Is It Better to Repair or Replace My Roof?

While a good roof can bring about a fantastic sense of peace within your home and heart, a worn and damaged one can bring about a life of stress that is unwanted. For those of you who are homeowners, a time will come when you will have to decide if roof repair or replacement is the better choice.

It is at this point that things get difficult. If you happen to be in the business of roof repair, you are in good shape and will most likely be able to sort through it on your own. However, I would imagine for most of you, knowing which choice to make would be on par with flipping a coin. 

The question, “Is it better to repair or replace my roof?” is a broad question without a pinpointed and quick answer. Rather, there are a number of variables that will come into play in your determining the best choice for you. The following is a quick list of the questions to ask yourself:

• What is the age of my roof?

• What is the material of my existing roof?

• How long will I be staying at my home?

• What is my budget?

What is the age of my roof?

For starters, it is important to know the age of your roof. In the event that you have been living in your home for a number of years, this may be easy. However, if you have moved in relatively recently, you may not know when your roof was installed.

Another possibility is that your roof has never been reroofed or replaced in any way. If your home was built less than 20 years ago, it likely has its original roof.  

If you are unaware of your roof’s installation date, calling a roofing contractor to your home could be a good option. The contractor should have a good idea of when your roof was installed based on the condition of the roof itself. 

What is the material of my existing roof?

All roofs are not created equal. The material that is used will affect the life of the roof drastically. If you are unsure of the material used for your current roof, a quality outfit can help you figure that out. In the case of 3-tab shingles, they may last up to 20 years, while some heavy-duty architectural shingles may double that if you’re lucky. 

Another growingly popular option is the metal roof, which for some may last a lifetime. These roofs have been known to last for over 50 years at times. 

It is important to know that while a certain material is said to last for a certain number of years, many different circumstances can affect the actual life of the material. For instance, extreme heat from a sunny climate or extreme winds from a windy climate can decrease a shingle’s life.

How long will I be staying at my home?

If you know the age of your roof and the age expectancy of the material of your roof, you are in good shape in knowing whether to replace or repair your roof. However, it is also important to know if you will be staying at your home for years to come or may be moving out soon. 

The reason for this is because the cost of a repair is much lower than that of a replacement. This is due to the following differences:

• Hours of labor

• Amount of material

• Specialties required 

• Equipment required for the job

• Manpower needed

It is possible that your roof may just need a small area of shingles put on, and this simple fix will last you another five years. However, it is also possible that the problem you are facing now is like that of a dam that lets out a little water at first then eventually bursts. 

Nevertheless, if you are planning on moving soon, possibly the only benefit to your replacing your roof would come in the form of your home’s resale value. This could still be of great value to you, but it will be necessary to weigh this matter wisely.

What is my budget?

Finally, knowing what you can and can’t afford is essential. Sometimes there is no way around this point. If you cannot afford to get your roof repaired, then you may need just to go ahead and fix your immediate problem. 

If you can afford a roof repair, weighing the different options could prove to be beneficial. Metal will cost more than your typical shingle but will look great and prove to last you a lifetime. 

Reroofing with new shingles over pre-existing shingles could be another good option and could save you money.


Either way, the choice is yours. Think it through and don’t rush unless your situation requires an immediate response. I hope that you make the right choice.