Do you have an older home with an older roof? Are you wondering if you should repair a damaged roof, or replace the whole thing? Although new roofs are expensive, sometimes the multiple repairs and high cost of repairing some roofing materials makes it worth replacing the whole roof.
Damage to look for
After a particularly bad winter, after a nasty storm, or when considering purchasing a property, are the times when people usually asses the damage done to their roof.
Some of the damage which you might see includes:
- Dark spots in ceilings or down walls
- Leaks inside during or after strong rains
- In the attic, outside light shining through the roof
- In the attic, a sagging roof deck
- In the attic, look for signs of damage from critters such as termites, or carpenter ants
- Excessive ice dams in the roof in winter and water in the attic under them
- Sagging or rotten soffits (The soffit is the underside of where the roof overhangs the house)
- Shingles curling up, torn, cracked, bald, or missing
- Algae build up or signs that the roof is damp in one area
- Decay in singles, sheathing and soffits.
- Extensive wear of the shingles may also cause excessive amounts of single granules in the gutters
Repair or Replace - Rules of Thumb
There is a general rule of thumb that if one third of the roof or more is damaged that it is better to replace it.
However, and this is a big however, it depends on the type of material used. If your roof is made of an expensive roofing material, then it may be better to repair the existing roof than replacing the entire thing.
Another rule of thumb is that if your roof is less than 15 to 20 years old and was installed properly, then it is probably better to repair it, than replace it.
Unless you have more than a third of your roof damaged, consider the age of your roof. If you are dealing with minor damage on a fairly new roof, often you won't need to replace it.
Replacing a Roof
The type of roofing material you would consider has to depend on the climate your house stands in.
The type of roofing material has to stand the test of time in the climate you live in. If you live in a region where snow can be a problem, choosing a non-porous material is important, and it is also prudent to consider the weight of the roofing material if the snow load is heavy.
Clay tiles, slate and metal are the most expensive type of roofing material in the USA; Three tab asphalt shingle and wood are the cheapest. If you are considering replacing the roof, consider the cost of the materials you will have to use for the climate you live in.
Check now – before another big snowfall or rainfall
If you have noticed any one of the signs above, check for other signs of damage. Waiting to fix a roof is asking for trouble, as water damage can be costly to fix.
Some of these problems can be solved with a simple DIY patch. Be careful though; it is dangerous going up onto the roof. Roofs can be more slippery that you would expect, and if you have tiles, they crack very easily.