Your roof is not something that most people think of and a lot of people don’t even look at. It is however, one of the most important parts of your house. By taking into consideration a few factors one can come to a fairly sound decision without much difficulty.
Trust your eyes. If the overall condition of the roof looks bad, it’s probably time to look at replacing it. Look for shingles breaking off, curling of the shingle edges and granules coming off in chunks. If the shingles generally look to be in good condition all over they probably are and maybe a small repair is all that’s required.
If you can see water stains or are experiencing leaking you definitely need to do some further investigation. A leak repair could be as simple as caulking or replacing a flashing. It could also be a sign of a much bigger problem with the roof.
How big is the problem area? If you are looking at a couple of shingles that blew off in a windstorm, you are going to be much more likely to look for a repair. If the wind blew off a large section of the roof (anything bigger than 3’x3’), it is a probably a sign that the shingles are becoming brittle and losing their resiliency to the elements.
Most shingles last 15 - 20 years. If your shingles are at or close to this age a repair doesn’t make sense. If your shingles are showing signs of wear much sooner than this there are a couple of things to consider. Ventilation can be a major factor in premature aging of your shingle roof. Check the soffit area to make sure it is free and clear so it can allow airflow in properly. You should see light coming in at the bottom area of your attic. The slope of your roof also plays a large role in the life of the shingles. If the slope is less than 4/12 your shingles will probably only last 10-12 years.
Roof replacements are not inexpensive and pricing is dependent on size and steepness of the roof. Roof replacements can go anywhere from $3,000.00 - $25,000.00 or more. Repairs typically cost from $500.00 - $2,000.00 depending on what needs to be done. If you still have another 5 years of life in your shingles going with a repair might be the right choice.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when making your roofing decision. Firstly, repairs do not come with warranties. Most roofing companies do not like to work on roofs that have done by other roofers. If you have decided to replace your roof your best value is to replace the entire roof. The cost for the contractor is greater for having to set up and do the job half and half. This added cost will have to be passed on to the homeowner.