Roof Repair vs. Replacement - Central Homes Roofing
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Roof Repair vs. Replacement

How much of the roof is damaged determines which option is better
Read Time: 4 minutes
Aug 15, 2022

While a roof may seem like a permanent fixture on a home, they, unfortunately, don’t last forever. At some point, you’ll need to replace the roof. However, not all roof damage necessitates a replacement. Sometimes, a roof repair is sufficient, saving you money in the short term. However, there will eventually be a point at which you’ll be spending more money in the long run by continuing to repair a roof that really needs to be replaced.

Here’s how to determine whether your roof should be repaired or replaced.

What Are the Different Options to Fix Roof Damage?

If your roof has been damaged, there are three options for fixing it:

  • Roof repair
  • Roof recover
  • Reroofing
  • Roof replacement

What Is a Roof Repair?

A roof repair involves a roofing contractor working on a small section of the roof to fix a specific problem or area of the roof. What a roof repair entails depends on the type of roofing material and the type of damage. If your roof has shingles, then the repair could be replacing damaged shingles.

What Is Roof Recover?

A roof recover occurs when a roofer installs a new roof over top of the old one. This can save money because you don’t have to pay for the labor and time involved in removing the old roof. This option only exists for shingles and cannot be done if either the existing or the new roof is anything other than shingles.

Because this may cover up some problems with your roof, it’s recommended to completely replace the roof in order to avoid future issues. Even though a roof recover can save you more money in the short term, it may be more costly in the long run.

What Is Re-Roofing?

Reroofing is the process of replacing only the top layer of the roof. If the damage to your roof only affects the top layer, then this may be a good option.

What Is a Roof Replacement?

a roofing contractor removing an old roof in order to install a new roof

A roof replacement, by contrast, involves installing a brand new roof. Some roofing companies will do a full roof replacement every time so that all parts of the roof are the same age. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be necessary to fully replace the roof.

How Do You Know Whether You Need a Roof Repair or a Replacement?

a roofer standing in front of a house about to perform an inspection to generate an estimate

The first step in determining whether a repair will be sufficient or a new roof is needed is to have your roof professionally inspected. Some damage is visible from the ground and is apparent to non-professionals. However, it’s still a good idea to have a professional roofer examine the roof so that they can properly determine the extent of the damage and what it would take to repair it.

Should You Shop Around?

It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. Feel free to get multiple quotes from different roofing companies and compare the prices and the repair or replacement work that they thought was necessary to fix your roof.

What Factors Influence Whether Repair or Replacement Is Better?

Whether a repair or a replacement is better for your roof depends on how extensive the damage is, but also other factors:

The Roof’s Age

If your roof is nearing the end of its expected life span, then it may make more sense to replace it, even if the damage to the roof is localized and minor. This is because you’ll need to replace it soon anyway, so it’s better to pay for a replacement now rather than pay a smaller amount for a repair only to have to pay for it to be replaced not long afterward as well.

The Roof’s Overall Condition

A roof that isn’t in good condition overall may not be worth it to repair. This is because a roof in poor condition will most likely need a replacement sooner rather than later. After a certain point, it may not be worth it to continue repairing a roof because of the damage that could keep occurring.

How Much Damage the Roof Has Sustained

hail damage marked on a roof

If the damage is confined to just one place, for example where a tree branch fell on the roof, then a repair may be enough. However, if the damage is more widespread, then a replacement may be necessary. The general rule is that if more than 30% of the roof is damaged, then it’s better to replace it than to repair it.

Whether You’re Planning to Sell Your Home

How long you’re planning to stay in your home may also affect the decision. Replacing the roof could increase the home’s value and impact your possible asking price.

How Much the Insurance Company Will Pay

If you’re able to make a claim with your insurance company, how much they’re willing to pay could determine whether you’re able to replace the roof or whether a repair is a better option.

The Weather

A roof repair is typically much quicker than a roof replacement. It’s for this reason that certain seasons, like fall, are considered the best times of year to get a roof replaced. Roof damage doesn’t conveniently confine itself to autumn, however. If the weather is bad, then a repair may be a better choice until the weather and temperatures improve. This is because roofers may not be able to work in poor weather conditions, which could prolong a roof replacement, which already takes longer than a repair.

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