Homeowners saddled with a damaged or leaky roof face a very tricky situation.
Should they go for a simple roof repair or replace it entirely?
It’s not a decision that can be made lightly or on the spur of the moment unless the roof has suffered catastrophic damage in which case there is no option but to replace it.
A few factors that should be noted before going for roof repair or replacement include:
1. Are they any shingles missing, damaged, curled or torn?
2. Is the roof deck sagging when inspected from inside the home?
3. Are they any signs of water damage, dark spots, trails or water leak on the ceiling?
4. Is the sky or sunlight visible through the ceiling when looked at from inside the house?
5. Are the roofing materials like shingles and flashing around chimneys, skylights, dormer windows and other vulnerable spots intact?
6. Do the shingles show signs of excessive damage when inspected from outside? Are the gutters filled with more than usual amount of shiny granules?
7. Are they any visible signs of mold, rot, fungus on your roof or ceiling?
In most cases replacing the damaged shingles or tiles will solve the problem. However if the roof has worn out in a number of places or is extensively damaged a replacement of the entire roof may be recommended. It is better not to jump to conclusions and go for a new roof without expert opinion. Ask experienced roofing contractors and get at least 3 opinions and go with the advice that is most logical advice based on long years of experience.
As a general guide cedar wood roofs will last about 20 years. When it’s time for replacement it will just fall apart in dry climates or get mossy and green in wet climate. Tiles and copper roofs will last 100 years. But, they are delicate and walk over them is not recommended. An occasional tile will break or get damaged and can easily be replaced. Same is the case with slate roofs. Concrete roofs don’t need replacement for the lifetime of the house. Asphalt roofs need replacement after 15 years.
In case your home needs a new roof then it is better to choose a roof that suits your local weather and climate. A light-weight metal roof is recommended for areas with extensive snow fall. The snow melts and falls off such roofs and does not pile and cause a roof collapse. Homes situated near woods, forests or dry brush should opt for durable roofs like slate, tile or metal. Asphalt or wood roofs are a fire hazard as they can easily catch fire. Slate, tile and metal roofs are expensive but last 100 years and are good investment. Slate and tile roofs are elegant, aesthetic and have long life but they are heavy and need strong roofing structure to take care of the extra weight.
Roofing is not an easy DIY project. It takes major effort, expert skill and years of experience to do it right. A roof that has been installed properly will a last its life-time without any trouble if routine maintenance and repairs are done on schedule.