With the average cost of a roof replacement sitting between five and ten thousand dollars, it’s no doubt that it’s one of the biggest investments you can make in your home. Short of gutting and remodeling your home, your roof is going to be a large expense at some point—whether you’re repairing or replacing it. But when do you know if it’s right to replace vs. repair the roof? We’ll help you figure that out.

What Does a Roof Repair Entail?

Sometimes you need to get your roof repaired after experiencing storm damage or some other sort of damage. Repairs are often covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, as long as damages were not caused by human error.

This can be incredibly helpful and ensures you get your roof back to normal within a day and of little cost to you. However, repairs can also bring high out-of-pocket costs if it’s past its warranty, DIY repairs failed, or it’s too old to be covered and may require a replacement instead. 

reputable contractor helping woman decide if she should repair or replace your roof

Pros and Cons of Roof Repair

✅ The benefits of a roof repair include:

  • buying time until you can get a total roof replacement
  • getting your roof back in good shape quickly
  • is often covered under homeowner’s insurance

❌ The downfalls of a roof repair include:

  • trouble matching the shingles of your existing roof (sometimes colors or materials get discontinued)
  • insurance will only cover storm or accidental damage, not wear and tear
  • DIY repairs can lead to additional damage, costing you more money

What Goes Into a Roof Replacement?

On the other hand, a total roof replacement will include a full roof tear-off and replacing everything down to the roofing deck with brand new materials. It’s a much bigger project but is definitely worth the cost if you find yourself with an aging roof that needs more repairs than it’s worth.

A roof replacement is also your opportunity to switch your roofing materials if you want to upgrade or even change the colors and style to boost the curb appeal with your home’s exterior. 

man inspecting roof before repair or replacement

Pros and Cons of Roof Replacement

✅ The benefits of a roof replacement include:

  • a brand new roof that will likely last the life of your home (provided you maintain it)
  • replacement comes with a warranty, so if there’s any damage or leaks, repairs may be covered within the term limits of the warranty
  • opportunity to upgrade your roof materials and colors
  • making an excellent investment in your home that improves its longevity
  • a new roof can boost the efficiency and performance of your home

❌ The downfalls of a roof replacement include:

  • it’s far more expensive than roof repairs
  • not every roof comes with the best warranties (find a contractor with a workmanship warranty)
  • it can be more time-consuming and disruptive than small repairs (though most can be done within a day)

Signs You Need Your Roof Repaired

It may not always be obvious whether or not you need your roof repaired. Luckily, there are some tell-tale signs to look for if you think your roof was damaged or requires some attention.

Roof damage can occur from high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, heavy rains, falling debris, and more. 

Here’s a list of things to watch out for after a storm:

  • leaks or water spots on your ceiling or walls
  • wet attic floor
  • cracked, warped, or missing shingles
  • discoloration of shingles
  • granules found in gutters and downspouts
  • large branches or debris on the roof
  • Higher-than-normal energy bills

Some roof repairs may not be apparent until you notice any of the above issues. And the longer you let issues sit; the worse repairs can be. Water damage, for example, can spread and lead to mold growth which can lead to more costly repairs and require interior repairs as well as the roof.

If it is safe to do so after a storm, it is a good idea to walk around your property and check for any signs of damage on your roof, gutters, or any other parts of your home’s exterior. Then you can act fast, calling a contractor for an inspection and get the ball rolling on an insurance claim.

An inspection can determine the extent of the damage, and if it’s catastrophic or a large portion of your roof requires repair, a total replacement may be recommended instead.

Missing shingles helping to determine if you should repair or replace your roof

Signs You Need Your Roof Replaced

Roof replacement can be either a recommendation for your roof following severe damage or if your roof is beyond its intended lifespan and has too much wear and tear. It can be a conscious decision if you are looking to upgrade your roof for one reason another.

No matter what, a roof replacement is a significant investment in your home. Choosing the suitable roofing materials and colors is vital to ensuring you get the most out of that investment. To reiterate, reasons for a roof replacement may include:

  • storm damage significant enough to require replacement
  • your roof is too old for repairs
  • insurance no longer covers repairs
  • you want to boost curb appeal and upgrade your roof
  • looking to sell, investing in a new roof before putting the house on the market will help it sell faster
  • renovations to a home with additions often require a roof replacement
  • the shingles on your existing roof have been discontinued (and unavailable for repairs)
man on roof completing a roof replacement

A roof replacement isn’t something to take lightly and takes a lot more consideration than a roof repair. There are many questions you should ask yourself before replacing your roof, like “What is my budget?”, “What color do I want my roof?” or “How long do I want my roof to last?”. Here are a few signs you need to replace your roof vs. repair it:

  • your roof is 20 years old (particularly for asphalt shingles)
  • the roof has dark streaks or moss growth
  • you have many curled or worn shingles
  • you notice sagging or deformities in the roof
  • you have recurrent water leaks
  • you have very high energy bills because heat seeps out of the roof
  • you notice your neighbors getting new roofs (chances are the neighborhood was built around the same time)
  • shingles show bald spots or extensive granule loss
  • you’re out of warranty
  • you plan to stay in your home for a long time
  • vice versa—you want to sell your house but up the value with a new roof

Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace Your Roof

A professional roofing inspection can determine for certain if you should get your roof replaced vs. repaired. 

An inspection may include taking photos of the roofing system or inspecting for water damage. It can then be determined if repairs are an option at all.

A general rule of thumb is to have your roof inspected by a professional every 3-5 years, depending on how much your area receives in rainfall. Those living near trees or in more humid areas can expect their roof to wear more quickly.

woman inspecting blown off shingles

If you are replacing your roof, it is best to start this process during the spring and summer months when weather conditions are more ideal for working on a roof than fall or winter. However, you can start the planning and scheduling process in the colder months because the summers fill up really quickly.

So, when it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace your roof, consider all of the signs we’ve listed above. Also, look into your insurance coverage, warranties you may have, and what your budget may be. But in the end, you should definitely call the pros at Impact Roofing.

We can do a thorough inspection to determine the condition and age of your roof if you’re unsure. Then, our experts will offer the best possible solution that suits your needs. And don’t fret; we also offer financing options for a roof replacement to qualifying homeowners! Contact us today to get started.