Roof damage, just like the weather, is highly unpredictable. Sometimes a storm rolls through without leaving a speck of dust on your roof. Meanwhile, another storm happens and damages one whole half of your roof—leaving the other half untouched. Does this mean you only replace that half? Not exactly.

Most roofing contractors would never recommend that you replace half a roof. And in this guide, we’ll explain why.

Why You Shouldn’t Replace Half a Roof

There are a few reasons why replacing just half of your roof can cause issues down the road. One reason is that one side will be aging faster than the other, and putting it at risk of leaks with a seam down the middle.

Inconsistent Lifespan Timelines

If your roof is 20 years old, and you replace the half that was damaged—logistically, you’re going to have to replace the other half sometime soon as well. By that logic, you should have replaced the other side at the same time for consistency and longevity sake.

Having an age difference between different parts of your roof definitely complicates things, especially when it comes to warranties and getting repairs covered by insurance down the road. It’s best to do it all at once or make repairs rather than a replacement of half your roof.

worker on roof replacing roof shingles against blue sky background

It Ends up Costing You More Money

Sure, you’ll be shelling out more money when you replace all of your roof at once, but when you consider the longevity and coverage factors from having a consistent lifespan, it’s really going to cost you in the long run.

When you replace only half of your roof, you’re also only getting half a warranty. And if repairs ever happen that overlap the new side and the old side, you’re going to likely be paying out of pocket for those repairs because of the complicated situation. Making the larger investment upfront will save a ton of pain and strife (and cash) down the road.

One Side May Look Different Than the Other

Aesthetically speaking, replacing just one-half of the roof may not look the best. Roofs age over time and regular wear and tear can cause it to lose some color and if you live in moist climates you may see fading due to algae or moss growth.

If you want your roof to look good and boost curb appeal, replacing only one side isn’t going to do that for you.

You May Void Warranties or Insurance Coverage

Depending on your insurance carrier, you might have an issue if the two sides of the roof don’t match for whatever reason. Your warranty may also be null and void and cause issues down the road if they ever come to inspect and differ greatly from each other.

Splitting the Roof in Half Can Cause Leaks

When shingles are installed, they first have the roof decking laid, followed by roofing felt that helps seal your roof and keep it safe from leaks. If you replace one side of your roof, chances are you are also tearing up the old felt, and laying it new. This means there will be a seam created where your new roof meets the old roof.

Not only does this affect the integrity of your roof and cause a seam down the middle, but you aren’t going to have the fully sealed waterproof layer to keep it protected.

Upset household calling roof repair service while water leaking from ceiling because worker tried to replace half a roof

Options for Repairing One Portion of the Roof

If you have extensive damage to one side of your roof, a full roof replacement is not your only option. In fact, there are many other ways to remedy the situation that can both uphold any warranties or claims you submit on your roof, but also buy you time until you can or want to do a full replacement.

Patching Holes or Damage

If you have a few localized holes or damages, patching them up is a great short-term solution. This can be done with roofing cement, asphalt patches, or even simple shingle replacements. By doing this, you’re buying yourself some time before you have to make a bigger decision about the state of your roof.

Making Temporary Repairs

If your roof isn’t under warranty, if you’re just having minor issues, or if you want to hold off until funds are available for something more extensive, making temporary repairs is an option worth considering. These consist of either stitching the shingles back together with metal staples or using special caulking that’s designed specifically for roofs. You can even tarp the roof right away until you can figure out a financing situation to repair your roof.

Replacing Flashing and Waterproofing Layers

Replacing damaged flashing is an important part of roof replacement. This helps prevent leaks and adding additional waterproofing layers can also help you save money in the long run by extending the life of your roof over time.

If you have any problems with the flashing around your chimney, skylights, or anything else that sticks out from your roof, replacing it is a good temporary solution. You can also add an extra waterproofing layer to your roof by using a sealant or coating that will help keep water from seeping in.

Replacing Individual Shingles

You can easily replace just the damaged shingles by carefully removing the roofing nails and peeling up the layers. Make sure the felt underneath is safe from holes or damage as well, and simply lay down replacement shingles over the top.

Missing shingles on roof to repair instead of replacing half a roof

If you do have extensive damage on your roof, a total replacement may be your best bet. A professional inspection can tell for sure if a replacement is the right move because it can depend on many factors such as the age of your roof if it’s still under warranty, and what your budget is.

If you find yourself in this situation, please reach out to Impact Roofing. We handle insurance claims, storm damage restoration, and offer total roof replacements that can be done quickly to get your roof back in place as soon as possible. To schedule your roofing service, contact us today!