The bad news is, every roof needs to be replaced at some point. The good news is, sometimes it’s possible to get away with a repair if there’s only minor damage.

When confronted with the question of whether to repair or replace your roof, repairing is usually a much more affordable option… but how do you know which is the right decision?

When to Repair

Water Damage: Although any leaking in your roofing system may seem like a major issue, if it is an isolated area and only affects a small section of your roof, it can typically be fixed. Untreated leaks can cause water damage to your framework and roof deck. Once these are damaged the roof will need to be replaced. This can usually be spotted if you notice that your roof is sagging. To avoid more costly, structural issues, treat leaks in a timely manner.

Missing Shingles: Missing shingles can usually be replaced easily. In most cases they don’t result in immediate leaks because of the layer of felt paper directly under the shingles… but left unrepaired and exposed to the elements, water and structural damage is inevitable.

Curling Shingles: Shingles can curl for a variety of reason from poor installation to improper ventilation, or defective products. If your shingles start to curl or bend, repair the problem quickly. Curling shingles no longer protect your roof from the elements. To avoid further damage, have a professional roofing company replace the damaged shingles with quality products.

Algae Growth: Fortunately, if you treat algae quickly, you can avoid having to replace your roof. Algae can be eliminated in its early stages of growth by simply having your roof cleaned. Unfortunately, if you have algae and let it spread, it can eat away at shingles and eventually lead to roof-rot. Algae can also cause the protective UV granules that cover shingles to begin to wear away, eventually drying them out.

When to Replace

Decay: Cracked or dried out shingles indicate deterioration underneath your roof. Decay weakens your roof’s structure and limits the amount of weight it can support. When this occurs, you will need to consider replacing it.

Age: It’s only a matter of time until every homeowner needs to replace their roof, even if it has been properly maintained. A roof’s age is one of the most common reasons it needs to be replaced. If you notice a large number of missing shingles, sagging areas and/or shingle debris clogging the gutters, it’s probably time to consider replacing your roof.

A roof repair is typically sufficient for fixing isolated issues like missing or curling shingles, and minor leaks. A roof replacement is the best way to address more systematic, structural problems. Repairs can save you money in the short term, however over time, you may spend more money on numerous small repairs.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not the roofing materials on your house are standing up, call in a professional. A roofing contractor will be able to assess any damage and make appropriate recommendations.

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