Lose a few shingles in the last storm? Repairing your roof can be less expensive up front, but may end up costing you more in the long run. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to repair your roof or spring for a new one:
Extent of the damage: Is it really just a few missing or damaged shingles? If that’s the case, you may be fine with replacing those shingles or patching the damage. But be careful to check for more extensive damage in the affected areas. Even the small area of your roof exposed by one or two torn or missing shingles can be all the opportunity the elements need to cause water damage or a leak. If you are going with a shingle repair, be sure to have the roof deck or sheathing inspected by a professional who can spot problems like underlying wood rot or compromised sheathing fasteners.
Compatibility of shingles: If replacing shingles makes sense from a structural standpoint, you also want to consider whether the new shingles will blend with the old ones. Even if you saved shingles from the original roof, they will not be weathered in the same way the existing shingles are. If the replacement shingles blend in fairly well, or are in an inconspicuous spot, you may decide the lower cost makes it worthwhile. But if they stick out like a sore thumb, and particularly if you plan to sell your home in the near future, a mismatched patch can lessen your curb appeal.
Your roof’s overall age and composition: Is your roof a year or two old with a long life ahead of it? Repairing may make more sense for you than reroofing if there is no underlying damage. But if your roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, a repair may be money wasted. The material your roof is made from is a factor too. A slate roof has a much longer lifespan than a metal one. Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofing, and are made nowadays to last about 50 years.
Your roof is essential to the safety, integrity, and appearance of your home! Making informed choices about whether to repair or reroof will ensure your roof serves you well for years to come.