Repair or Replace?  That is the Question...

The question of repairing your roof or replacing it is one of the most common uncertainties among homeowners faced with a leak.  To get the most accurate answer, your best bet is to contact a professional roofing contractor to evaluate your situation.  Nevertheless, we also have some pointers to keep in mind about your options.  Being that the roof is one of the most important components of your home, you want to make sure you do your homework unless you want to have pots and pans throughout your home collecting drips of water every time there is a rain storm. 

Where Exactly is the Leak?

The signs of a leaky roof are not always in the form of water dripping onto your floor or onto your brand new dining room table.  You might also notice a stained ceiling or some peeling wallpaper where water is the culprit.  Regardless of the signs you see, it is important to first remember that not all leaks are because of a faulty roof.  Some leaks can come from plumbing or HVAC issues as well.  If you have ruled out any plumbing problems, it's time to check the roof for the source of the leak.

The most common origination point of roof leaks is from the flashing or from intersection points where water is creeping through the cracks.  Common leak prone areas are around the chimney, skylights, areas where the wall and roof meet, and any places where two different levels of the roof meet.  If you have a shingle roof, be sure to also check for cracked or curled shingles.  Look in the gutters and downspouts for evidence of shingle fragments which would indicate that they are nearing the end of their usable life.  If you find some problem areas that you think may be the source of the leak, one method is to use a hose in those isolated spots to see if that causes leakage.  Remember, climbing on the roof is dangerous especially when it is wet.  You can hurt yourself or even cause more damage to the roof more if you don't know what you are doing.  In the end, you are likely better off consulting with a professional roofing contractor to diagnose the leak.  If you need help, we offer free roofing price estimates from local roofing contractors.  

Two Options For Replacing Your Roof

As bad as it may sound, you may find yourself in a position where repairing your roof is really not an option.  If your existing roof is already near the end of its life (20+ years) you'll likely have to pull out your checkbook and start considering two roof replacement options.

Install a New Roof:  You can have a completely new roof installed.  This is the most costly of the two choices but it come with its benefits.  You'll have a more secure sealing since you will be using new roofing products with warranties.  Underlayment and flashing materials used today provide more protection than those used 20+ years ago.  Going with this option will give you the longest roof life.  If you plan to stay in the home for many years to come, this is going to be your best bet from an investment standpoint.  If you have the money, don't try to cut corners as you will likely end up paying out more in the end.  

Add a New Roof Layer:  Maybe you are only planning on staying in the home for a few more years.  If this is the case, you might not care so much about buying a roof that will last for 20 more years.  Regardless, you still need to find out if you are a candidate for adding a new roof layer.  This is only a good option if your existing roof is still in decent shape.  You'll want to make sure the decking is solid, the existing roof is one layer thick, and that the shingles you use will work with the new layer you are adding.  Going with a new layer will definitely give you more life than a simple repair but won't give you as much life as a completely new roof.  Another benefit of this option is the cost--it's less than installing a new roof. 

Need Additional Help with Your Roofing Project?

We offer Free Roofing Estimates from local qualified roofing contractors. Our service is free and has no obligations to purchase.  Let us help you take the first step in getting your roofing project underway.