After a few years it is possible for a roof to show signs of damage such as leaking or breakage. When a roof is damaged, one has to decide if it should be repaired or replaced.
To make an informed decision, a number of factors have to be considered, some of which include:
How extensive is the damage?
If the damage is extensive, then the roof likely needs a replacement. A minor damage, however, is more likely to be amenable to repair.
How old is my roof?
If your roof is relatively new then your best bet is to consider repairing it. If the roof is old and well past its sell by date, then replacing the roof would be the most appropriate decision.
Will fixing my roof improve the value of my house?
Sometimes, replacing the roof can improve the value of a house. In such cases, replacing the roof is a good idea. When replacing the roof does not add significant value and repair can fix the problems, then repairing the roof should be considered instead.
Can you afford to replace your roof at this time?
Roof replacement can be quite expensive. Without adequate funds, it is better to consider repairing the roof instead. If money is no obstacle however, then replacing your roof is the best option.
Do you want to maintain the architectural integrity of your house?
If you desire to maintain the architectural integrity of your house then repairing the roof is the best option. Replacing the roof inevitably changes the look of the property. If you live in a classic house, you might want to retain the original look as long as possible. In that case, you might want to delay roof replacement until it is utterly necessary.
Was your roof damaged by a natural disaster?
If your roof was damaged by a hurricane, a hailstorm, a tornado, an earthquake or any other natural disaster, then you should consider replacing it.
This is because natural disasters are capable of causing severe structural damage even though this may not be apparent to the naked eye.
Is the cost of repair close to the cost of replacement?
Sometimes the cost of repair is close to the cost of replacement. In such cases, it is wiser to replace the roof. If a new roof costs a few hundred dollars more than the repairs, then it makes sense to replace the roof.
Is your present roof compliant with current building codes?
If your present roof is not compliant with current building codes, then replacing your roof is your only option.
If your roof is not compliant with building codes, you could have difficulties in future should you decide to sell your house. It is a good idea to ask a roof specialist to check your roof for compliance to local laws.
In summary, you should assess your roof based on the factors we have mentioned to determine if you should repair or replace it. A new roof with minor damage that is easy to fix will most likely need a repair. An old one with extensive damage, exposure to natural disasters or expired components is likely needs a replacement.