As any homeowner can tell you, houses need constant care. Sometimes this means something as simple as cleaning the gutters or putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but in other cases, home repairs are much more dramatic, such as when something goes wrong with your roof. That’s because your roof plays a critical role in your home’s overall structural integrity. When it starts leaking or, worse, collapsing, you need to act, and fast.
Of course, before you spend big money to tackle your roofing problem, the first thing you should do is ask this key question: does my roof need to be replaced or can it just be repaired? Sometimes it can be hard to tell, but there are a few indicators that can help you clarify the issue.
How Old Is Your Roof?
One of the major factors that will determine whether your roof needs to be repaired or just replaced is its age. Depending on weather conditions and maintenance, the average roof lasts about twenty years. In other words, even if you’ve taken generally good care of your roof, if it’s approaching this landmark, you may have to accept the situation and replace the whole roof. A newer roof, on the other hand, may be able to be mended, which makes for a less costly intervention.
Who Installed Your Roof?
While the average roof may last about 20 years, this number varies widely depending on what it’s made from, where you live, and who installed and performed repairs on it during the intervening years. The fact is, having your roof repaired is a much more serious issue than having your lawn mowed or your bedroom painted, and it needs to be done by professionals. If you want to get the longest possible lifespan from your roof, make sure you choose professionals to perform the replacement and repairs.
What Maintenance Have You Performed?
As with any other part of your home, your roof needs proper maintenance if you hope to extend its lifespan and prevent unnecessary damage, and if you haven’t been keeping up with these issues, it’s more likely it will need to be replaced. It’s important to prepare your home based on local weather events, whether that’s cleaning your gutters in advance of the rainy season or replacing shingles damaged by sun or storms.
What Problems Are You Having?
When evaluating whether your home’s roof needs to be replaced, one of the major indicators is what type of problems you’re having. A few damaged shingles with no major damage can easily be addressed with repairs, but if you’re experiencing leaks, water stains, or mold, you may discover the issues go too deep for a simple patch job. Once those things start happening, you’re at serious risk of underlying structural issues, and you can’t afford to take that risk.
Many people are hesitant to replace their entire roof, even when there’s serious damage because it’s so expensive, especially if the repairs aren’t covered by insurance, but the alternative will be worse, and more expensive. When your roof fails, everything else about your home becomes collateral damage, and that’s just not a risk any homeowner can afford to take.