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Roof Repair vs Replacement

When you get a roof leak or shingle blow-off, you have two different options: get the problem area repaired, or get your whole roof replaced.

The incentive in the industry is to lean towards full roof replacements.  Roofing technology has come a long way over the decades.  You can get 50 year warranties now that you couldn’t in the past or that you can’t if your roof is just repaired.

But replacements are more expensive than repairs, so you don’t want to go for a replacement when a repair would suffice.

Here are the key signs that when your roof has an issue, a repair may be better than a replacement:

Your roof is young


Roofs aren’t designed to last forever, but most are designed to last over a decade to a few decades.  If your roof was installed a few years ago and you just now get a leak, it’s not a sign of the roofing material failing.  It is, however, a sign that most likely something during the installation wasn’t done right.

Depending on what it is, a repair may be the best course of option.  For example, your chimney might not have been flashed correctly — in which case a repair can fix the problem.  However, sometimes an installation (often by a shoddy contractor) can be done so incorrectly that even when the material is fine, the entire roof needs to be replaced.  An example of this is if the original installer didn’t clean the roof deck properly and nails/staples are grinding through the bottom of your existing roof.

If your roof is too old, a host of problems can arise when trying to repair it instead of replace it. Even if a repair works on an old roof, it’ll be money thrown away since something else will come up soon.  Eventually you’ll need to replace the whole thing.

Your roof has only one layers of shingles


As appealing as installing a new layer of shingles over an existing layer can be, it’s usually not a good idea.  Doing so doesn’t address any underlying problem.  And the new shingle layer usually only lasts a few years.

Repairs on these roofs aren’t feasible because the lower layers are so old.  Finding the source of a leak can be a near impossible task under these circumstances.  By the time the source is found, it’d be better to replace the roof anyways.


If your roof has any issue and you’re unsure of what should be done with it, give us a call or fill out our online form.  All our estimates are free!

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