When there are problems with the roof, it is hard to ignore. The constant dripping from the ceiling during a rainy spell, or worse, cold air blasting through the house in the fall or winter, will constantly remind you that you need to do something about the roof. But should you opt for roof repair, or should you consider a full roof replacement? There are several factors for you to consider before making a decision.
If your roof is missing a few shingles, the most sensible idea is to simply replace them with your spare shingles which most contractors would have left behind after the roof was installed. If you can nail them down yourself, great, otherwise you could also hire a contractor to do the job for you inexpensively. This is ideal if only a few shingles are missing, but not if an entire section of your roof has been compromised.
How conspicuous is the hole in your roof? If it’s facing the front of your house where every person on the road can see it, then replacing those missing shingles with your spare ones might not go unnoticed. As roof shingles are exposed to the harsh elements like sun and rain, the color of the shingles will fade. It might, therefore, be difficult to match the spare shingles to the old ones, and it would be extremely obvious to everyone passing that you had patched the roof. Unless, of course, you have been storing your spare shingles out in the sun and they have faded to the same color as the ones on your roof!
It is worth considering the age of your roof before making any decisions because if the roof is nearing the end of its estimated lifespan, it might well be more cost effective to do a full roof replacement to prevent having to do multiple patch up jobs. Asphalt roofs usually last for 20 to 30 years, but tile and metal roofs can last several decades. Depending on when your roof was installed, you can estimate whether or not the roof will start to give you more problems after this point.
The most important thing you should do is to get a professional consultant to inspect your roof before doing any work on it. A contractor with years of experience working with roofs would be able to observe your roof and identify any weak points, old age, and leaking in the roof, which are indications of more severe damage. They would be able to check if the underlying decking has also been damaged and there is a leak going through the layers of your roof. In this case, it would actually be more cost effective to replace the entire roof. There are roofing contractors who offer free consultations so you can get a professional’s opinion at no cost to yourself, to have a better idea of what decision to take.