Your Roof Is Leaking: Do You Need a New Roof or a Repair?

June 15, 2019 by Freddie Charles Tags : ,

A leaky roof can cause a host of issues- including impacting the structure of your home, as well as the air quality inside of it. The first step you should take if you notice a leak in your roof is to do what you need to protect the interior of your home. Place a bucket under the leak, cover any furniture and other belongings with plastic, and do your best to dry what has already gotten wet.

If the problem appears in a specific area (e.g., wet ceiling in an upstairs bedroom), it probably is localized and easily fixed. Many roof leaks can be repaired easily on the outside by a qualified roofing company. However, if your roof is leaking in several areas, or if the water is traveling through the interior of your roof, it’s time to call an expert. But- do you need a new roof, or is there an alternative to replacing it?

My Roof Is Having More and More Problems.

The “all or nothing” solution of full replacement definitely will give you more peace of mind. But re-roofing is a big financial commitment that, if unexpected, or unplanned, you might not be able to afford right away. Could the roofing project be done in stages instead? Possibly.

Multiple Patches

In general, this is not a good idea. If it is a new roof with construction flaws, and/or the damage is due to shingles that have blown off, a patch or two might be OK. However, you should consult a roofing expert to know for sure what’s going on.

You also should contact the original contractor about construction flaws or your insurance company about wind damage.

Partial Repair

Home expert Bob Vila says that “if the damage is more significant but confined to one side of the roof, partial re-roofing is an option that will cost thousands of dollars less than doing the entire roof. ” He does point out, though, that this could wind up being far more costly in the long run.

When Do I Need a New Roof?

Unfortunately, roofs have finite lifespans–like any other part of your home, and replacing them is expensive. You might need to pursue financing options like taking out a home equity loan or setting up an installment plan.

Money magazine also has some great suggestions for saving money in the short and longer terms. They also caution not to cut corners with quality when having a roof installed. Whatever it takes, selecting the best quality option you can afford will pay off in the long run.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How well has the roof been maintained? If you are a relatively new owner, you might discover that it was not well maintained before you moved in.
  • Has it been 20 years or longer since the roof was last replaced? If so, it’s probably time to at least consider a replacement. Call a roofing contractor to be sure.
  • Have you had ongoing problems with the roof? If so, and the problems are not localized, then it’s probably time for a new roof.

Add on to Existing Layer or Do a Tear-Off?

Bob Vila also reminds us that adding a second layer of roofing on top of an existing layer is cheaper, but might cost more down the road. In case you were thinking of adding a third layer, Vila says the International Residential Code prohibits a new roof over two or more layers of any type of roofing.

Going Forward

So do you need a new roof? We hope you’ve been able to make a decision based on what’s been said here. Don’t hesitate to ask a roofing contractor for advice, either. Repairing or replacing a roof is a big, costly project. You want to do it right–from the very start, so give us a call!