If your roof springs a leak, don’t assume that means an automative roof replacement. Chances are, you might only need some minor repairs. Local roofing and James Hardie® fiber cement siding contractor DryTech Roofing LLC shares how you can make sure whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced.
Roofing Life Span
Every roofing system has an expected service life. With care and maintenance, a standard asphalt shingle roof is expected to last 20 to 30 years, while a standing seam metal roof lasts about 50 years. Your roof’s age is an important factor when assessing the likelihood of repair vs. replacement. The closer it is to the end of its life span, the more likely it will need replacement.
The roof’s age is not the only factor you should consider. You need to assess your roof’s condition, and to do that, you have to perform a thorough roofing inspection. James Hardie plank siding and roofing contractors recommend doing this in two parts:
Interior — Prepare an inspection toolkit that consists of a flashlight, a pen and notebook (or your smartphone or digital camera), woodworking gloves and a dust mask. Climb into the attic and, upon entry, check the underside of the roof for pinholes of light: an indicator of holes in the roof. Look for water stains—signs of leaks and water damage—on support components such as trusses.
Exterior — On a clear day, perform an exterior roofing inspection using a pair of binoculars, taking notes as you go along. Keep an eye out for damaged parts of the roof, missing flashing and shingles, corrosion, holes and signs of aging, such as curling shingles. Take note of the roofline: if it appears bowed, there could be a problem with the roof structure or a part of the house may be settling.
If you’re up for something more high-tech, use a camera mounted on a remote-controlled drone to record your inspection. You can send this to your roofing contractor later for consultation.
Repair or Replace?
Most people would choose repair when presented as an option: it costs less, doesn’t take as long to do and is a lot easier to oversee. However, there comes a point when repairs wouldn’t be practical, such as when the roof is too old, or when the roofing problem is too widespread. A bowing roof line indicates structural problems, which means the entire roofing structure may need to be rebuilt.