In many situations, the decision to repair or replace a roof is an easy one. If a single, isolated leak is found that affects only a small section of your roof, and the repair is often the better choice; if old age has taken its toll on your entire roof, replacement is the obvious choice. Unfortunately, roof repair vs. roof replacement is not always such an easy decision. In many cases, the best choice ultimately rests not only on the damage that is done but on the roofing material you’re dealing with. The following information on common roofing material options is here to help you decide whether repair or replacement is right for you after damage occurs:
For residences, the five most common roofing material options are asphalt, metal, slate, tile, and wood. Each of these materials can be either repaired or replaced when damage occurs, but their individual characteristics and life expectancy will play a huge role in which is the most cost-effective route for you! Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
- Asphalt Shingles are easily the most popular roofing material choice in the nation. While cheap, dependable, and easy to install, asphalt shingles are also one of the least durable options on the market.
- Wood Roofing is not near as popular as it once was. Though its aesthetic appearance is second to none, wood roofing materials are more expensive than asphalt and require more maintenance than most other roofing materials.
- Metal Roofing is gaining popularity as a roofing material. Though older metal roofing was rightfully accused of being noisy during rain showers, subject to rust, and a poor insulator, today’s metal roofing provides homeowners with an excellent balance of affordability and durability.
- Tile Roofing is extremely popular in certain areas of the country. Very expensive and very durable, tile roofing is an investment that will not only make your home more attractive but raise its value, as well.
- Slate Roofing is pretty much the alpha and omega of roofing material options. When it comes to durability, nothing can match it; its appearance isn’t for everyone, and the whole has been known to last for more than 100 years. Its incredibly high price tag makes slate a material that most homeowners find cost-prohibitive.
Repair vs. Replacement for Different Roofing Material Options
Again, some roofing material choices are better candidates for repair than others. With slate and tile, replacement is almost never the best choice. Unless your slate or tile roof is more than 70 years old, there’s a good chance that even extensive repair will be a better investment than installing an entirely new roof. On the flip side, with a wood roof fallen into disrepair or damaged enough to require extensive work, the best option might not only be a replacement but a replacement with a different material.
Though there are plenty of homeowners who feel the low life expectancy and high maintenance needs of wood roofing are a fair trade-off for its appearance, wood roofing has gone out of style for a reason! If old age has taken its toll on your wood roof, you should (at the very least) take a glance at the cost and performance of more durable roofing material choices before you decide to go with wood again.
Those in the know can’t say enough good things about modern metal roofing. Over its extremely long lifetime, metal roofing will rarely require repair (unlike tile and slate that, while characterised by the longest life spans in the roofing world, are also brittle, often leading to many smaller repairs over their lifetimes). Chances are if your metal roof has aged long enough to require repair on any kind of frequent basis, it has already done its job for decades and should be retired and replaced. If a metal roof is damaged by impact, there is a high probability that repair will fix the damage for good and the roof as a whole will perform well for years to come.
Asphalt is probably the most difficult material to deal with when trying to decide whether replacement or repair is your best option. It is true that asphalt can be patched up over and over again, but it is also true that it is likely to age far more quickly than other roofing materials. The big benefit of an asphalt roof, however, is that it is so affordable, you can completely replace one several times over before you hit the cost of a single installation of other roofing material options.
When asphalt roofing is damaged or aging, an independent roofing inspector is your best friend. Not only will he or she be able to give you sound, impartial advice on what preventative measures can be taken to extend the life of your roof, they will also be able to give you an unbiased opinion of whether replacement or repair is the better decision. Take a look at our range of roof repairs Melbourne.
10 Tips to Help You Decide Which Route to Take
The number of years a roof lasts depends primarily on material and weather. Most roofs are made of asphalt shingles. They’re affordable and last 20 to 30 years.
Pricier and sturdier materials like copper, slate, and tile typically last 50-plus years, with copper clocking in at 100-plus years, or the lifetime of your home. Fibre cement and wood are in the 25 to 30 range, respectively.
Extreme weather and unforeseen accidents, like fire, can cut those roof years down by destroying your entire roof. Alternately, a section can get damaged, and you have to consider roof repair vs replacement.
To help you make that choice wisely, we’ve put together ten tips on how to decide when to replace a roof and when to go for house roof repair. Keep reading to learn about roof construction, shingle replacement, costs and benefits of repair vs reroofingg vs replacement, and more.
Then, decide which option is the best fit for you and your home — keeping aesthetics, dependability, durability, cost, and ease in mind.
Get a Professional to Look beneath the Surface
You had a big storm. Some shingles blew off. Or maybe a tree branch damaged shingles on one side of your house. It’s probably not a big deal. You probably just need to replace those shingles or repair a small area.
But there could also be damage to the underlayment or the roof deck, and you want to get that inspected by a certified roofing contractor you trust, so you don’t have to go back and fix another issue after repairing or replacing shingles.
The roof deck is the bottom part of your roof. It goes on top of the rafters, joists and trusses. It’s usually made of 1/4-inch to 1-inch plywood panels, and it’s called sheathing.
The roof deck is the base that holds the other layers, like materials that waterproof and insulates. The underlayment is one of these layers. It protects the roof deck from water and other elements.
It protects the shingles from resins that come up from the roof deck and helps keep the roof flat.
Determine the condition of these layers before addressing anything on top. If damaged, repair them if possible or replace the roof if not. Looking for roof repairs? Look no further! Top Glaze has you covered.
Replace Missing Shingles if Possible
If you’re just missing a few shingles and your knowledgeable local roofing contractor confirmed that there’s no other damage to the underlying structure, you can simply replace those shingles.
Your basic three-tab asphalt composition shingles are sturdy and built to last 12 to 25 years. Bump the quality up to asphalt architectural shingles, and they’re made to last 30 to 50 years. So with asphalt, you want to replace what’s missing and maintain a dependable roof.
Wood and tile shingles can be replaced as well as long as there’s no other damage to your roof.
It’s a good idea to order extra shingles when you install your roof. This allows you to replace them with shingles that match exactly in colour.
Replace Damaged Shingles if Possible
Like with missing shingles, if you have a few damaged shingles and there’s no other damage to the underlying structure, you can replace them.
Asphalt is tough and doesn’t crack that easily. Tile, however, is often made of clay and cracks easily. Be sure to have your tile shingles checked regularly for cracking and replace as needed.
Wood shingles can get damaged because of wear and tear from the elements, especially water. Again, the rule of thumb is that if you have a few damaged wood shingles and no other damage to the underlying materials, you can replace them. But with wood, if some of the shingles are on their way out, it’s likely that the others may be ready to go as well.
Repair Loose Flashing and Vent Seals When Needed
Flashing is a thing material, often galvanized steel, that helps drain water from your roof and protect it. Flashing also protects other structures on your roof, like the chimney or dormers.
If flashing becomes loose, water damage can occur to the roof and the other structures of your home. Loose flashing can usually be repaired as long as another damage hasn’t already occurred.
Be sure to have the flashing checked during maintenance and repair it or replace it right away if it’s loose.
The seals around roof vents can because dry over time, and crack become damaged. Check the seal during your regular maintenance and repair right away to prevent damage.
Look For Larger Bald Spots as a Sign for Roof Replacement
When you see that there are large spaces on your roof where shingles are missing or damaged, it may be time to replace your roof.
It means that time and weather have caught up with your roof and are likely to continue in other areas. If you continue to simply replace the shingles in the bald area, you’re likely to end up replacing your entire roof, and during this time, the elements will have the underlying materials, which can cause further damage and expenses.
Look For Other Signs That Your Shingles Are Falling Apart
In addition to seeing bald spots on your roof, there are some signs that your shingles are starting to crack and fall apart and that it’s time to replace your whole roof.
Look out for granules in the gutter. These are often copper granules, and as the shingles wear, you’ll find them washed into the gutters.
Look out for curved edges on your shingles. Look out for buckled shingles. And look out for cracked shingles and brittle shingles, which are likely to crack soon.
Look for Water Leaks and Damage
If you have leaks coming from the roof in your attic or your home, it’s time to call your roofing professional as soon as possible. There’s likely damage to the underlayment and the roof deck. When this happens, unless it’s in a very small area, it’s likely that you will need to replace your roof.
Replace Your Roof Rather Than Reroof over It if Possible
In the past, roofers would reroof over the existing roof. This means the new shingles would be placed over the old shingles. Sometimes people use the term reroof to refer to putting on an entirely new roof, which could mean a replacement, but often, this refers to overlaying a roof on the existing roof.
Today, reroofing is not common because it has many drawbacks. Not only does it place extra weight on your roof, but if there’s a problem with the underlying materials, it’s more difficult and expensive to get in there.
Also, if you eventually get to a point where you have an issue with the roof deck, underlayment, or bigger storm or other damage, it will be more difficult and expensive to rip out two layers over the entire roof.
Keep Up with Roof Maintenance
The best way to keep your roof in good shape for as long as possible — given normal circumstances — is to have it inspected twice a year and to do needed maintenance.
Schedule your roofing professional to come out once in the spring and once in the fall. They will check the roof deck, the underlayment, the shingles, the gutters for shingle granules, the flashing, the vent seals, and more. If there’s anything that needs repair, do it right away.
Keeping up with maintenance keeps your roof and home protected from further damage, like water damage, which is more costly in the long run.
Plan Ahead for a New Roof
At a certain point, your roof is likely to start to deteriorate and need replacement depending on the type of material it’s made of.
If it’s asphalt, know that it’s likely to need replacing after 20-plus years, depending on the quality of asphalt. If it’s wood, you can start to look out after 25 years. Tile has the longevity of 45-plus years, and metal can last over 50 years. Slate and copper can last over a century.
You can plan ahead through maintenance and savings so that when it’s time to replace your roof, you’ll be aware and financially comfortable.