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Does my roof really need to be replaced or just repaired?

Since roof replacements are an expensive investment, most people want to put it off for as long as possible. This holds most true when a roof has reached the point in its life where it has some problems but isn’t completely useless… yet.

Over the course of the past 10 years, the average price of a shingle roof has doubled. That being the case, a repair might look way more appealing than a replacement. Despite that, most contractors still push for total replacement over repair.

This is mostly done in an effort to increase their profit margins — not so much in the interest of the customer. So what’s the right path to take? How are you supposed to know when it’s time for a whole replacement or if you just need a small patch job for now?

If you ask complex questions, you’ll get complex answers, but today we’re going to give you the basic information that you need to make an educated decision on whether you should repair your roof or replace it.

Deciding factors


The age of your roof is one of the biggest deciding factors. Most asphalt shingles boast a lifespan of anywhere from 15 to 30 years. That said, if your roof has damage in some areas but is otherwise fine, you might be fine with a spot repair.

However, if your roof is 20 years old or greater, you might want to replace it altogether and save yourself the long-term hassle of constantly repairing that old geezer.


If you’re suffering from a roof leak, the first thing you need to do is get an inspection. The inspection will help you gauge the extent of the problem. If your leak is isolated to one area, often a flashing point, all you need is a quick repair. That said, if your roof is leaking in several places, you’ll likely need to get a replacement.

How long are you staying

Try to think about how long you realistically plan on staying in your current home. If you plan on selling your home sometime in the next few years and the roof is in decent condition, just stick to repairs and make the replacement somebody else’s problem. Don’t let your moral compass cost you too much money.

Go green

If you do end up replacing your current roof, it would be worthwhile to get some environmentally-friendly features for your replacements. Many of these features often qualify for federal or local tax credits which helps you offset the cost.

In general, most new materials are more energy-efficient than their predecessors. They also have a longer lifespan and superior performance making an upgrade a good long-term investment.

Choose your materials carefully

If you’re getting yourself a new replacement roof, you should choose your new materials wisely. You might find out that a certain type of roofing material will get you serious discounts on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Materials that are resistant to hail, fire, and wind damage often lead to lower premiums.

Hidden costs

If you’re currently considering getting a replacement for your roof, don’t forget to factor in hidden costs. This might include landscape damage, gutter replacement, or a myriad of other things.

Most decent roofing contractors will give you a detailed estimate that covers all the costs of the project. Repairs are less painful to your wallet but you have to remember that they are merely a short-term solution. While new roofs may be costly, they’ll last you years, decades even, making them more cost-effective than repairs in the long run.

Water damage

Water is a force that you should never underestimate. Most of our planet is made out of it. Without water, life as we know it could not survive on Earth. It carved out the entirety of the Grand Canyon.

But as water creates, it can also destroy. Once water gets under your shingles, it can make its way into your home. If water gets past the shingles, it can cause damage and health problems. If you see signs of mold, get a new roof instead of repairing your current one.

Don’t go it alone

If you’re struggling to figure everything out, get some advice from a home roofing expert. It’s their job to know about all this stuff.