Repair Or Replace: How To Know Which Is Best For Your Roof

Roofing a house is one of the most expensive projects you can undertake as a homeowner. To give you some perspective of just how expensive it is, installing a new roof in your house will cost you between $5,500 to $11,000, with an average of $8,000, according to Forbes. The good news, however, is that you don't always need to replace your roof whenever there is damage. In some situations, choosing to repair the problem areas might be a cheaper alternative for you. While this is true, deciding whether to repair or replace your roof is easier said than done, at least for the average homeowner. 

This is because repairing an old and worn-out roof is a band-aid solution to a bigger problem, while replacing a roof too soon is a waste of money. While this is true, it is also important to point out that the trick of avoiding an expensive replacement is catching the problem early on. This will give you the time to act quickly before a total roof replacement becomes necessary. So which way is it? A repair or a replacement? Tag along to get answers to these pertinent questions.

When to repair the roof

Not every roofing problem warrants a complete substitute. If you are lucky enough to detect the problem early enough, you might have the time to save yourself from an expensive project like a roof replacement. One of the earliest indications of whether to replace or repair your roof is the extent of the damage. Essentially, if your roof is still in great shape and only has minor damages like a few shingles missing after a storm, then a repair might suffice, notes iRestore Stl.

Another reason a repair might be a good solution is if the budget is not on your side. There is no doubt that a fully-fledged roof replacement is expensive, so substituting a few sections might be a welcome relief if you don't have the money for a replacement and the roof is structurally sound. However, it is also necessary to mention that the only downside of fixing a few sections on a roof is that the new shingles won't match the existing ones. But this is a small price considering how much you will otherwise pay to replace the entire roof.

When to replace the roof

A complete roof replacement is a massive project that might take a few days to complete. Essentially, it involves removing the old and damaged roofing materials before installing new ones. For this reason, it is essential that you are sure and prepared for the monumental task ahead. One of the tell-tale signs that your roof needs a replacement is age. While a roof's life expectancy is relative depending on the materials and quality of installation, the life of an average roof is about 20 years, according to Fixr. When you experience expensive damage to an old roof, the best course of action is to replace the entire roof. 

This will save you from frequent repairs that will cost you even more money down the line. Another sign that you should consider replacing your roof is if it starts sagging or drooping in some sections. Usually, this is a surefire sign of significant water damage or a structural problem. Also, be on the lookout for water damage on your roof. While simple repairs can fix minor leaks, significant leaks can result in extensive water damage that will compromise the structural integrity of your roof.

How about a partial replacement

What do you do when repairing the roof damage might not work, yet a complete roof replacement seems overkill? Well, there is a third option: a partial roof replacement. This is a viable option, especially when the damage is extensive but localized within one side or a few sections of your roof, mentions RoofSimple. Besides taking a shorter installation time than a complete replacement, this type of roof replacement is also less noticeable since it is possible to blend the old and new material. 

However, you should also be aware that partial roof replacement also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. First, it is relatively costly to install per square foot when compared to a full replacement. Nonetheless, the fact that you only fix a small section makes it relatively cheaper in the grand scheme. You should also be aware that replacing a section or one side of a roof does very little as far as increasing the life of the entire roof, not to mention that you will have to remove the replaced section when it is time for a new roof.

Cost comparison between roof replacement and repair

There is no doubt that cost is the biggest factor when deciding whether to replace or repair a roof. As mentioned earlier, replacing an entire roof is a lot of work. Therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise that the cost is significantly higher than most repair projects. When it comes to roof replacement, two major factors determine the cost: the type of roofing materials and the cost of labor. Every material comes with a different price tag; asphalt shingles are cheaper, costing about $3.40 to $5.95 per square foot, while slate roofing is among the most expensive roofing materials, with a cost of approximately $23.49 to $31.77 for every square foot. 

As you are thinking of the right roofing material choice, the labor cost doesn't come cheap. In fact, according to the Roofing Calculator, the cost of labor is about 60% of the entire project's budget. The cost of repairs, on the other hand, largely depends on the extent of the damage. While the average repair cost ranges between $348 and $1,186, some are so minor that you can easily DIY (via LawnStarter).

Replacement or repair? Which way is it?

The roof is a significant structure in any home; it is responsible for keeping everyone safe from weather elements. So, with that in mind, deciding whether it is ideal to replace or repair your roof is quite important. Whenever you experience damage to your roof, the first course of action is to determine the extent of the damage. While it might be almost impossible to decide on this as a regular homeowner, you must schedule an inspection. This will give you a rough idea of whether to consider replacing or repairing. 

Fixing minor damage to your roof is not as expensive and will also not take much time to complete. However, if the damage is significant, the only solution that will also give you peace of mind is a complete replacement. Roof replacement is costly and also quite extensive. However, it will give your home a refreshing aesthetic appeal that will definitely pay dividends whenever you want to sell the house. According to First Star Exteriors Roofing and Siding, your home value might increase by as much as $12,000 if you replace your old roof with a new one.