Roof Replacement vs. Roof Repair: Which One Is Right for You?

When your roof shows signs of damage, it can sometimes be difficult to know whether a roof repair is entirely sufficient or if a roof replacement is more appropriate. A trusted roofing contractor can help you decide which option is best for your home.

Here are some things to consider when deciding between a reroofing project and a roof repair.

5 Roof Replacement vs. Roof Repair Considerations

Age of Roof

Do you know when your current roof was installed? Depending on the type of roofing material used, its age may be a good indication of when to replace a roof.

If your roof is showing signs of aging and/or has suffered storm damage, leaks, or other problems, it may be a good idea to consider replacing it. Replacing an older, damaged or failing roof, rather than repeatedly paying for roof repairs, can be worth the investment whether you intend to stay in your home for several decades or plan to sell soon.

Roof Leaks

A leaky roof is one of the most common reasons homeowners need roof repairs or reroofing. If you’ve seen water stains inside your home that run across ceilings or run down your walls, the cause could be a leaky roof. Finding the source of the roof leak can often be tricky, but a certified roofing contractor can help with the process.

Regardless of the source of your leak, it’s important to solve a leaky roof problem sooner rather than later — something that begins as a small leak can eventually lead to bigger problems, such as:

The Extent of Roof Damage 

If you’re deciding between a roof repair or roof replacement, then it’s likely your roof has either deteriorated in appearance and/or has suffered other physical damage. Working with a trusted roofing contractor can help you better understand the extent of any roof damage you may have so you can make the right decision for your home and budget.

Signs of roof damage will differ slightly between various types of roofing material but generally fall into two main categories: aesthetic damage and structural damage.

Aesthetic damage:

Structural damage:

Geographical Area

Do you live in a region of the country that’s susceptible to hail storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes? If so, it’s important to replace missing shingles – or other roofing materials – immediately following a storm to help prevent future issues, such as roof leaks.

Damage from hail and falling debris can also affect your roof’s long-term performance, appearance, and ability to form a watertight roof deck.

Roof Replacement Cost

Of course, the cost of getting a new roof is one of the biggest considerations for homeowners when it comes to a reroof vs. repair.

In general, roofing repairs are going to cost less than a complete reroof project; however, if you’re paying for a slew of repairs over the course of a few years, they might eventually exceed the cost of an entire roof replacement.

Your roofing contractor can provide estimates to help you weigh the options of what might be the most budget-conscious solution without putting your home at risk from a failing roof, and may offer roof financing options.

While a complete roof replacement might be more expensive up-front, it does mean you won’t have to pay for successive repairs, especially if there are multiple trouble spots on your roof’s surface. Plus, a new roof can offer peace of mind, knowing that what you value most under your roof is protected from the elements.

When to Get a Roof Repair

Minor Damage

If you need to repair a small portion of your roof or replace a couple of shingles in an isolated area with minor wind damage, then replacing damaged material in that section can be relatively simple and inexpensive. Damaged, torn, or missing asphalt shingles, for example, can usually be replaced with new ones fairly easily. Other roofing materials may be more complex or expensive to replace individually, such as metal panels.

One downside to this approach is in trying to match roofing materials so that the repaired area blends in with the rest of the roof. For example, if you have spare shingles leftover from a previous reroofing job, the colors may be close but may not match exactly due to exposure. Another option is to ask your roofing contractor to order shingles that correspond to the existing color as much as possible.

Moderate Damage

If the damage to your roof is more significant but confined to one side or area of your roof, partial reroofing may be an option, and it’s likely to cost less than a complete reroofing project.

Again, one downside to a partial reroofing project is aesthetics. It may be harder to match the color of the new roofing materials with the existing ones. Over time, roofing material can fade due to exposure to the elements. As a result, the newly reroofed portion may stand out from the rest of the roof.

Benefits of a New Roof

While generally more expensive upfront, a new roof may save money in the long run by avoiding the added-up costs of multiple repairs or additional damage.

Additionally, a new roof offers the following perks:

If you’re weighing your options between a roof repair and a reroof, browse our contractor locator tool to get in touch with an independent roofing contractor in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network near you.