Roof Repairs vs. Roof Replacements


Maybe you’ve seen shingles in your yard recently. Perhaps your old wood roof is drooping or sagging. If you’ve recently noticed damage to your roof, you’re probably wondering whether you should repair the damages or replace your entire roof.

Here are our recommendations for deciding if you should repair or replace your roof.

Signs You Should Repair or Replace Your Roof

The life span of your roof depends on how well your roof can withstand your particular location’s weather, how well your roof is maintained, the quality of the materials your roof is made of and the quality of the installation. However, two major factors you should consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your roof include the type of roof you have and the extent and type of damage to your roof.

Roof Type

Different roofing materials are made to withstand various climate and environmental conditions. Do your research on different roofing types before deciding to repair or reroof. If your roof is starting to age, you might want to consider a full replacement.

  • Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the U.S. due to their affordability and durability. Made of fiberglass and asphalt sealant, these shingles typically last between 20 to 50 years.
  • Wood shingles: Because of their flammability and ability to retain moisture, wood shingles require the most maintenance and only last between 20 to 30 years.
  • Metal roofs: Depending on the type of metal you choose, metal roofs generally last between 50 to 75 years. One of the most popular choices, steel, lasts about 30 to 50 years, while more expensive options like copper can last up to 200 years.
  • Slate roofing: Slate is one of the most durable roofing materials, lasting between 75 to 200 years. Slate doesn’t require much maintenance, as it doesn’t retain moisture and holds up in extreme weather conditions.

Extent and Type of Damage

Regardless of the type of roof you have, certain types of damage are signs that it’s time to repair or replace your roof.

  • Leaks and cracks in the attic: Before examining your roof, head up to your attic and check for any cracks or leaks. If you shine a flashlight under the eaves and light comes through the top of the house, you might have a leak. If light can enter your home, then water and cold air definitely can. Check for stains and streaks, and monitor if they change size after a few rainfalls, suggesting an active leak. While you can patch smaller leaks, you should replace a roof with larger leaks accompanied by structural damage.
  • Cracked, curling or missing shingles: Your shingles should lie flat against your roof. If any are damaged, curling or cracked, you should take action. While a few damaged shingles in one section of your roof might be repairable, extensive cracking and loss of granules mean you should replace your roof.
  • Extensive mold, moss or fungi: While moss is usually a cosmetic problem, mold and fungi can suggest water damage, which is most popular in wooden roofs. Trapped moisture could lead to structural damage, which definitely requires a reroof.
  • Structural damage: Finally, if your roof is drooping or sagging from water damage, you should replace it as soon as possible, as structural damage is much easier to remedy when small and localized. Look for rotting boards or sagging spots.

Because both roof repairs and replacements are expensive, be sure to schedule an inspection with an experienced roofing contractor to determine the extent and type of damage and whether it necessitates a complete replacement. A professional can also ensure that any necessary repairs won’t cause more damage to your roof.


Benefits of Roof Repairs and Replacements

If you’ve noticed that your roof is damaged or nearing the end of its material type’s life span, you’re probably wondering whether you should repair or replace your roof. While both repairs can be beneficial, a complete roof replacement might fit your individual home’s roofing needs better.

Benefits of Repairing Your Roof

Roof repairs are best if you notice small, localized damages that don’t seem to necessitate an entire reroof. Roof repairs are much more affordable than replacing your entire roof, as the various parts of your roof, like the shingles or gutters, don’t last as long as the entire roof system. You may be able to get a bit more life out of your roof through repairs if money is tight. However, repeated repairs probably suggest it’s time to replace your roof.

If you’ve noticed any minor damages such as the following, you might want to consider repairing your roof:

  • Missing shingles in one area of your roof.
  • Air gun nailing mistakes and nail pops.
  • Minor leaks.
  • Weather damage.
  • Damage from poor installation or maintenance.

Benefits of Roof Replacement

While a roof repair is less expensive than an entire replacement, repairs don’t last forever. For more extensive or repeated damage, a reroof gives you more peace of mind. A complete roof replacement can help you rest assured your roof will withstand its environment and climate. Additionally, replacing your roof increases your home’s curb appeal, may qualify you for insurance discounts and is a great opportunity to upgrade your roofing style or materials.

  • Increased curb appeal: If you’re looking to resell your home in the future but your roof is damaged or doesn’t look good, replacing your roof can help your house sell. A new roof can make or break a house’s curb appeal, and it can make your house look newer and more aesthetically pleasing. Further, a recent reroof signals to buyers that your home’s roof is stable and will be durable for many years to come. While replacing your roof might have a higher price upfront, it can help you get a 60% return on investment on the replacement costs when you sell.
  • Insurance discounts: Upgrading your entire roof can allow you to qualify for significant homeowner’s insurance discounts. If you replace an asphalt or wood roof with a more durable material such as metal or slate, your insurance rates will often decrease due to increased resistance to fire and weather damage.
  • Material upgrades: By replacing your roof, you’re updating your roof’s aesthetic appeal and increasing your roof’s durability. But you also can save on future energy bills by choosing more efficient roofing materials. Plus, modern roofing materials typically require fewer repairs. For example, you can now purchase algae-resistant shingles, a product that wasn’t available in the past. Updating your roof to the latest materials can improve your home’s insulation to ensure it is comfortable and cost-effective.

What to Do Next

If you’ve noticed any damages to your roof, it needs to be repaired or replaced. Whether you choose to repair or replace your roof, it’s crucial that you do your research and hire a reputable, experienced professional. However, you’ll want to do your own research on potential problems with your roof even before researching local roofing companies and contractors. You can ask the right questions if you know what a salesperson will be explaining to you.

After troubleshooting your roof’s damages, research local roofers. Check the reviews for midsize, owner-operated companies to see which company fits your specific needs, and seek out contractors who can perform the services you need. You can even ask neighbors or your homeowners association to see who they recommend!

Next, make sure companies with positive reviews are licensed, bonded and insured.

  • Licensed: Reputable roofers are licensed in their state. You can verify that a company is licensed by searching their name in the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies state licensing boards.
  • Bonded: Companies that are bonded have money readily available to a consumer in case a consumer needs to file a claim against the company.
  • Insured: Because accidents happen, reputable roofers have insurance.

After evaluating roofing contractors, get bids from several companies before selecting the right contractor for you. Reputable contractors are willing to write an estimate and are happy to provide references.


Choose Sunshine Contracting for Roof Replacements in Northern Virginia

If you’re looking for roof replacement near you, Sunshine Contracting has the materials, professional team and experience you’ll need for a roof that lasts. Since 1993, homeowners in Northern Virginia have relied on Sunshine Contracting to help with their exterior remodeling needs. Unlike companies that subcontract their installations, we use the same crew for every installation and stand behind our work with a 10-year Workmanship Warranty. Contact us today to schedule your free quote!

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