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Roof repair or roof replacement?

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Every house will need a new roof at some point. Whether it's after two years due to a massive storm or 100 years due to unbelievable luck (or, more likely, neglect) eventually every roof is destined to fail. It's like anything in life-- nothing is ever permanent. The question, as the following excerpt form a House Logic article attests, is when to replace a roof. The article notes: "Eventually, all roofs wear out and need to be replaced. You don’t want to do it too soon, because you’ll waste money. But you also don’t want to wait too long, because then you’ll end up with leaks and expensive water damage. To get the timing right, you need to know how to assess the overall condition of your roof and identify early signs of roof failure." The Internet, as it does with many subjects, makes it easy to perform at least a preliminary diagnosis of the severity of repairs needed for one's roof (and then Every house will need a new roof at some point. Whether it's after two years due to a massive storm or 100 years due to unbelievable luck (or, more likely, neglect) eventually every roof is destined to fail. It's like anything in life-- nothing is ever permanent. The question, as the following excerpt form a House Logic article attests, is when to replace a roof.

The article notes:

"Eventually, all roofs wear out and need to be replaced. You don’t want to do it too soon, because you’ll waste money. But you also don’t want to wait too long, because then you’ll end up with leaks and expensive water damage. To get the timing right, you need to know how to assess the overall condition of your roof and identify early signs of roof failure."

The Internet, as it does with many subjects, makes it easy to perform at least a preliminary diagnosis of the severity of repairs needed for one's roof (and then locate a professional, if necessary, to take the next steps.) An article at Roofing Talk offers two great lists of point-by-point tips on when to repair or replace.

The article recommends roof repairs when:

  • It's a first or second leak.
  • There are water spots on a single ceiling tile
  • There are limited leaks or other minor damage after a rain storm or high winds
  • A few shingles are missing from a specific area

-Tight finances call for repairs over replacement (though in this author's opinion, that last point is debateable. If an existing roof is sufficiently decayed, it would seemingly be cheaper to replace it than undertake a regular series of repairs.)

The article recommends roof replacement when:

  • There have been many leaks (author's note: a good rule of thumb is that a person should never have to wear a rain coat indoors)
  • Water stains can be found on tiles in multiple areas or leaks are widespread
  • Shingles are starting to curl at their corners and won't lie flat
  • High winds steal shingles or other parts of the roof
  • Roofing materials are seemingly chipped, cracked or otherwise broken
  • There's a possibility of insurance footing part of the bill, for instance in the case of storm damage
  • Value or curb appeal needs to be added to a home

Once roof repair or replacement has been decided on, there are a range of other factors to consider including whether the underlaying is solid or flashing is needed (Source: RoofDoctor1.com). A homeowner may need to check with their HOA, neighborhood association, local government or other group to determine if any kind of permit or special exemption is needed. With any kind of home work, it's always better to be on the safe side.

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