be worth looking into the actual workmanship of the roof and ensuring you get these repairs while you’re covered under a workmanship warranty.

Word to the wise: Never choose a contractor without a workmanship warranty.

One of the biggest reasons it can be bad to do repairs on top of repairs with your roof is that you are throwing money away. If you are out of warranty and think you’re saving money by paying out of pocket for minor repairs—in the end, you could probably stand to get more return on your investment out of a new roof.

water damaged ceiling roof and stain on ceiling close-up

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Signs you need a roof replacement are not always obvious. They could be as minor as feeling a cold draft here and there or as major as recurrent ice dams every winter that tear down your gutters. Either way, repairs can be costly and just buy you time rather than solving the overall issue: you just need a new roof.

Here are some signs you might need to replace your roof:

  • Your roof is over 20 years old
  • You’ve had more than three repairs in the past five years
  • The shingles are missing, cracked, or curling at the edges
  • There’s a lot of moss or algae growth on the roof
  • The roof decking is rotting
  • You have a leak in the living space
  • Your attic is extremely hot or cold
  • Ice dams are a common occurrence

Any of these signs could mean it’s time for you to replace your roof. It’s important to remember that not all roofs need to be replaced at the same age, and depending on your home’s environment and weather exposure, your roof might need to be replaced earlier than later.

No matter what, it’s always a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional every few years to ensure no underlying issues could lead to more extensive (and more expensive) repairs in the future.

Maintenance Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Roof

We all wish that our roofs could just be installed and then we never have to worry about it. But this isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. Homeowners need to ensure they maintain and take care of their roofs just like any other part of their home. To ensure you don’t get bogged down with repairs or early replacement, keep these maintenance tips on hand so you can keep your roof in tip-top shape.

  • Clean out your gutters. When gutters get clogged, water backs up and can’t flow properly. And the only place that water has to go now is back into your roof or attic.
  • Get regular inspections. Prevention is vital to ensuring your roof is working properly. Getting inspections every few years or doing your own visual inspections can catch issues early before they become expensive repairs.
  • Trim overhanging trees. Large debris like branches and even toppled trees can land on your roof during intense wind storms, damaging shingles, or even the roof structure. It’s vital to keep these things free and clear from your home. Keep an eye on any large branches that look unsteady and get them trimmed.
  • Re-insulate your attic. A poorly insulated attic can cause a slew of roofing issues, from trapping moisture to causing leaks and even raising energy bills. If you must, get your attic better insulated to prolong the life and condition of your shingles.
  • Stay aware. Lastly, you should just stay aware of any changes in temperature, energy bills, the look of your shingles, etc. When you’re out gardening or mowing the lawn take a walk around the property and spot check your roof for issues. Act fast because time is of the essence for roof issues.

Man Cleaning Gutters on Ladder to maintain his roof

Things to Consider Before Getting Your Roof Replaced

Roof replacements are one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your home and also one of the smartest. If you’re considering getting a new roof, there are some questions you should ask yourself beforehand.

  1. How long do you plan to live in your house?
  2. Will a new roof add value to your home to sell?
  3. Do you want to upgrade your roofing materials?
  4. What style roof do you want?
  5. How much will a new roof cost?
  6. How will you pay for your new roof?
  7. Can insurance cover your new roof?
  8. Have you found a reputable contractor?

These are all critical questions to ask yourself before getting your roof replaced. Replacing your roof is a big investment, so make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and that it’s something you’ll be happy with in the long run.

If you are still unsure whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, Dreamworx Exteriors can help! Our professional team can inspect, diagnose, and solve any roofing problems you may have.

Contact us today to get the ball rolling on an estimate. We can’t wait to help get your roof back into the shape it once was!

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