Roof Repair Vs. Replacement

Roof Repair or Replacement?  

Roof Repair or Replacement – For a Healthy and Worry-Free Roof

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW WHEN DECIDING TO EITHER REPAIR OR TO REPLACE MY ROOF?

Whether to entirely replace a roof or to simply repair it, can be one of the most agonizing decisions that a homeowner can make with regard to their home. Some homeowners will neglect any necessary maintenance and repairs on a roof until there is evidence of either interior water damage or exterior dry-rot damage caused by roof leakage. Other homeowners will demand a roof replacement even though the useful life of the roof can be extended after repairs have been made to it.

Secondly, many real estate transactions hang in the balance or are terminated when a buyer, who has limited resources and is buying a home in as-is condition, is required to obtain a roof certification from their lender, only to be told by their roofing company that they need a costly roof replacement. There are several important things that should be considered when attempting to make the decision between either roof repair or replacement.

What to Consider for Repair vs. Replacement:

WHAT IS THE AGE OF THE CURRENT ROOFING MATERIAL?

Whenever a new roof is installed on a home, the manufacturer produces their roofing material to last for a certain period of time. It is important to know when the home was built or when the roof was last replaced on a home. To gain an exact determination, one can check the city or county building department to find out when the last permit was issued for a roof installation.

The manufacturer’s life of their product is only a barometer and should not be considered as an exact science, because many roofs will exceed and go beyond their estimated life with some maintenance and repairs. The following are some examples, in general, of the estimated life of certain roofing materials:

  • 3-Tab Composition  (20 Years)
  • Dimensional Composition (25-40 Years)
  • Presidential Composition (40-50 Years)
  • Tile (40-50 Years)
  • Wood Shake (20-30 Years)
  • Steel (40-50 Years)

WHAT DOES THE ROOF WITH SOUTHERN-MOST EXPOSURE LOOK LIKE?

The south side of the home is the side that is exposed to the sun all day as the sun travels from east to west across the sky. The north side of the home is in the shade all day and never receives any sunlight.  Many of the rainstorms and winds in northern California come from the south. The part of the roof with southern exposure receives the most wear because of prolonged sunlight and wind exposure.

If any underlayment were to become exposed because of broken or slipped tiles, excessive granulation loss on a composition roof, or in the keyways of a wood shake roof, then the underlayment will dry and crack from being exposed to the wind and sun, which will then allow rainwater to intrude directly into the attic during the rainy season. You will notice this on a composition roof, where the granulation is worn more on the south side than any other side. You will also notice this on wood shake roofs, where the shakes are more worn, brittle, and dry on the south side. In general, the extent of the repair to an older shake roof or an older composition roof can depend heavily on the amount of damage to those parts of the roof with the most southern exposures.

ALWAYS GET A SECOND OPINION

All roofing companies are not the same and will not view your roof in the same way.  Many roof inspections are subjective. Some roofing companies do not like repairing and certifying roofs from future leaks because they don’t have the resources to repair future roof leaks on roofs that they have certified. These types of companies will find any reason to exclude a future repair under their roof certification. These companies are in the business of selling you a new roof and will go out of their way to persuade you that your roof needs to be replaced.

Based on our experience, we have seen numerous instances where a homeowner has been told by a roofing company that they need a new roof, even though the roofing material still has many years left before it reaches its estimated life. For example, we often see 3-tab composition roofs in the 12-15-year-old range, that are being called by roofing contractors for a re-roof. In almost every situation, we see roofing contractors call a wood shake roof for a re-roof even though that roof can still be repaired and certified. There are instances, where roofs really do need to be replaced and there are situations where adequate repairs will be sufficient. Always get other opinions from other roofing companies to help you make your decision.

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

Our Complimentary Roof Inspection is usually completed within 1 to 2 business days. Our Free Roof Report is issued later in the day of the inspection and will describe the current conditions of your roof.

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