How to Know Whether to Repair or Replace Your Roof

How to Know Whether to Repair or Replace Your Roof

Feb 14 2022

Are you having leaks or see some damage on your roof and are you wondering what your roofer may suggest as the best course of action for your old roof? How do you know whether it’s time to repair or replace your roof?

This is a topic that is somewhat controversial. Every roofer has different opinions on when it is time to replace a roof instead of repairing it. In this article I’m going to share with you what general guidelines we follow at Restoration Roofing to determine if it’s time to replace your roof, or just repair it.

Uh oh! Fiberglass is Showing on Your Roof:

When we conduct roof inspections, one of the first things we look at is the overall condition of the shingles themselves. Shingles consist of layers of fiberglass, asphalt, and granules. Fiberglass is the bones of the shingles. It is what gives the asphalt strength and prevents the asphalt from just breaking apart.

However, fiberglass should not be exposed on a healthy roof. Many times, we see areas of the roof with exposed fiberglass and other that are not showing their fiberglass bones. Often, these are smaller roofs that may be on a bay window or on the side of a house that are not attached to the main roof and are not ventilated as well as the rest of the roof. If this is the case, we will recommend replacement of those smaller areas while also adding some ventilation to those areas so that the new shingles do not start breaking down prematurely.

Also, we come across many roofs that have exposed fiberglass on all or most of the shingles. This is not a good sign and, in this instance, we will recommend a complete replacement of the roof and adding ventilation on the new roof so that you won’t have to worry about exposed fiberglass again.

Discontinued Shingles:

Shingle manufactures are constantly changing shingle designs, colors, and sizes. When they make these changes, often times, they will stop producing the older style shingles. Unfortunately for homeowners, since we cannot purchase those old shingles anymore, it often times makes it impossible for roofers to match the shingles.

This is a very touchy subject because it widely depends on homeowners’ preference and rather or not they want mismatching shingles on their homes. Also, many HOAs will not allow you to repair your roof with shingles that do not match.

As a general rule, if the repair is isolated to one or two areas that are not in the line of sight from the street, we will do our best to find a shingle that will match as closely as possible. If the repair is going to cause your overall home to look ugly and possibly get you in trouble, we will suggest a replacement. If we can confidently repair it and it is not noticeable, we will always repair it. The placement and your community guidelines will be determined on a case by case for you to know whether to repair or replace your roof.

Brittle Shingles:

I know we have all heard of brittle candies. I know I was a little too familiar with peanut-brittle before I started dieting, but did you know your shingles also become brittle? Not in a good way like the candies, but in a very bad way that makes them almost impossible to repair.

You see, as your roof ages, the asphalt begins to lose its elasticity and starts to dry out. This process makes the shingles stiff and brittle. Therefore, if you have an area that needs to be repaired, it becomes almost impossible to repair them without damaging the shingles around the repair.

In this case, the best thing to do is replace the roof entirely or replace the slopes that have the damage on them. On a roof that is still able to be manipulated without causing damage, you can repair. In the Memphis area, this would be like an architectural shingle that is under approximately 15 years old.

The Long-term Cost of Repairs vs Replacement:

When your Memphis roof gets to a certain age, it becomes more prone to leaking due to wear and tear. With roofs that are at this stage, we often find multiple leaks at a time that are in need of repair and due to the old age of the roof, more leaks will surely happen that will lead to more costly repairs in the possible near future.

This is where you need to evaluate and determine rather or not it may be cheaper for you to just go ahead and replace it. We see clients all of the time that want to keep on repairing their roofs and, often times, the total cumulative cost of the repairs can end up costing 40-60% the price of a new roof. For roofs like this, the best course of action is to replace it. Now, if your roof is in good shape and only has one or two problem areas, repairs will be the cheaper alternative both short term and long term.

At Restoration Roofing, we have a unique approach to how we inspect roofs. You can feel confident that, with our inspection, you will know exactly what’s going on with your roof and what option is the best for you, in the short term and long term. We will let you know whether it is best for you to repair or replace your roof. Restoration Roofing is a fully insured and BBB A+ rated company offering a range of roofing and gutter services. To schedule a complimentary digital roof inspection, give us a call at 901-854-3402, or contact us online. We are happy to serve Memphis and the surrounding Midsouth! To see more updates from Restoration Roofing, check out our Facebook page.