You’ve made a significant investment in the purchase of your home so you will want to protect it by keeping up with its maintenance. Your roof is one of the most expensive features to replace.
If you’re trying to decide whether to repair or replace, this information will help you in making that decision. It will be largely based on whether there is damage, the kind of damage, and how much of the roof is affected. Find out what the roofing pros at Southern Star Roofing have to say on the subject. We have decades of experience combined and will always give you our most honest and transparent answers. You can have confidence that we will make our best recommendations that will save you the most money.
When It’s Okay to Simply Replace Shingles
You may be able to just do a repair if only some shingles need to be replaced. Newer roof asphalt shingles should last for as long as you own your home, however, it depends on the extent of the area involved and if there is underlying damage. Only a qualified roofing contractor can determine the situation by doing a professional inspection. If there was a leak which extended the roof layers, it may be more appropriate to install a new roof. In addition, if you have extra original shingles they may no longer match the ones that have endured multiple seasons of wind, rain or snow. But, if there isn’t a noticeable difference with the exposed shingles, and it’s a relatively small area, it may be possible to simply replace them.
Recommended: It is best to replace shingles as soon as damage occurs as they prevent water and wind from causing more extensive damage to the underlying materials and decking and potential leaks.
Patching Damaged Areas
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to patch a roof section or install new shingles over the existing roof, you need to consult with a roofing professional. A licensed roofing contractor will be able to establish if patching will maintain the life expectancy of your roof without potential further damage. The inspection involves examining the roof’s exterior and the inside of your attic for any signs of moisture damage. Externally, if there are shingles showing signs of buckling or curling at the edges, the problem is more serious. Another telling sign is if there are small granules from the shingles on the ground or in your gutters. A worst case scenario is when a roof is sagging. This calls for immediate replacement by a qualified roofing expert.
Finally, even when it’s possible for your roof to be patched, the result might not be very appealing. If the size of the patched area is large then it will not blend well with the entire roof.
Roofing Over the Existing Roof
Many homeowners want to know if the cost of a new roof can be reduced by installing shingles over the old roof. This is not usually recommended because it doesn’t fix the damage underneath and will eventually get worse over time. However, it is possible to install new shingles over an existing roof as many local building codes allow for two layers. But, that would be the limit as another layer would be too much weight on the home’s structure.
There are a few more important considerations for installing a new layer over existing shingles. First, down the road there would be an additional cost for labor if two layers need to be removed. In addition, if the roof leaks at some point it will be much more difficult to find the location of the problem by having to deal with two layers of shingles.
Another key consideration is maintaining compliance with the manufacturer’s warranty. Placing new shingles over the old shingles will void the warranty that is your protection from any defect in the new installed shingles. If there is a problem later on you won’t be covered for the cost of replacement materials and repairs.
Replacing the Roof
So there are a number of things to consider when determining if your roof should be replaced. The following summarizes the factors involved in making your decision.
- Signs of Water Damage or Moisture: Look for signs that water or moisture has seeped underneath the shingles. If this has occurred it can lead to more serious issues such as damaged ceilings and wood rot. Mold is a real health concern and if it is extensive can cause respiratory problems and illness. Also, in that case your home would not pass an inspection should you wish to sell the property. If there is black or green mold, any ceiling brown spots or paint that’s peeling, it would be in your best interest to replace the roof instead of attempting a repair.
- Weather Disaster: If your area experienced a severe storm, hurricane or tornado, you might have extensive damage that would require a new roof installation. A harsh winter also can cause an older roof to experience significant damage to require a new roof.
- Age: If your roof isn’t that old and is leaking there may be a problem related to how it was installed or possibly a material defect as opposed to normal wear and natural aging. On the contrary, if your roof is about 20 years old it is most likely at the end of its life expectancy and it’s time to be replaced.
- Materials: Take into consideration what type of roof you have. A slate roof could last up to 100 years compared to an 80 year old metal roof which would be well past its life span. Most roofs have asphalt shingles because they are more affordable and are aesthetically appealing. Now days you can purchase the highest quality asphalt shingles that are manufactured to last almost 50 years.
So now you know that there are a number of important factors to consider when contemplating a roof replacement. That is why you first need to have a qualified roofing professional perform an inspection and provide you with the best recommendation given the status of your roof. It’s not only about price as by cutting corners could lead to future problems and more cost in the end. To maintain the safety and value of your home, you will want to invest in quality materials and expert installation for your peace of mind.
Whether you are looking to replace your roof or in need of some simple repairs, please consider contacting Southern Star Roofing for all of your needs. We are a top Charlotte roofing company serving the Greater Mecklenburg County Region!