Should I repair or replace my roof?

close-up of a roofer nailing down asphalt shingles

Taking Care of Roofing Issues

As you drive through your neighborhood, you notice several neighbors are having roof repair or complete roof replacements done. You’re not having any roof leaks right now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need any roof repairs or a roof replacement.

What is the difference between roof repair and roof replacement, and how do you know when you need one or the other? A roof repair is just what it says, repairing the roof is usually done by replacing a few shingles in a few places.  A roof replacement is a process of replacing the entire roof with new roofing materials and other roofing components. We offer the following guidelines for determining roof repair or replacement is needed: 

Roof Repair Examples: 

  • Choosing to repair a leaking roof is sufficient when you have minor damage that replacing a few shingles in one area, usually due to wind damage. Depending on what type of roofing material you have, this is an easy, simple, and low-cost job, like for an asphalt shingled roof for example. A ceramic, slate, or metal roof repair is a more detailed process, takes more time to complete, and is more expensive. A downside to roof repair is that material matching isn’t always possible, especially with asphalt shingles. Over time, the color will fade, so the new shingles you use won’t blend in exactly. 
  • If your roof repair is for a more moderate level of damage. The damage is more significant but only in a confined area that requires partial reroofing. This will be more expensive than the roof repair we described above but is still less expensive than a complete roof replacement. 

You’ll still have the downside of the roof repaired area not being a 100% match to the existing roof. This is the same result aesthetic-wise as the newly repaired area of the roof will stand out from the areas not repaired. 

So, when do you know getting a new roof is the better way to go compared to roof repair? This is going to have a higher cost upfront but will save you money in the long run by avoiding multiple emergency roof repairs and other damage to your home. A few additional perks to a new roof are: 

  • The Aesthetics: The roof on your home is a large part of the curb appeal and outward appearance. A new roof will look attractive and allows you to choose different color and style, changing your home’s character if you choose. 
  • Energy Efficiency: The roofing materials today are improved in energy efficiency with a higher level of UV reflection.
  • Reassurance: When choosing between roof replacement vs repair, with a complete replacement, you can rest knowing that the most important investment you have is protected against the climate and elements. 

How much will roof repair cost?

The type of roof repair needed can vary, from replacing a few shingles costing around $100 to $200, or major roof repairs costing up to $7,000. The type of roofing material you have will have an impact on the cost of a roof repair too, with asphalt shingle roof repair being the cheapest and ceramic or slate roofing material on the higher end of cost, metal roofing repairs in the middle.

Commercial roof repair jobs are going to cost more than residential, and again, the type of roofing material and the severity of the roof repair needed are key factors. Most commercial structure roofing is flat roofing and may require the use of hot tar and more extensive repairs because of foot traffic and other features that commercial structures have.

What is included in roof replacement?

In most cases, a residential roof replacement is complete in one day. Depending on the size of the house, the type of roofing material, and the weather, some homes can take 2 to 3 days. A total roof replacement is started by tearing off every layer on the roof, down to the decking, and sometimes include the decking. The following are what you can expect with a roof replacement: 

  • Shingles: Most homes have asphalt shingled roofing, but this step also includes other materials like ceramic, slate, metal, etc. This is the ‘suit of armor’ for your home. It sheds debris, and water and protects your home from hailstones and high winds. 
  • Decking: The decking consists of boards that attach to the joists and trusses, providing a surface for the other roofing materials to be attached. 
  • Underlayment: This layer is crucial and is installed between the decking and the shingles, providing a layer of waterproof or water-resistant layer for the roof deck. 
  • Flashing: Thin strips of metal that are essential in protecting the roof by directing water away from vulnerable areas like where the roof and vertical surfaces meet. 
  • Drip Edge: A type of flashing, that is installed around the roof perimeter and is the final barrier against runoff, keeping water from the underlying layers.
  • Fascia and Soffit: These provide an architectural element to the roof but have a level of importance too. The fascia is the straight board that is installed along the lower edge of the roof and the soffit encloses the underside of the eaves so that the rafters aren’t exposed. 
close-up of a worker providing roof repair

The Biggest Concern Of Roofing

Paying for roof repairs or roof replacement can be an expense, especially when a new roof is needed, the biggest concern for any homeowner. So, does insurance cover roof replacement? A basic homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for roof replacement that is needed because of hail, wind, fire, or vandalism. 

When insurance doesn’t pay is determined by the insurance company’s adjuster’s findings. A roof is beyond its years of usefulness that starts leaking, the roof claim will be denied. The insurance company considers timely replacement to be the homeowner’s responsibility. This why it is important to keep your roof repairs and other upkeep measure are important.