Pros and Cons of Patching your Roof vs. Replacing it
If you think it’s time to decide between roof replacement or roof repair, then you might have a few questions about which is better. In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of repairing your roof versus replacing it.
We’ll start by describing some common reasons why your roof needs repair.
Common Reasons for Roof Patching and Replacement
Roof leaks are one of the main reasons people decide to either patch or replace their roofs.
Whether it’s a slow drip, a leak during heavy rains, or a steady seepage through the roof and into your ceiling and walls, water damage can be expensive to fix and take up significant space in your home as you wait for repairs.
The good news is that there are many reasons why water may be getting onto your roof that won’t require tearing off shingles and replacing rotted boards (and it could still mean that there is some work to do).
Many homeowners have learned this the hard way after paying for an expensive roof replacement job only to later discover a problem with their guttering system, corrugated metal roof drain tiles, chimney flashing, or skylight installation.
These problems can be frustrating, but they are often cheap and easy to fix.
The most common reasons for roof repair include:
Broken or missing shingles
In this case, you may notice that your shingles have been ripped off in a storm, or maybe just from strong winds over time.
Generally, the fasteners will remain on the roof with nails rusted in place, which can make it difficult to remove them when necessary for repairs. If a large section of your roof is without shingles, there’s good chance water has found its way inside.
Moss isn’t always obvious until you try to rake it away and realize how much there is growing between cracks and tiles. While moss itself won’t damage your roof, it does retain a lot of water and can lead to the formation of leaks or cracks.
Rotted or damaged boards
If you have an older roof, you may notice that many sections have started to rot at the bottom – which is caused by excess moisture over time.
While this isn’t as common as other signs (like missing shingles), it can be cause for concern as those boards will need to be replaced unless you address the problem quickly.
Though not as common as other problems on this list, blistering usually means that there has been a rapid change in temperature and/or humidity (like when hot air from a house below mixes with cooler outside and condenses).
While it is possible that the problem isn’t serious, it’s best to have a professional take a look and offer you some feedback.
Missing or broken shingles
While this may not seem like a big deal at first, there is actually cause for concern here – especially if your roof has been exposed to excess moisture within its lifetime. Broken or missing shingles are often the first signs of damage to your roof, making it easier for water to get inside.
Patching your Roof
If your only concern is fixing the most obvious damage before winter arrives, then patching or repairing can be a very cost-effective solution.
You’ll need to ensure that you’re using stable materials (like high-grade roofing felt) and secure them with nails or roofing cement.
Patching can become more complicated depending on where the leaks are coming from and the size of the affected area.
If you need help deciding whether or not to patch your roof, it’s best to consult a professional as they’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment and answer any questions you may have.
When you’re deciding whether or not to patch your roof, there are several other factors that come into consideration:
Age or type of roof
If you have an older roof that is prone to leaks, then it may not be worth your time and money to patch the problem areas.
This will depend on how much damage has been done and what other factors are involved in making a decision about repairs. It’s best to talk with a professional before you make a final decision about a major home improvement project.
Amount of damage
This is measured in square feet and can vary depending on the size of your roof or how many sections have been affected by problems like rot or moss contamination.
In general, you’ll likely need between 10 and 15 squares to make a noticeable difference after patching.
Cost of labor
If the problem areas in your roof are relatively small, then you may be able to patch them yourself. However, it’s bet to have a professional roofing contractor take a closer look to be sure what types of repairs are needed.
If there is extensive damage throughout the majority of your roof surface, you should consider hiring a professional contractor. This will ensure that you get an accurate assessment and quality workmanship when it comes to fixing your roofing issues.
Pros of Patching your Roof
The cheapest option
Compared to complete roof replacement, patching can be a very economical choice for homeowners. If the only problem with your roof is a small area that leaks, then you’ll save money by fixing it yourself or having a professional do it for you.
Quick and easy
While there are some safety concerns when working on your roof, patching your roof is generally a very quick and easy process. You’ll need to ensure that you have the tools for the job, but once everything is gathered, it only takes a few minutes to complete.
Keeps your home dry
As long as you’ve patched the problem area correctly, this should prevent water from leaking through to the other parts of your roof and into your house.
Cons of Patching your Roof
Can’t fix all problems
While you should be able to patch small leaks or minor damage, it’s not possible to address every possible problem. Damage such as rot or blistering should be repaired by a professional rather than patched.
It May not last long
If you patch your roof, there’s a good chance it will only be a temporary solution. You may find that within a few months or years, the same problem becomes apparent again.
Patched roofs often lead to additional costs down the road when you have to keep dealing with leaks or other damage.
It might not work for large areas
Depending on the size of the affected area, some patches work better than others. For larger leaks or areas, you may need to apply several patching products or even create your own custom type of solution.
Replacing your Roof
There will always come the point where patching just won’t cut it anymore, and a full replacement will be necessary.
If you’re currently dealing with a significant amount of damage, this may be your best option to avoid further damage. Even if it isn’t clear where the leaks are coming from, removing the shakes or tiles is the only way to know for sure.
If there’s damage to more than one area (or if you’ve patched the problem and it seems like the patches aren’t working), then replacing your roof is always the best option.
When you’re deciding whether or not to replace your roof, there are several other factors that can help you make the best decision possible.
How long do you expect the new roof to last
Some roofs may only be good for 10 years, while others could last 40 or 50. Make an honest assessment of your current roof, and then decide on a replacement plan that fits in with what you need.
The cost of repairs vs. replacements
Most roofs will eventually require some type of repair work even if they don’t show any signs of damage.
However, in most cases, it’s less expensive to have the roof cleaned and patched up with new shingles than to completely replace it (though that can become necessary depending on the severity of your problem).
The age of your roof
This isn’t always a big factor, but some roofing materials will only last 30 years (or even less in some cases), and you’ll want to replace your roof before then. Without doing so, you run the risk of replacing the roof again soon after the first replacement.
The type of material being used
Generally speaking, asphalt shingles are cheaper than metal ones, and asphalt roofs are cheaper than concrete tiles, slate, and clay.
However, this is not always the case, depending on how your roof was installed and what materials you originally wanted to use.
The state of the rest of your roof
If there is water damage or other problems in your attic or walls (like termites), then it’s likely you’ll need to replace your roof soon – even if you don’t see any problems with the material currently in place.
Whether or not your roof is energy efficient
Your roof can be a major source of heat and cool air loss, especially if you have a problem with venting or ice dams. In those cases, you may want to consider energy-efficient roofing materials in order to keep your heating and cooling bills down.
Pros of Replacing your Roof
- A new roof is a long-term investment.
- New roofs last longer than patched roofs, making them a better choice for homeowners who want their house to retain its value.
- In most cases, it’s less costly to replace an old roof with a new one, rather than to do frequent patch jobs that can cause more damage over time.
- It’s easier to find contractors that can replace roofs properly than it is to find those that can do quick repairs and then fix the problem again down the road.
Cons of Replacing your Roof
- When you’re selling a home with a new roof, be aware that such homes often take longer to sell (though they’re also less likely to have issues with leaks and other problems that could arise from a poorly installed roof).
- Replacing a roof can be costly – especially if you’ve got a larger or more complex home. In those cases, you may want to consider luxury items like slate shingles instead of cheaper materials.
- If your roof needs to be replaced, you may experience additional costs – like having to replace damaged skylights or venting problems.
- A new roof will require a lengthy installation process. It can take up to a week for your roofers to finish the job, and there may be some inconvenience along the way as well (like noisy work during the day).
- If your new roof is not properly installed, you could have problems with leaks and other issues. This can result in costly repairs down the road if you don’t get them fixed right away.
- If your roof is leaking or causing other problems, not only will it be an inconvenience, but you’ll also end up paying more in the long term.
- Replacing a roof is more expensive than doing patch jobs, but it can also be less costly in situations where you have extensive damage, have a difficult home to work with, or simply want a more energy-efficient roof.
- A new roof is a long-term investment, which can have an impact on the value of your home.
If you do decide to replace your roof, ensure that it is done properly and by a reliable contractor or home improvements company.
There can be several pros and cons to replacing your roof depending on what type of material and how old the rest of your home is, as well as how large or complex your house actually is.
It’s always best to weigh all of your options before making a final decision about whether or not to replace your roof. Just because it may be the most expensive option out there doesn’t mean it’s not the best – and you should never underestimate the value of a quality installation.
Have any questions regarding the topic “Pros and Cons of Patching your Roof vs. Replacing it” feel free to comment below.
Also Read: ” How to Find the Right Roofing Contractor? “