Roof Repair Or Replacement: Which Is Right For You?

Unless you have a new slate roof – which can last up to 100 years – chances are you're going to have to replace your roof at some time. However, is that time now? Repairing a roof is a balancing act. You may save money in the short-term, but continual repairs may cost you more than replacement in the long run. Discover how to tell if your roof needs repair or replacement.

Early Signs of a Roof Leak

Staying vigilant with your roof will save you money in the long term. Every year you should make an inspection of your roof and look for the following signs:

  • Cracked caulking
  • Rust on the flashing
  • Buckled, curled or blistered shingles
  • Worn areas

Signs of a developing roof leak are also visible inside the house:

  • Damp spots near fireplaces
  • Dark areas on ceilings
  • Peeling paint
  • Water stains

More often than not, if you catch a leak in the early stages, repair is the best option.

Age of the Roof

Hopefully you know the age and material of your roof, because this is also a determining factor in whether a roof needs to be replaced. If your home is within its first half-life of the roof, then replacement is likely not necessary. Roofing materials endure for the following lengths of time, according to Better Homes and Gardens:

  • Wood: 15 to 25 years, if regularly coated with preservative and fungicide.
  • Clay tiles: 50 to 100 years.
  • Asphalt: 15 to 30 years, depending on weight and maintenance.
  • Laminated shingles: 40 to 50 years.
  • Slate tiles: 100+ years with occasional replacement of broken tiles.

Droopy Roof

A sagging or drooping roof is almost certainly a sign that the whole construction needs replacing. The sag indicates problems with the structure. Such problems can be trapped moisture, rotting boards or broken frame pieces. It can also indicate that the roofing material has reached near enough the end of it life to make it ineffectual. If your roof is sagging, it's best to replace it before more areas of your home experience damage.

Pre-Existing Leaks

The history of your roof is another big indicator of whether it needs replacing. Does your roof leak on a regular basis? Even if it's relatively early on in its life, a roof that's needed frequent repairs probably needs replacing. This is one of those cases in which repairing the roof repeatedly can cost more than a brand new roof.

Rather than wait for a major issue, watch for signs of roof issues. Such vigilance can extend the life of your roof. For more information, contact a roofing company like Starkweather & Sons Roofing & Siding.