As a homeowner, you understand the importance of a sound roof. You know that your roof effects your home’s efficiency and protects your family and property from the sun and rain.
To ensure your roof stays in good condition, you trim your trees so branches don’t fall on your roof, clear the gutters to avoid water pooling, and you saved your contractor’s phone number should you ever need last minute repairs.
Recently your roof sprung a leak and you notice some sagging in the corner. If you’re not sure whether you should repair your roof or replace it entirely. Keep the following factors in mind:
1. The Total Cost
Your budget ranks high on your list of concerns and priorities, and understandably so. When you need to replace your roof in its entirety, this upgrade can become one of the costliest renovations you make in your home. Some roofers estimate that a new roof costs anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 (most roofs average around $12,000).
If you don’t have the budget for a new roof, you may want to cut costs and go for minor repairs whenever possible. If you only have a few missing shingles and your roof still looks great, ask your contractor to stick to the bare minimum.
However, as you consider long-term costs, a roof replacement may seem the smarter option. Roof leaks lead to damaged ceiling tiles, carpet, and furniture. When leaks damage your property, you have added expenses as you replace these items in addition to your roof.
Additionally, roofs that lack adequate insulation result in ever fluctuating interior temperatures and higher utility bills every month. Homes with older roofs tend to sell for much lower than those with roofs in good condition.
2. Your Location
Although you might not realize it, your location effects which materials work best on your roof. For example, if you live in a windy area, your roof needs shingles that can withstand high winds, and your contractor will need to correctly place nails in these shingles to minimize lift. If you live in a hotter part of the Great Plains, you need fire-resistant shingles that don’t curl or warp in the summer sun.
If your roof is already made up of quality materials suited for your area, you’ll only need a few minor repairs now and again to keep your roof in good shape. If your previous contractor cut corners or the original homeowner opted for low-grade materials to save money, you may find that you’ll need to make repairs more frequently. In this scenario, you’ll save more money in the long run if you replace your roof entirely.
3. Your Living Situation
While you can’t predict the future, you can anticipate how your life will unfold over the next few years. If you have a steady job and you plan to raise your family in your current home for the foreseeable future, then you might be more willing to invest more in your roof so it lasts for as long as possible. As a result, a new roof might serve you and your family a little better.
However, you never know when you’ll find a new job in a new location, or your elderly parents might need a little extra support after an unexpected accident, and you’ll have to find a new home to accommodate your parents’ needs. While a new roof can help you sell your old home quickly, you might want to offer your home as is. Hire a contractor to simply make a few repairs so that you can receive a better value for your home.
4. The Roof’s Age
Your roof should last for decades if you maintain it carefully. Keep in mind, this lifespan varies greatly depending on your location, the roof’s materials, and the installation. Slate, copper, and tile roofs, for example, can last more than 50 years. Wood shake roofs last about 30 years, while fiber cement shingles last 25 years. Asphalt shingles and composition roofs last about 20 years.
As you decide whether to repair or replace your current roof, determine the age of your home and roof. If you recently moved into a custom-built home, you shouldn’t need to replace your roof for a few years at least – simply ask a professional to inspect it for minor damage. If you have a vintage home and the previous owner didn’t maintain the roof properly, then you might be overdue for a new one.
5. The Roof’s Condition
Mother Nature wreaks havoc on a roof, despite your best efforts to maintain it. Hail dents metal and weatherproofed roofs, UV rays dry out oils in asphalt shingles and create a dry and brittle roof, and snow strains your roof until it sags under the weight.
If you notice multiple leaks, sagging sections, or shingles with missing granules, ask a contractor to inspect the damage. He or she can then recommend whether your roof only needs minor repairs or a complete replacement.