Anytime that we find damage on our roofs, an important question always arises, if we should fix or replace our roof. There is no one size fits all answer to this question but there are some very important distinctions that need to be made to help us to eliminate some options. For many of these, in reality, probably all of them, the best recommendation is to have a reputable roofing company to come and inspect to give a quote, for reasons which will become apparent.
The age of your current roof is a serious factor in considering repair or replacement. One reason for this is that if you have plans in the near future to replace a roof anyways, and unexpected damage occurs or is found, then a repair will not save money. Actually it would end up costing more because of labor cost. A second reason is that typically roofing materials, such as shingles, discolor over time. If you have a discolored roof and apply a brand new patch to the repaired area the differences will be noticeable. This is not an issue for everyone depending on where the patch would be, but if you have any plans to sell the home this can hurt the resale value.
Where the damage is located is a second variable to consider. More specifically, how deep is the damage. If the metal shield around the base of the chimney is coming up, and it hasn’t rained yet for the season, so it was caught early on, then a repair could be an excellent possibility. Or other cosmetic or minor problems like screw whole from a lining or gutter which can be filled and sealed. But if water has already seeped through and caused damage to the underlayer and deck this can lead to larger problems very quickly. If the integrity if the roof is at all compromised a repair is usually out of the question. You must be able to identify the at-risk areas as soon as possible to be effective.
Each city or state has its own laws regarding building and construction laws. For example, if the existing roof is the second lawyer, or there were specific materials or damage found under the roof, New York building code prohibited a simple repair but requires a full replacement.
The solution to a damaged area is also dependent upon which time of the year we identify the problem. Having a safe and insulated roof is important for the integrity of our homes but also to our health. If we know winter is just around the corner and we have damaged insulation and underlayers then we will end up risking higher utility bills due to loss of the house heating. On the flip side if it is nearly time for the spring and summer rains, and we are not confident the damaged area will hold out the water as it should be doing, a full replacement might be better suited. It is important to be aware of how a roof is affected by storms and weather. As soon as one season ends there are some damages that are more likely due to strong winds or rains.
For each of these, it should be obvious that there is never a simple answer. Our budgets play a major role in the decision, but some damage and quick fixes might end up costing us more in the long run. Having a proper inspection and a qualified roofer give an opinion based on experienced should also have major weight in the decision before any action is taken.
♦If you live in Queens or the surrounding areas and are not sure if you need a repair or replacement call Royal Renovators Inc. at (718) 414-6067, 118-35 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375, https://www.nycrenovators.com/