Should you repair or replace your roof?

shingles and roof with damage

Damage to your roof

Is there anything worse than to have a rainy, stormy night and wake up to find a section of your roof shingles are missing? Maybe getting woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a tree limb coming through the roof could be worse. Either way, you will need a roof repair or maybe complete roof replacement, and that is a headache no homeowner wants.

A roof repair for leaks is not a fun thing to deal with. First, you must file a claim for roof repair with your insurance company, then find the best roof repair contractors that are available. Then, the contractor you choose to work with tells you that you the options between a roof repair vs replacement, strongly recommending the replacement option. What to do, what to do!!

How do you know if your roof is damaged?

If you aren’t sure what to do about your roof, just climb up the ladder and look at your roof. If there is a huge tree branch laying on it (or in it), then yeah, a roof repair may be a fix it.  Or if your house has had a fire recently, a new roof is probably in order.  

How do I know when my roof needs to be replaced?

Here are 10 things to look for and pay attention to:

  1. Shingles that are cracked, curled, or missing – The first two are indicators that your roof’s asphalt shingles have served their purpose.  If you don’t see some shingles, they are MIA, then you should investigate a roof replacement, at the very least, a roof repair will make do.
  2. Shingles that are dark, dirty, or appear wet when it hasn’t rained– The dark, dirty shingles probably have algae, lichen, mold growing on them and that needs to be removed, or a roof replacement is in order. Any shingles that appear wet when it hasn’t rained are probably holding moisture, and that isn’t the job they have assigned!  
  3. Gutters and downspouts full of shingle granules – Asphalt or composite shingles will shed their granules some, but when your gutters and downspouts are full of those granules, it is time for a roof replacement.   
  4. Wear and tear around Chimneys, pipes, vents – These areas will have metal flashing and/or rubber boot around them for sealing. Deterioration often develops and roof repair in those specific areas is enough. 
  5. Blistering or peeling paint – A poorly ventilated attic will build up moisture and increased humidity near the roofline. The paint on the exterior of the house will blister and peel.  Often a simple roof repair is needed, such as fixing (or adding) vents. This can also show your gutter system needs repair or replacement.   
  6. Ceiling or walls stained – Dark circles or discoloration on the ceiling or walls can show different things, but it is the underlayment of the roof has gotten wet, it is allowing moisture in and causing those dark spots and discoloration.  Roof replacement is usually the only way to fix this. 
  7. Leaking attic after rain – If rain is leaking into the attic a roof repair like replacing flashing will usually stop that. But if it is coming through the underlayment, this will require a roof replacement. 
  8. A sagging roof deck – If the decking or rafters in the attic are sagging, they probably have gotten wet. If you or a roofing contractor can locate a specific area of the roof with a leak, a roof repair may fix the issue. If not, we recommend a total roof replacement. 
  9. Daylight coming to the attic – If you see daylight coming into the attic, water can come in there too.  A roof repair will often fix this by replacing a few shingles, maybe some flashing. 
  10. Increased energy bills –  If you have an increase in your energy bills or the air conditioning isn’t keeping the house cool or the heat isn’t keeping the house warm, then all your cooling and heating are going through the roof – literally. Roof repair would have new insulation added to the attic, make sure the venting is working right, or you may need a new roof.

What causes roof damage?

To have a healthy infrastructure for your home, the roof is an important element. When it is defective, it can lead to significant problems and expenses. That is why it is necessary to maintain a steady watch over your roof. You can often find things that could or have been damaged that an easy and fast roof repair could be all you need.  Five of the most common things that can be avoided are:

  • Maintenance. This is on you, the homeowner.  We cannot stress enough how important regular inspection is needed. Look for minor damages, missing flashing or shingles, anything that can go from a small issue that a quick roof repair fixes to a major leak in just the matter of a heavy rainstorm or high winds that requires a roof replacement.
  • Ice.  Ice and snow can create a lot of problems for a roof and shorten its lifespan.  When ice and snow thaw on the rooftop, small amounts of water settle under the shingles and refreezes. That will lift flashing and shingles which makes room for more water damage, roof corrosion, and deterioration. Many times, this problem has happened because the gutters are blocked. Twice a year, having the gutters cleaned, and the roof inspected can prevent this from happening.
  • Wind. High winds will catch a weak spot of a shingle ad pull it and the nails holding it up and out. Again, a regular roof inspection is the chance to check these things, make the roof repair needed will keep this from becoming a bigger problem.
  • Weather Conditions. Mother Nature is hard on roofs, from the ice, rain, snow, and high wind, then there is the constant UV ray that weakens the shingles over time, which will eventually wear them down and expose the interior sheathing to the raw elements, which leads to leaks.
  • Installation. When the original installation, replacement roof, or roof repairs are not done properly, this leaves your roof subjective to the elements and roof.

Can the shingle roof be repaired?

It depends on how what, and where the damage is on your roof.  An asphalt shingled roof can easily be damaged by hailstorms, high winds, and falling tree branches and limbs. A damaged asphalt roof can sometimes have a roof repair for one or a few shingles, and sometimes it needs a whole section of shingle replaced. A professional roofing contractor will advise you once he/she has inspected your roof.

brand new shingle roof on a brick home

What do roof inspectors look for?

Roof inspectors are always looking for what is wrong, like leaks, loose or missing flashings or shingles, unusual wear and tear, debris damages, organic growths, and install or repair issues of the past. Your home is important to you and your family, you have made a large investment when you buy a house. It only makes sense to keep up with maintenance and make roof repairs as they come about instead of letting things fall by the wayside. That is when things become more expensive and extensive. Reach out to Gleason Home Improvements at (336) 823-6156 when you need roof repair in High Point, NC.