A new roof can be a daunting purchase to consider. For many homeowners, they unfortunately don’t give enough thought to when their roof will need replaced or how much it will cost. It’s rare that we’ll meet a customer who has specifically been setting aside money for a new roof on their home, and it’s at least uncommon to meet a customer who’s been expecting the need to replace their roof for some time.
A new roof is usually an expense that catches homeowners unaware and unprepared.
It’s no surprise then that many homeowners hope to simply repair their roof rather than replace it. And if you’re working with someone you aren’t familiar with, it’s understandable to feel suspicious when a roofer comes to check out a roof issue and they recommend a full replacement rather than what you’d hope would be a cheaper repair. While each roofing situation is somewhat unique, we thought it’d be helpful to lay out in some general way how two questions help make the decision between recommending a roof repair versus a new roof.
How old is the roof?
The age of the roof will usually be the easiest question to answer, and it's the one you should give thought to even if you aren’t currently having roof issues. A home roof can usually be expected to last around 20-25 years, though depending on the materials involved, this number my fluctuate quite a bit. If your roof is, say, 15 years old, you want to make sure you’re keeping a closer eye on it, and it’s definitely a good idea to start making plans for how you’ll cover the eventual cost of replacing that roof. On the other hand, if your roof is only a few years old, the likelihood of needing a replacement is lower, though not necessarily impossible. It can be rare for a newer roof to develop the kind of widespread issues that would lead to the need for a full replacement. The good news is, if you have a newer roof and do have those kinds of issues, there’s a good chance your previous roofer offers a warranty to cover it. (We’re so confident in the roofs we install, we offer a 10 and even 50 year warranty to choose from!)
Is this an isolated issue?
The more difficult question to answer, and the one that we train our staff to be able to discern with accuracy, is whether a presenting symptom represents some kind of widespread issue. We may also consider with this what the overall condition of the roof is. For instance, you may call us in for a leak. A leak can be a simple problem, maybe some spot damage has been done to the roof, a screw was badly placed and damaged both the decking and underlayment. This is going to be an isolated issue, and not likely to require a full roof replacement. But a leak isn’t always so simple. It could be that the leak is caused by rotting decking, and the leak is currently isolated to one spot, but it’s clear from observing the current status of your decking that you can expect several more leaks in the coming months. This is when we might lean towards recommending a new roof.
Much of this question is going to require direct inspection of your roof, but you can get a general sense of the condition of your roof yourself. Observe carefully, either by climbing a ladder or by using binoculars, what the condition of some roof components are like. Is your flashing sound or does it have rust or look loose in some places? Do you notice dark discolorations in places? Do you have loose or missing shingles? Is paint peeling or wood discolored in places that are on the underside of the roof, like in awnings? These can start to give you a sense of what the condition of your roof is, and whether you might be looking at a deteriorating roof.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your roof is to get an annual inspection. Catch issues when they start, before they can spread. Our highly trained staff will identify risks to your roof and help you make plans for addressing them before they become something worse. We can help keep your roof in the best shape year round, and help ensure your roof will last for as long as possible. Call us today!