If you’ve had to deal with recent roofing problems, such as a leak or damaged shingles, you might wonder whether it’s better to fix the current problem or simply replace the entire roof. If you don’t have any prior experience with roofing or home improvement, it will be even harder to make the right decision.
Is replacing your roof the right move? And how do you know for sure?
The Best Strategy: Work With Professionals
The best approach is to find a replacement roofing company you trust. Professional roofers will come out to your home, inspect your roof thoroughly, and make a recommendation for the best strategy, considering the specific details of this scenario. Most ethical roofers won’t recommend a full roof replacement unless it’s truly necessary; while they’re incentivized to generate business and make money, of course, they’re also incentivized to make their clients happy and make consistent, justifiable recommendations.
In most cases, professional roofers will be willing to talk to you, look at your roof, and provide you with quotes for free, so there’s no initial investment. And if you don’t trust what your first roofer has to say, you can always reach out to multiple other roofing companies and get competing quotes and recommendations.
If the problems with your roof can be easily or inexpensively addressed, your roofer can probably take care of them in a matter of weeks. Otherwise, a roof replacement may be the right strategy.
Signs You Need a Full Roof Replacement
These are some of the signs that your roof may be in need of full replacement:
· The roof is showing its age. The expected lifespan of a roof depends on several factors, with the best roofs lasting around 50 years and lesser counterparts lasting only 10-20 years. Metal roofs tend to be the most durable, capable of lasting many decades, while conventional asphalt roofs are a bit more vulnerable to damage. Where you live and how you’ve taken care of your roof can also play a role in determining the lifespan of the roof; if you live in an area with heavy storms, your roof is going to take more damage and last fewer years than its counterparts in areas that are relatively calm.
· There’s significant internal water damage. A small leak may be capable of being fixed with a simple repair, but if there’s significant internal water damage in your attic or on your ceiling, it could be a sign that the roof cannot be salvaged. If you’re leaking in multiple areas, or if there’s significant underlying damage, a superficial repair isn’t going to do much.
· The roof is sagging. A sagging roof is a big red flag. It’s usually an indication that there has been rot or significant damage underneath the roof. If this is the case, the entire roof may need to be gutted and replaced; it’s not a palatable option, but it’s certainly a lot better than having the roof collapse.
· You have problems with mold or fungi. Similarly, if you notice any problems with mold or fungi on your roof or in the interior of your home, it could be a sign that you need a more serious roofing overhaul. Mold and fungi can be incredibly destructive, and they usually only begin to become a problem after there’s significant water damage.
· There are many individual points of damage. Replacing a shingle here or a shingle there isn’t a big deal, but if there are many individual points of damage, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire roof.
· Repairs would be difficult or a bad investment. A roofing contractor can help you understand whether repairs would be a difficult or bad investment. You might be able to address your current problems for $1,000, but if your roof is only going to last another year or two, it might be a better choice to replace the entire structure.
The Cost of Replacing a Roof
Unfortunately, replacing a roof isn’t cheap – but it might be less expensive than you expect. Your costs are going to depend heavily on the materials you use, the contractor you choose, and the total square footage of your roofing needs. Do your due diligence, shop around, and make sure to get multiple competing quotes so you can get the best service for the best possible price.
In some cases, replacing a roof isn’t just the right move; it’s the only move. If the structural integrity of your roof is compromised, replacing it may be the only truly viable option. The good news is that most roofing issues can be repaired or addressed without having to replace the entire structure.
Work with experienced professionals to get the best recommendations for your situation.