Image of a roof on a house and text: Roof Replacement vs Repair: What You Need to Know

Roof Replacement vs Repair: What You Need to Know

You’re faced with a difficult choice – replace or repair the roof? What’s the best option? You don’t want to waste money repairing something that needs replacing. But you also don’t want to waste money replacing something that could be repaired. Below I help guide you through the process of choosing whether it’s time for a Roof Replacement vs. Repair.

Roof Replacement vs. Repair: Factors To Consider

Age of the roof

Depending on the type of roof you own, the roof’s age may determine if replacing it makes more sense. A roof nearing the end of its life may not justify repair work. For example, asphalt shingles have a shelf life of 20 to 30 years. If your roof falls into disrepair during this time frame, directing precious personal funds to a roof replacement rather than a repair is likely the right decision.

Amount of damage

The extent of damage to your roof plays a significant role in determining whether to pursue a repair or replacement. A home with a few missing shingles may require nothing more than a “simple” fix. A home experiencing persistent problems that no amount of repair work could resolve likely mandates a new roof. Replacing a roof also may reveal underlying or hidden issues that might exist.

Cost of replacement

In many cases, no consideration warrants more evaluation than the question of affordability. Does your budget allow for a roof replacement at this time? Or are funds tight for the time being? If replacing your roof is on the table, and it’s not an emergency, then perhaps a reasonable stop-gap measure makes sense – at least in the short term while you cobble together funds for an eventual replacement.

Energy efficiency

The roof often serves as a source of energy inefficiencies when it has unresolved issues. A drafty home causes energy bills to soar. Fixing a faulty roof could help shore up problem areas. However, replacing an existing roof with a new one incorporating the latest energy-efficient technological developments sometimes makes more sense. The result? Energy savings for you and your home.

Time factor

If time is of the essence, the decision might already be made. If you plan to sell your home in the not-too-distant future, your realtor may encourage you to replace your roof to address faulty areas of your roof once and for all. Likewise, if your home is experiencing persistent problems like significant water damage to the interior, you may need a replacement to address this issue permanently.

Type of roof

The kind of roof often determines whether a replacement makes more sense than a repair. For instance, the life expectancy of a well-maintained slate roof is 100 years or more. Removing and replacing a slate roof costs substantially more than an asphalt roof. Fixing a high-grade roof (including concrete or clay tile, metal, and slate) provides better value than outright replacement of the same.

When A Roof Repair Makes More Sense


Most homeowners factor in the cost-benefit tradeoff analysis for major home repair or improvement decisions. If the cost to repair is considerably less expensive than a new roof, then the choice to repair likely is the way to go.

Insurance coverage

A roof seriously damaged by a storm may qualify for a full replacement insurance claim, less the deductible. Some insurance policies steer the decision in one direction or the other based on the source of the problem or the underlying reason.

Minor damage

If you discover that fixing your roof will address the issues sufficiently without the need to replace it, then choosing to repair your roof makes sense. Most skilled roofing contractors perform minor repairs in a matter of hours or a single day.

Signs It Is Time For A Roof Replacement

Lack of compliance with current building codes

An existing roof that no longer meets building code requirements may not qualify simply to have repair work performed. To come into compliance, the home might necessitate a new roof. This issue often arises when a homeowner is selling.

Overwhelming damage to your roof

Following a significant weather event (such as a hail storm, a tornado, or a hurricane), your roof may have suffered untold loss. In that case, a new roof becomes necessary. In most instances, your insurance company will require it.

Significant moisture or water intrusion/mold damage

A home incurring persistent water or moisture intrusion in many areas because of a damaged roof needs a new roof. Mold or mildew damage throughout the home also invites a roof replacement (instead of merely repairing targeted sections.)

Complex roof repair versus replacement questions necessitate a compassionate, experienced roofing contractor with the expertise to help you successfully navigate toward the right decision for your situation. At 3JM Exteriors, we partner with you for all your roofing needs. Contact us today to schedule your free roof inspection.

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