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When To Replace Your Roof Instead Of Repairing

Replacing your roof can be expensive but how do you know when it's time to replace your roof instead of making repairs? Home improvement decisions are not all cut and dry. It is possible, and understandable, to repair your roof rather than replace it. Which route you take depends on the several factors, including the type of damage and what percentage of the total roof surface is in need of repair.

When It's Ok To Repair

Our roofs are exposed to all kinds of elements so it's only natural that you'll most likely experience a missing shingle or two over the life of your roof. Replacing a few missing shingles is a simple fix and should be done within a timely manner to avoid further damage to your roof's underlayment and decking.

When larger repairs are needed, that's when you may want to weigh the pros and cons of just doing a simple repair. Diagnosing and repairing an area that's leaking or has extensive damage is a whole other beast, especially if the contractor didn't install the existing roof. There may be workmanship or material issues that are out of the new contractor's control. Repairing someone else's work can sometimes be tricky.

Think of it this way, it's like asking someone to touch up a Picasso and expect it to be perfectly accurate. Reparing a roof leak is like putting a bandaid on it and is not a guarantee that your problems will go away. It can be tough to pinpoint the exact area where the leak is occurring and it's not an exact science. Often times the contractor is doing the best they can to give the most accurate assessment and repair options based on what's in front of them and may need to come back to attempt other repairs until your issue is resolved. This can cost you in the long run.

When It May Be Time To Replace Your Roof

If you're one of the lucky ones, your roof will make it to the end of it's lifetime before you need a roof replacement- typically 20 to 30 years depending on your location and the climate in your area. However, if you experience one or more of the following issues, it may be time to start getting estimates on a roof replacment.

Granules In Your Gutters

When cleaning your gutters, check for large amounts shingle granules that have fallen into your gutters. Granules protect your shingles and matting from the elements.

Missing Shingles With Each High Wind

Shingles that blow up with each high wind mean the roof could be failing, there's a workmanship or material issue. Over time, this could cause a roof or compromise the integiry of your roof.

Persistent Roof Leaks

Recurring roof leaks in multiple areas is usually a bad sign. This typically measn your roof is compromied in some way which could cause more damage to your roof's decking, attic insulation, and interior.

Sagging Roof

A sagging roof is a bad sign. There are various reaosns for this, most common being bad decking due to inadequate ventilation. With each roof replacement, be sure your contractors installing the right amount and type of ventilation for your home. It's a good idea to check your attic insulation at that time as well.

Curling Shingles

In some cases, home owners simply wait too long to replace the roof and the shingles are down to the bare bones causing the curling to occur. Other times this could mean your roof is defective. Either way this is an issue that needs to be addressed right away.

Doing regular, annual maintenance on your roof is highly recommended. The best times are Spring and Fall, just before and after the harsh winter weather. Roofing contractors in Indianapolis usually run specials throughout the year called Roof Maintenance Packages or Roof Tune Up Specials.

Roof Maintenance Specials are fairly inexpensive and consist of a roof inspection, caulking roof protrusions (vents, pipe boots, etc), fixing nail pops and an inspection of the chimney flashing. The contractor typically provides a report for this as well as a best guess on how much life your roof has left and any recommendations from the inspection.

Bottom line, take care of your roof or it will cost you.

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