A home’s roof is one of its most critical features. A solid, watertight roof keeps the rest of the property from water leaks and other damaging things outside the home. When you have an issue, or the roof comes to the end of its useful life, it will be one of the more expensive elements to fix.
It’s important to try to repair rather than replacing your roof. A correctly done and well-timed repair can produce a lot of savings. On the other hand, sometimes a repair is just an expensive band-aid over a problem that needs to be corrected soon anyway. In this post, we’ll go over four key considerations to remember when deciding between roof repair or replacement.
All residential roofs have an expected useful lifespan, depending on the type of roof, the materials its made of, weather elements, and proper installation procedures. The closer the roof is to the end of its expected life, the more likely it is that replacing it will be a more effective solution. Cost of repair also plays a factor – a very inexpensive repair might be worthwhile even on a roof thats near the end of its useful life.
In general, in Arizona, you can expect about 15-20 years from a flat roof (more properly called a low-slope roof). Sloped or pitched roofs may give between 15 years (for asphalt shingle) and 50 years (for some tile roofs).
A common mistake homeowners make is thinking that if leaks are popping up often, the entire roof is bad and needs replacing. But repeated leaking can have more related with installation issues than the roof itself, and a proper repair will be a much more inexpensive choice.
When this happens, the first place to check is at penetration locations in the roof. Penetrations are places where holes are punched through the roof for things like pipe vents and chimneys. If leaks are showing up around penetrations, then you may have received a bad installation process. Depending on the number of penetrations, repairing the flashing will probably fix your issues more efficiently obviously much less expensive than completely replacing it.
If the leaks are penetrating seams in different roofing materials, then it could make more sense to replace rather than repair.
Depending on where your property is located, there might be tax incentives available for installing energy-efficient roofing. Also, some roof repairs can be tax deductible. This could have a big impact on the cost effectiveness of your repair or replacement choice. Check your local, state, and federal tax guidelines.
If your roof has an existing warranty, you’ll want to get your repairs or your roof replacement done while it is under warranty, obviously. However, warranties on roofs can be difficult to decipher. For one thing, many warranties use proration clauses, which means you’ll only get credit for the remaining lifespan of your roof. Another factor to remember is that the manufacturer’s warranty is a separate item from the installation warranty. If there’s a reason for one of those parties to blame the issues on the other party, they will. This can put the homeowner in a difficult situation where nobody takes responsibility for the roof repair problems.
When you’re trying to decide whether to repair or replace your roof, you need to understand the terms of your warranty, how close you are to the end of it, and whether the root of the problem falls under the manufacturer or the installation sections of your warranty.