When your roof leaks, you know that you must do something about it. The question is, should you repair it or replace it? Replacing the roof is a major expense that you may want to defer for as long as possible. Following are some factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your roof.
The first thing to consider is the condition of the roof. If a few shingles are missing here and there or you have a leak in one area, you can probably have the roof repaired. But if shingles are missing or you are experiencing lifting, curling with frayed edges and there are a number of leaky areas or the roof has sustained major damage, replacement may be the best option.
The age of your roof is another factor to consider. Most asphalt roofs last 20 to 30 years before they need to be replaced, while metal and tile roofs can last even longer. Some manufacturers of roofing materials offer warranties on their products too. If your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan and you are noticing problems related to the roof's condition, you know that a new roof will be needed. But if the roof is not that old, repairing it might be the best option, especially if the warranty is still in effect. If that is the case, contact the roofing manufacturer to find out how to proceed.
If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and you are starting to have minor problems with it, consider your budget. Because replacing a roof can cause thousands of dollars, you may not have the money available to undertake this project right away. In that case, you may want to have minor roof repairs done to give you time to save enough money or to obtain a loan so that you can have the roof replaced.
If you decide that replacing your roof is the best option, you must then decide if you want to have a new roof placed over the old one or if you want the old roof torn off and replaced with a new one. If there is only one layer of asphalt roofing on your house, it is usually possible to have the new roof placed on top of the old one. This is less costly than having the old roof torn off first. However, if there are already two layers of roofing on the house, you will probably have to have a tear-off done. You must also decide on the type of roofing materials you want to use. Research the advantages and disadvantages of each type of roofing material to make that determination. A good rule of thumb to use when figuring how much a new roof will cost you would be. Shingles are purchased by the square (which is 100 square feet), an approx. down & dirty number to use in figuring the costs of a roof would be $250 per square for a "roll over" (go over one layer of shingles) & $350 per square for 'rip & re-ply (take off all layers of shingles and install new).
Replacing a roof is a major project and can be quite costly. Before you go that route, use the factors listed above to make an evaluation of your roof and the options available to you. That will help you decide if you should repair your roof or replace it entirely.