Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Your home is going to be one of the most important financial decisions that you make.  That means you have the responsibility of taking care of your home to keep it in good standing. Homes either have home repairs or home improvements when it comes to your roofing needs.

Understanding Home Repairs

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a home repair is different from a home improvement. Home repairs do not add any considerable enhancements to the life of the property regardless if it’s an upgrade or addition. Instead of being considered home improvements, they are considered general maintenance of the home. These repairs are usually not expensive and are relatively minor to handle.

Understanding Home Improvements

Home improvements on the other hand are a different story. These can improve the overall condition of your home in order to raise the value of the property and extend the life of the home. Improvements can be expensive and take a lot of time and effort, unlike repairs. Replacing your roof is one type of home improvement but there are many others.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Your roof can either be a home improvement or a home repair. If you need to fix a few shingles then that would be considered a home repair. If you need to fully replace your roof, that would be considered a home improvement. There are many factors that can determine the type of project you will need. The amount of damage, the cost, and the type of damage can be a good indicator for homeowners when making this decision.

Does Your Roof Actually Need to be Replaced?

While some roofs may require a total replacement, others can be patched up. You may only need to patch your roof in order to improve the overall look and function. Roofing materials vary. Luckily whether you use traditional asphalt shingling or a more modern shingling, you can expect the repair to last for a long time.

Before you make any definitive decision, it is recommended that you speak to a professional. A professional will be able to inspect and assess your roof and tell which decision would be best to make. Depending on how extensive the damage is, you may not be able to handle it with just a patch up. You may need a fully replaced roof.

Have a Few Shingles That Need to Get Replaced?

Your home may not even need a big patch up job in order to be fixed. Sometimes roofs require minimal projects like replacing a few shingles. A roofing professional will be able to help you determine the type of damage that you are dealing with to see the type of repair that is necessary. However, there are also some signs that you can be on the lookout for. Some signs of some bad roof damage can include:

  • Curled Shingles: Look at the edges or see if they are beginning to crumble.
  • A New Texture: Check to see if your shingles or the ground around your home are covered in small granules.
  • Water damage: See if there are any leaks or rot.
  • Unstable: See if the roof is sagging.

Is it Possible to Mix Shingles?

Technically, yes. If you have a spare box of shingles in your home that you want to use then you may be able to do so. However, it can be difficult to match the new shingles to the original ones that are already on your roof.

If the area you are looking to update is relatively hidden, then it won’t matter if you use shingles that don’t match. As soon as you see signs of damaged or missing shingles then you should try to tend to that issue immediately. If your shingles do not properly protect your home then you run the risk of having more expenses down the line.

Should You Remove Old Shingles Before You Install New Ones?

It can be tempting not to remove the old shingles. The thought of saving money can be pretty persuasive. However, you want to make sure that you are taking care of your home properly. This means making sure you don’t handle roof repairs incorrectly. Oftentimes roofs have limits to how many layers of shingles can be on a home. This is typically two layers. Anything past that can increase the risk of damaging your roof.

Common Signs That a Roof Will Need to be Replaced

There are so many factors that can go into deciding what type of roof project will need to happen. That is why you need to have a roofing professional check out the home so you can make the right decision. You can be on the lookout for common signs that you will need an entire roof replacement.

How Old is the Roof?

Are you experiencing leaks with a roof that’s just 6 years old? This can be a sign that your installation was defective or installed incorrectly. However, a roof that is 20+ years old is a different story. If your roof is decades old and leaking then you may need to replace the whole thing. The materials that your roof is made out of also has a big impact on the longevity of the home.

Is There Water Damage?

Noticing brown spots, mold, or peeling paint? That can be a sign that there may be some extensive water damage. Oftentimes homeowners just replace the entire roof when dealing with water damage.

Damage from Natural Disasters

The weather is a force to be reckoned with. Some storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, etc. can have such an impact on the roof that you will need to replace it.

How Can You Find The Right Roofer?

Need to find a roofer for your home project? There are some tips that you can follow that may be able to help you find a roofer that best fits your needs.

Compare Your Roofing Options

A good rule of thumb is to compare your roofing options. You should aim to compare at least three different roofing companies before you make a decision. It is important to make an informed decision so it will help to ask questions along the way. The more information you can get from the company, the better. This can help you make the most educated decision that you can!

Don’t Choose Your Roofer on Price Alone

The price of the home project is important. However, it shouldn’t be the only factor that you keep in consideration when choosing your roofer. The lowest price may not be worth the work that you get. It is also important to be on the lookout for other hidden fees and costs.

Check That The Company is Legit

When picking a roofing company, it is important to have a reputable one. That is why you want to make sure that the company has the necessary permits, registrations, and insurance. You can ask the company for the legal credentials necessary to operate in your state!

Only Consider What’s in Writing

Your roofer should give you either an estimate or a bid when discussing the roofing project of your home. This written documentation can provide some sense of security when choosing your roofer. If you receive a bid that is the agreed upon price for the project. If you receive an estimate then that is just the estimated total of the project that may change due to factors that couldn’t have been measured at the time of the estimate.

Make Sure You Understand the Payment Terms

All roofing companies are different. That is why you want to have a clear understanding of the payment agreement before deciding on a company. Some may require an upfront percentage of the total amount due while others require the full amount paid within a specified time frame. Make sure you have this information so you choose a roofing company that can fit in your budget.

Get the Basics 

This may seem like common knowledge but a home project can be pretty hectic to plan. Sometimes you may forget certain aspects during the hustle and bustle. Find out the aspects of the project from beginning to end. When will they start? When will they finish? Will cleanup be included?

Make Sure They are Knowledgeable

It is easy for scammy roofers to take advantage of customers because most people don’t understand all of the factors that go into a roof project. That is why you will want to ask questions that can show you just how much knowledge they actually have.

If you are getting a roof replacement, ask your roofer how many layers of shingles are currently on the home. Your roofer should be able to find this out with some simple steps. A good roofer will take the steps necessary if the home needs to be stripped, checked for rot, insulated, and reroofed.

Check the Material of the Roof

Most of the time, the material that the roofers pick will vary based on the necessity of the home. Ask your roofer about the material they will use, warranties on the material, and special applications. If you live in an area that always has snow, then ask how that will impact the roofing material that gets picked for the project.

Have Your Roofer Check Your Chimney

If you have a chimney, you should have your roofer check it out before working on your roof. Your chimney may also need to be repaired. If so, then roofers typically know people within the industry like a mason that can help and coordinate the project with them.

Top Reasons That Roofs Need to be Repaired or Replaced

There are many factors that impact the health of your roof. There are some common reasons that a roof can begin to deteriorate. It’s important to know the common reason for roof deterioration because this can provide insight about problems you may encounter in the future.

Old Shingles

Your shingles age just like people do. However, when a shingle ages, instead of growing up, it becomes weaker, and brittle. Sometimes your shingles may begin breaking down within their warranty date. However, even if that is the case it may be best to get different shingles to improve the chances that you avoid recurring repairs.

Neglected Roof Repairs

Finances can be difficult to manage sometimes. Other unexpected life events can pop up and disrupt your plans for your money. Roof repairs may be on your list of to-do’s but if it keeps getting pushed back then you may hurt yourself in the long run. The lack of standard roof maintenance can lead to more costly projects.


Where you live will take a toll on your home. If you live in an area that can experience hail, that damage may be detrimental to your roof! That is why when looking for roofers you want to make sure the material they choose is specifically designed to protect your home against common weather elements that you deal with.

Scorching Heat

Many people may not realize just how much heat can impact their roof. When you are living in sunny areas, that high heat and UV light beaming on your rooftop can take a serious toll. You can reduce the problem through your attic. When you ventilate and insulate that space, you may be able to improve the barrier on the attic ceiling. Make sure to speak to a professional before starting any serious home improvement tasks.

Shoddy Installation

Unfortunately, not every roofer is as qualified as they may seem. If your home had a roofer that was not properly qualified then you may find there are issues with your roof. Some common mistakes of rookie roofers include not properly installing flashing, not using underlayment, using little to no roof sealants, and overlapping shingles.


Deciding to repair or replace your roof is a big decision. However if you take the proper steps to spot signs of damage, hire a good roofer, and make educated decisions then the whole process can be a breeze. It is extremely important to talk to professionals when figuring out what would be best for your home.