Your Roof – Repair or Replace?

Your Roof- Is this the year you should replace it or can it get by with some repairs?

With all homes there comes a time when you have to decide what to do about the roof that’s looking a little worn and damaged after all the snow and ice has melted off of it. Most individuals dread this decision and put it off a much as they can sometimes until they have no other choice as it begins to fail. By that time costly damage may have occurred. A timely roof repair will protect the structure of your home, its finishes and properly installed, will add years of protection and give you piece of mind and value to your home. The extent of the roofing problems and the age of the roof are major factors that can help you decide on what course of action to take (refer to last week’s article on inspecting your roof).

Here is a list of things to help you determine if the roof needs replacement:

• Interior walls or ceiling are blistered or there are dark spots on the ceiling
• Obvious leaking in the interior after a hard wind driven rain
• Signs of water damage or discoloration in attic spaces
• Soffits that are sagging or rotten
• Sagging roof sheathing or ridge
• Signs of leaking in the attic after an ice buildup (Look for excessive ice dams in the winter)
• Shingles are curling or appear cracked. This can be checked easily from the ground with binoculars
• Signs of algae buildup, or dirty looking shingles in different areas of the roof
• A rise in energy costs over a typical winter. This could indicate that the roof is losing energy.
• Signs of decay in shingles, sheathing and soffits. In this case, water is entering and possibly running down walls and entering the soffit
• You may have been in the attic area and noticed moisture, rot, structural damage or mold

The roof may just need some minor repairing if:

• There are areas where the shingles are missing or have been torn due to high winds
• Valleys are worn but the rest of the shingles look fine.
• The shingles are in good condition but there’s a moisture coming in from somewhere. This may be due a hole created by an animal such as a raccoon.
• Flashing has been damaged from winds or dry and cracked caulking. Re-caulking these areas may stop any leaks.

If you do need to replace the roof covering

If the roof covering needs to be replaced, the type of replacement depends your budget and roof type. Concrete tiles and slate are the most expensive, with the 3 tab asphalt shingle being the least. In between there is a rage of materials which may be appropriate for your situation. Roofing materials also change a lot depending on locale.

You should ask yourself whether the current roofing material is the best choice or is there something more appropriate?

Is the roof structure that you have strong enough to support the roofing material on it (such as heavy concrete tiles)?

Research our options by going to home shows, looking at what’s been done with similar homes in your neighborhood, talking with family and friends, go to building centres and get estimates from reputable roofing contractors. You should get at least three quotes and the roofers should be licensed, insured and be willing to give you local references that you can call.