Deciding whether to repair or replace your roof is a simple enough decision once you know the tell-tale signs of a roof that is past its prime. It is true that many homeowners believe the lack of any active or visible leaks means their roof is ‘good enough’. While this is a fair enough assumption, it is not always the case.
In fact, the best time to replace a roof is before it starts to leak. Once your roof starts showing signs of major wear (like a leak), then it really is time to replace the roof entirely. However, not all signs of visible damage mean the roof needs to be replaced.
In this article, we will highlight situations in which your roof needs to be fully replaced, and also some insights into when a repair job might just do the trick.
Replace: A Roof Leak
A roof leak is often a serious sign that your roof must be repaired. Whether it needs to be repaired or replaced will depend on the extent of the leak. Sometimes if the damage is extensive enough, a full replacement roof might be necessary. Ignoring roof leaks or doing a quick, band-aid fix puts many of the other parts of your home at significant risk. Sometimes if a specific reason can be found for the leak, the roof can be repaired, like if it is simply an issue of flashing.
Replace: Rain Slots and Notches
Leaking is of course never a good sign, but rain slots and notches are always a tell-tale sign your roof likely needs to be replaced. If you have a roof with asphalt or fibreglass shingles, take a look at the rain slots (notches) between the tabs. If the notches are significantly wider than they are on new shingles, are rounded off on the corners, or the surface of the shingles are bent, warped, cracked, curled or dented, it is a good idea to have a complete inspection of your existing roofing system to identify how much life is left in the materials. Oftentimes, you will need to fully replace your roof if the damage is extensive enough.
Replace: Shingle Granules
A build up of shingle grit and granules in your gutter often means your roof is in need of repair. The older the shingles get, the more cast-off granules you will see. If you inspect your shingles and see most of the asphalt layer peeking through the colored granule coating, your roof is at the end of its life.
If you have a metal roof, take note of any damage, rust or loose panels. For roofs constructed from tile or wood shingles, damaged or loose shingles indicate it is likely time to replace your old roof.
Replace: Light Shining Through
This one might seem obvious but if you see light shining through your roof, it is seriously time for a replacement. This means the shingles and materials have worn away so much that your roof is now in a compromising situation that needs to be resolved as soon as possible before a big issue develops.
Can You Ever Repair a Roof Instead of Replacing it?
You might be reading through and noting that most issues with a roof call for a replacement - so can you ever just repair a roof instead of fully replacing it? The good news is yes: in some cases, replacing a few shingles is all you need to restore function to your roof. The commonly used asphalt shingles are designed to last for decades, with today’s modern roofing designs also engineered to last for almost as long as you own your home.
If you are thinking you just need a few shingles replaced, it is always best to have that opinion confirmed by a professional home improvement contractor. There is a large difference between some missing shingles and a leaking roof - if the damage is extensive, it is usually wiser (and most cost-effective) to replace the entire roof. Only a professional roofing contractor will be able to tell you the best course of action.
Looking for an Expert Opinion?
Unsure if you need to repair or replace your roof? Ask the WoW experts today. We will send a team member out to inspect your roof and let you know what the best solution is for you and your home.