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Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?


There’s a decision that you might have to make when you notice damage to your roof. Do you spend the money to make a repair or do you indulge in replacing the entire roof? Unfortunately, there are no quick answers that you will get from the internet. Instead, you’ll have to do some comprehensive research with the help of a roofing contractor who you can contact by phone or through their website.

How Extensive is the Damage?

One of the first things that you have to look at is how extensive the roof damage is. While you may be able to stand in your driveway or backyard to look at part of your roof, it requires a full inspection.

A roof inspection will cover a number of different things:

  • Weather events, including hail marks
  • Loose or missing shingles
  • Unusual wear and tear
  • Organic growth
  • Leaks

While a roofer can tell you all sorts of things about your roof, it’s best when they can show you. A quality roofer will provide you with photos or a video of their time on top of your roof so that you can “see” the damage for yourself.

Some damage isn’t going to be extensive. It’s damage that you can live with for many years to come without it impacting the overall integrity of your roof or your home.

Other damage is only going to get worse. It may be causing roof leaks and it may lead to your roof getting worse with time.

How Old is Your Roof?

A roof may last up to 20 to 30 years, but it depends on where you are. Areas that are prone to a significant amount of hail, wind, and rain deal with roof repairs and replacements with greater frequency. In some areas, the life expectancy of a roof may only be 10 years.

Many times, roofers will identify roofs based on being in the first third, second third, or last third of their life. As such, it can help you to determine whether your roof still has a number of years left in it or not.

Particularly if you have a lot of damage and your roof is in the second or third stage of its life, a roof replacement may be the better route over a repair.

What is the Cost to Repair?

Find out what the cost is to repair the roof. More importantly, find out how long those repairs are going to last you. Often, it can be cost-effective to bandage the problem if it will help you to extend the need to replace your roof by at least a year or two.

If you have repairs that are needed across various areas of your roof, it can get to be costly. This is when you have to look at the cost of a repair versus the cost of a full replacement. Replacing your roof may be more expensive but it might be the more affordable option in the long run.

Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover the Costs to Replace?

While normal wear and tear won’t be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, many issues will. If there’s a hailstorm, a deep freeze, or a tree that has fallen onto your roof, it may be a covered event.

It’s a good idea to read through your policy and familiarize yourself with what is and isn’t covered. If you find that the reason for the damage is covered, file a claim with the insurance company.

Often, you’re only responsible for the deductible. In many instances, that is 1% of your home cost – but the full amount is identified in your policy. The deductible may be cheaper than repairs – and can be substantially cheaper than paying for a roof replacement out of your own pocket.

Particularly when your insurance will cover the reason for the damage, it can be the best option for you. They’ll determine whether they’ll cover a repair or a replacement based on the extent of the damage. Talk to your roofing contractor. They’ll often be able to guide you toward determining whether home insurance will cover it or not.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Decide

While it’s important to decide whether you should repair or replace your roof, you don’t have a lot of time to make your decision.

Extensive damage is only going to get worse. And, if you don’t get the problem addressed before the next storm, you could face more damage – and that damage could be internal as well as external.

Additionally, if you are going to make a home insurance claim, you should do so within days of the qualifying event. Otherwise, the insurance company may reject your claim.

There’s no need for you to make a decision on your own. Instead, work with a qualified, licensed roofer. They can provide you with an inspection and work with you to do what’s right for your home (and your budget).

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