To Repair Or Replace A Shingle Roof

If you have an asphalt-shingle roof, you need to inspect your roof from year to year for signs of damage, and then make repairs as needed. While you can extend the life of your roof by making timely repairs, your roof does have an effective lifespan; thus, the day will come when repairs are no longer an option, and you have no choice but to replace your roof in order to restore peace of mind. To know when to repair and when to replace, you need to know what to look for. 

The Extent of Damage

No matter how long you have had your roof, extensive damage can total your roof. As is the case with a car, "totaling" a roof means that the damage to the roof is so extensive that it would be more feasible to replace the roof than make repairs. How much damage is too much? A square of shingles—enough to cover 100-square feet—will cost around $100 dollars. If the plywood decking under your shingles is damaged, it will cost another $80 to buy new wood. You also have to factor in costs like roofing nails and cement. You can then pay up to $76 an hour in labor costs. Thus, if you are only replacing a few shingles per square, making repairs is the less expensive options, but if you are replacing most of the shingles in each square of your roof, you should probably just have the roof replaced. 

The Service Life of Your Roof

An asphalt-shingle roof will typically last for only twenty years. If you have to make repairs in the first several years after installing your roof, repairs are the best option because they will help you to reach the full expected life of your roof; whereas, damage left unchecked could undermine the integrity of the rest of your roof. On the other hand, if you have to make repairs a few years before your roof will need to be replaced, you need to consider your options. You could pay out hundreds of dollars to get your roof in working order only to pay thousands of dollars to replace your roof a year or two down the road. This is a case where you should at least consider replacing your roof which will eliminate the cost of repairs, so it will be the less expensive option in the long run. 

If you are having a hard time figuring out just how damaged your roof is or how much it will cost to make repairs, you should at least call in a roof inspector. Many roofing companies will offer free inspections and give you recommendations with obligation to make repairs. You can then decide if you want to make repairs on your own, hire a professional for asphalt shingle roof replacement, or replace your roof.