Your roof contributes to the overall curb appeal of your home. At some point in your homeownership, you’ll find yourself asking whether you need some roof repairs or a full roof replacement. Missing shingles, a leaky roof, clogged gutters, wind damage, or peeling paint can affect the safety of your home, so make sure to address your roofing issues quickly.

If left unattended, minor damage can eventually cause severe damage to your home and high repair costs. Roofs can last many years, but what happens when unexpected disasters occur or wear-and-tear damages old shingles? How can you tell if it’s time for a full roof replacement?

roof repair vs replacement tools

What Happens Next?

If your roof has sustained damage, you need to begin the process of solving the problem. What do you do first?

Do Your Research

We advise scheduling a thorough roof inspection with a specialized roofing contractor as soon as you notice roofing problems. But first, do your research. Get educated on the roofing system process to avoid being taken advantage of by shady contractors and having to pay to fix their mistakes later.

Check out the company reviews, years of experience, certifications, and location. Get a second opinion to establish trust and roofing costs with the contractor to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Decide if You Plan to Stay at Home

A brand new roof repair or replacement can determine whether you stay home or vacate the property. Reputable roofing companies will advise the best option before starting work on your roof. Contractors usually need between five and seven days to complete the project for most roof replacements.

Other Considerations

Once you’re ready to proceed, here are some things to consider:

  • The insurance claim process:  If you carry insurance that covers roof damage, take the appropriate steps before scheduling repairs to make sure you can prove the cause and extent of the damage to get the most out of your claim.
  • The contract: The company should provide a contract detailing the scope of work, a timeline, contact information, and the costs of the project including the roofing material.
  • The building permits: Your city or county issues building permits, and the building codes and requirements vary between locations. If you are hiring a licensed roofing company to do the work, they will acquire the permit, but do your due diligence to confirm the process and make sure you won’t face legal troubles.
  • Home preparation: Before the work begins, confirm with the roofing company the necessary steps they take to protect your property. For example, do they put tarps on the ground for the dump zone and cover your landscape for protection? If not, ensure that you take a few safety measures, like covering bushes from debris.

What Is the Roof Repair Process?

The best roof repair approach will depend on whether you’re getting a repair or a full replacement. Roof repairs may resolve minor to moderate damage instead of removing all the components and investing in an entirely new roof.

Repairs that are as simple as filling a roof deck crack, replacing a few shingles, or addressing a roof leak in a few spots are fixable. Simple repairs can extend the lifespan of an older roof until a replacement.

The process may include the following steps:

  • Thorough inspection
  • Remove old roofing materials
  • Prepping for new shingles
  • Acquiring new roof installation materials
  • Installing or repairing the roof
  • Clean-up and final inspection

Closeup of hammer and nails on roof

What Is the Roof Replacement Process?

A full roof replacement depends on where you live, what maintenance you’ve done, the curb appeal you desire, and your personal taste. After the inspection, the tear-off process and the gutter clean-out process begin. Your contractor will then be ready to replace your roof. You may want to opt for partial reroofing if the damage is only covering a small portion.

The most common roof replacement options for residential properties include asphalt shingles, wood shakes or shingles, metal roofing, slate roofing, composition slate, clay or ceramic tiles, and concrete tiling.

According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, slate, copper, and tile roofs last more than 50 years. Wood shake roofs last about 30 years. Asphalt roofs last about 20 years.

If your existing roof is relatively new and you have spare shingles saved to replace cracked shingles, then it would be convenient to save money on a patch job. Otherwise, you will need new roofing materials, which may end up becoming a full replacement.

Roof Repair or Replacement?

Maintaining the architectural integrity of your roof is essential when deciding to repair or replace it. For serious issues, replacing the whole roof is more cost-effective than repeatedly paying for repairs. Here are a few things to consider:

Roof Age

Learn your roof lifespan history. To gauge the expiration date, you can contact neighbors and previous owners, find the permit, or contact the roof installer. When you start noticing the roof age, bring in a professional roofing contractor to determine if it is time for a roof replacement. Although roofs can withstand severe weather conditions for many years, nothing is permanent.

If the life expectancy is almost over and the roof shows signs of aging, mold growth, and deterioration, a replacement would be the best option over repairs.

Roof Condition

If you can see through your current roof during daylight, it’s time for a total roof replacement. Has your roof been severely damaged due to severe weather conditions? Think branches stuck in your roof causing major dents. Old roof damage can lead to significant structural damage. Do you have minor to moderate damage? Then, you may only need your roof repaired.

Roof Areas Affected

A roofing contractor can help you with roof repairs if the damage is in a single area. If there are leaks in your home, you may see one small hole. Damages restricted to only tiny areas may be corrected or replaced, allowing you to avoid the costly investment of a roof replacement.

How Often Should I Replace my Roof?

Experts recommend you evaluate or consider a new roof replacement every 15-20 years. Time frames will vary depending on the material and climate exposure to the entire roof.

Roof Repair Costs

Are you ready to replace your roof and invest in your home’s curb appeal? HomeAdvisor reports that the average homeowner spends about $8,813 to install a new roof, and most spend between $5,645 and $12,013. It is also important to note the price increase of manufacturer roofing materials and labor costs recently due to inflation.


Your roof may just require a repair job or it might need a full replacement. A professional roofing contractor can tell you what your roof needs and help you walk through the process. Whatever you decide, investing in keeping your roof functional is vitally important to the integrity of your home.

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