Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof

Repair or Replace Your Roof: How To Determine the Best Choice for Your Home

Repair or Replace Your Roof: How To Determine the Best Choice for Your Home

Over time, all roofs begin to deteriorate. Most last about 30 years, but materials, environmental conditions, and regular maintenance affect how long yours lasts. If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve wrestled with the idea of how to tell if you need a new roof or if a repair will suffice.

So how do you know if you need a new roof? If you can’t make the right call, don’t worry. The answer isn’t always cut and dry, but we can help you decide between roof repair or replacement. The following will explain when to replace a roof and how to tell if you need a new one.

When Does a Roof Need To Be Replaced?

When we judge a roof repair vs. replacement, we consider several factors. If yours has missing shingles, leaks, sagging, or any other issue, an inspection can help us determine how widespread the damage is and which option is best for you and your family.


If you want to know how to tell if you need a new roof, first check its age. If you have asphalt shingles, the lifespan is about 15 to 30 years. When a roof has damage but is overall in good shape, patching may be the right solution. However, if your roof is over 20 years old, it may be time to think about a new one. Replacement may cost you less in the long run, especially if you will have to do so in a few years anyway.

Time Constraints

It takes time to conduct a full roof replacement. Your roof needs to be inspected, and the work has to be scheduled. If you notice a leak the weekend before your family goes on vacation, you may not have time to replace the entire structure. In this case, patching a roof might be your best option until you have the opportunity to schedule a full replacement.

Area of Damage

When deciding whether it’s better to invest in reroofing, consider where the damage is located. If you have water damage to the roof deck, patching will not solve the problem. To guarantee structural integrity, you need to have it replaced. Likewise, if more than 30% of your roof requires repair, it may be better to replace the entire thing.


The lifespan of your roof depends on the materials. For example, an 80-year-old slate roof is still young and may have decades of use ahead of it. However, if you have asphalt shingles that are over 30 years old and have not been maintained, they may be at the end of their lifespan.

If you plan to replace your roof, keep in mind that quality roofing materials could qualify you for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance. This is especially true for materials that are resistant to hail damage, wind damage, and fire damage. Likewise, replacing your roof to incorporate materials that perform better and are more energy efficient may help you save money and live more comfortably in the long run.

Moving Out

When does a roof need to be replaced? If you’re planning on selling your house, should you automatically replace the roof? If your roof has a small amount of damage that you could patch, you may want to consider that option. If it is in generally good health and you want to sell the home within the next few years, it may make more sense to repair it.

Repair vs. Replacement Estimates

At Yancey Home Improvements, we will inspect your roof and estimate the cost of repairs necessary to give you a functional structure. Sometimes your repair estimate and replacement estimate will be comparable in cost. If there is only a couple thousand dollars difference, it may be smarter to replace the roof. Repairs are only temporary fixes. They may give your roof a few more years, but a brand-new one adds decades.

Which Roofing Solutions To Consider

Your roof is by far the most important component of your home. It protects your family, your assets, and the home itself. Signs that you may need to consider a roofing solution include:

  • Leaking gutters
  • Missing shingles
  • Cracked vents
  • Curled shingles
  • Sagging
  • Visible attic light

Additionally, you should always have your roof inspected after any major storm or snowy season. When deciding from available options, keep in mind that there may be other costs, such as gutter replacement and landscape damage. If you’re worried about hidden costs, we will provide a comprehensive estimate that breaks everything down clearly.

Roof Patching

Even small holes in your roof can spell trouble for your home’s integrity unless they are repaired as soon as possible. Common reasons for holes in the roof include tree damage, nail holes, vents, skylights, and rust. When you leave a hole unchecked, moisture can penetrate the roofing material and cause damage. Humidity may also lead to mold, mildew, and other health hazards, and moisture can cause rot to spread through your structure. To repair a hole in your roof, roof patching may be enough to take care of the problem unless more serious structural damage has occurred.

Reroofing Over Existing Shingles

You may be able to lay new shingles over old shingles to create an attractive, durable roofing system. Part of what makes this method attractive is that you can use the old shingles as a guide for the new shingles. If you have any broken shingles, make sure to smooth them out and glue the broken piece back onto the shingle. When roofing your home, you need a mostly flat surface with few gaps and no gaps over half an inch.

When it comes to reroofing over your existing roof, make sure you know how many layers of shingles you have. While it is more cost-effective to layer shingles over the existing ones, you cannot have more than two layers of shingles on your home.

Shingle Replacement

Shingles protect the roof decking from wind and moisture. Even if you are missing only a few shingles, your home is vulnerable to water seeping into the underlayment and the deck. When water seeps under the shingles, it can lead to leaks and rot. In small sections, you may be able to replace the shingles inconspicuously. However, if a larger area needs to be replaced, you may have trouble mixing your shingles. Even if you have leftovers from your last roof replacement, keep in mind that the shingles on your roof are exposed to the sun and heat throughout the year. The color of brand-new shingles will not match your older ones.

Keep Your Roofing System Functioning

In some cases, all you need is to replace a few shingles to restore your roof’s functionality. Your asphalt shingles may last for decades, but they also may suffer damage in the wind or after a major storm. A new roof not only improves your home’s functionality but also enhances your home’s curb appeal.

If you’re stuck deciding between a roof repair or replacement, we can guide you to the right decision. Contact us at Yancey Home Improvements to ensure your roofing system is in the best shape possible. Not only do we have licensed and insured professionals to carry out our projects, but we can also provide you with quotes and estimates ahead of time to help you plan your roof repair.

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