If your roof has been damaged by heavy winds, hail, an accident, or some other kind of disaster, one of the first questions on your mind might be whether or not the damage is repairable. Roof damage can be challenging to estimate, and it’s natural to wonder if a few repairs will get things back to normal or if your entire roof will need to be replaced. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most common signs of roof damage and help you determine how to make that call!
Common Signs That Your Home Has Roof Damage
Before you can determine whether your roof can be repaired or if it should be replaced, it’s a good idea to look for signs of roof damage in the first place. Some forms of damage are obvious, like torn or otherwise damaged materials, but others can be subtle and harder to spot. Keep safety in mind while looking for these signs; try to identify them from the ground if possible, and never attempt to walk on a potentially damaged roof. If there is any doubt, call a trusted professional for a consultation.
Visible Age or Wear and Tear
One of the more common signs of roofing damage that most homeowners will encounter is visible wear and tear on roofing materials. This can include excessive granule loss, fading of the original color, or cracked materials. All of these can be indicators that your roof needs maintenance – how much will depend on the extent of the damage.
Missing and Loose Shingles
Another highly visible and easily noticeable sign of roof damage is missing, loose, or otherwise compromised asphalt shingles. The shingles on your roof are designed and installed in a specific pattern that allows them to protect your home from rain, snow, and other elements, but if any of them are missing or loose, that protection isn’t guaranteed! If high winds, debris, or wear and tear have resulted in some blank spots on your roof, installing new shingles should be your priority to prevent further damage down the line.
Roof leaks can range in severity from a slow, small drip onto the roof deck or in the attic to, in the worst case, a stream of rainwater that causes water damage throughout your home. There are many potential causes for a leaky roof, so if you know or suspect that you have an issue, contact a certified roofing professional to perform a thorough inspection as soon as possible. If left unchecked, roof leaks can lead to big problems, such as mold, rot, interior flooding, and even structural damage.
Lack of Ventilation and Insulation
Your roof and the attic space below it play a critical role in keeping your home warm, dry, and insulated from outside elements. Most homeowners know that keeping your roof’s insulation in good shape is critical for the prevention of ice dams, heat loss, and other issues, but proper ventilation is just as important! A ventilated attic space allows moisture that would otherwise be trapped to escape, protecting your roof deck and the space beneath from developing mold, wood rot, and other problems. If your aging roof lacks proper ventilation or insulation, this could lead to a big problem over time. Work with a trusted roofing contractor to ensure your roof is in top shape and ready for whatever season comes next!
Considerations for Getting Roof Repairs or a Full Roof Replacement
If your roof has been damaged, there are a few ways you can determine whether the damage can be repaired or if you will need a full roof replacement. You can use this guide to give yourself a place to start but remember that it’s almost always best to consult a reliable roofing contractor, especially because the circumstances around each damaged roof can be different!
Extent of the Damages and Overall Age of the Roof
Two primary factors you should consider are the extent of the damage to your roof and how old the current system is. First and foremost, if the majority of your roof has been heavily or extensively damaged, or that damage goes beyond surface material and into the roof deck where structural concerns may play a role, a full replacement may be your only option. On the other hand, if only a small section has been damaged as opposed to the entire roof, it may be easier and more cost-effective to attempt a repair.
Your roof’s age should also be considered in terms of an investment. For example, it might be a good idea to take this opportunity to replace your current roof if it’s near the end of its lifespan; does it make sense to spend the money to repair old shingles that will need to be replaced in a few years?
Can the Damages Simply Be Repaired?
When you’re examining your roof’s condition, it’s always worth considering whether a repair alone will get things back in top shape. In the case of minor damage to a small area, a simple repair may be all that’s needed. Sometimes, even roofing damage that looks severe or extensive can be repaired; if in doubt, ask your qualified roofing contractor for an inspection.
How Long Will You Stay in the Home?
This consideration goes hand in hand with our earlier recommendation about the age of your roof. When deciding between roof repair or replacement, it’s important to ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home, and consider all of the associated pros and cons. If you’re planning to sell or relocate soon, the extra expense of a full replacement might make the upcoming move more difficult; on the other hand, you’ll lose some property value – and potentially have a harder time making a sale.
What is Your Roofing Budget?
For most homeowners, budget will be the deciding factor between roof repair and roof replacement. Depending on the extent of the damage, roof repair is typically less expensive and intrusive than a complete roof replacement. In the United States, the average cost of a total roof replacement ranges from $6,000 to $20,000 or more, while a roof repair solution usually runs between $1,500 to $7,000, depending on the nature of the repairs.
Benefits of Having Your Roof Replaced vs. Repaired
In general, roof replacements are more expensive than roof repairs per square foot; however, they come with their own set of benefits that make them worthwhile investments for many homeowners. While it might be tempting to go for the cheaper option, consider some of the pros that come with fully replacing your current roof when the time comes.
Pros of Fully Replacing Your Roof
Investing in a new roof for your home after your current one has been damaged or aged past its prime can make a significant difference in your property’s safety, quality, and market value. Not only does a new roof provide peace of mind, but it also improves your home’s curb appeal, resale value, and energy efficiency.
Peace of Mind for Years to Come
Investing in a new roof means you can trust that your home is ready for the long run. Most modern roofs can last anywhere from thirty to fifty years with regular maintenance. By making this long-term installment, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to worry about unexpected expenses or dangers from structural issues or potential roof collapse. With a fully replaced roof, time is on your side!
Increase Curb Appeal, Energy Efficiency, and More
A new roof can provide a wide variety of tangible benefits to your home, from an increase in your property’s resale value to a boost in your home’s curb appeal and more. Most homeowners also see a marked decrease in energy bills after their old roof is replaced; with better insulation and energy-efficient materials, modern roofs are able to keep your home’s climate control system from working as hard throughout the year, resulting in noticeable savings.
Pros of Repairing Your Roof
Not every kind of roof damage requires a complete roof replacement to fix; some forms of damage can be addressed with proper repairs. If you’re debating between roof repair or replacement, consider some of the pros of restoring your current roof to good condition.
More Affordable than a Complete Replacement
Roof replacement costs can be prohibitively expensive for some homeowners, especially in the form of an unplanned or unexpected expense. For this reason, if roof repairs are a viable option, many choose to go this route and restore their existing roof – an option that often makes sense. If heavy winds have torn a few existing shingles loose, there’s no reason to replace the whole roof for several times the cost of a small repair unless there are additional complications.
Extend Your Current Roof's Lifespan
If your current roof still has a lot of life left in it, repair work might be the best option for you in the long term as well. Some roofs, particularly clay and metal roofs, are capable of standing strong for as long as fifty years before they need to be replaced! If your current roof is nowhere near its expiration date, repair work is likely the way to go.
Decisions Come Down to the Homeowner's Needs and Budget
Ultimately, what determines the best option are your own personal circumstances. Every situation is different and depends on a variety of factors, like the extent of the damage to the roof, the estimated cost difference of a repair or a replacement, your budget, and more. If you’re unsure about which option is right for you, consult your local trusted roofing contractor for guidance and direction.
RoofPRO is a Trusted Roofer in Maryland
For nearly two decades, RoofPRO has been providing top-rated and trusted roofing services to homeowners throughout Maryland. As a proven and reliable local roofing company, we’re proud to offer our industry-leading exterior solutions to help address each of our client’s unique needs.
Top-Rated Roofing Solutions Since 2004
RoofPRO has been a top-rated local roofing contractor since 2004. In all that time, we’ve built a reputation for our superior customer service, dedication to workmanship, and undeniable results.
Contact Us for a Free Roof Inspection and Estimate
When you’re planning your next roofing project, contact our team at RoofPRO for a free roofing inspection and estimate! We’ll work with you to understand your roofing needs and develop a plan to meet them.