Quick Guide: Roof Replacement or Repair?

Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Roofing Problems: Repair or ReplaceMaking the right call on whether you repair or replace your roof can make a huge difference for your home and pockets. While both processes can fix your roofing problem, it could also mean making both short term and long term savings when keeping yours in the best shape.

There are decisions that you could make on your own. However, for the more complex roofing problems that you need to make in a consultation with a professional roofing contractor. They could inspect your roof and make an assessment on whether the damage would do with simple repairs or whether you will require a complete overhaul of your roofing.

When it comes to roofing problems, you will need to make one of the critical decisions depending on the extent of the damage:-

  • Patching
  • Repair
  • Replacement

Replacing the entire roofing is generally the last thing on every Melbourne homeowner’s mind. The costs of both labour and material have been rising over the years and the cost of replacing a roof could be four times or five times what it cost a decade or so go when your current roofing was installed. You should only entertain the prospect of replacing the roof when the current structure has suffered a catastrophic failure or has surpassed its warranty and is beginning to show signs of caving into time. Otherwise, roof replacement is a project that you should postpone as much as possible.

Before you decide on the best restoration route for your roofing, there are various factors that you need to keep in mind. These include the following:

Time Constraints: Certain roofing projects can be completed in a matter of hours while others like roof replacement will take a day to a few days depending on the scale of the project. If you need a leaking roof fixed in a matter of days or even hours, then replacement is definitely not an option. You could settle quicker repairs.

The age of the roof: You can only repair or patch up your roof for so long. If your roof was just installed recently or in the last few years, then you only need to repair the leaks or cracks. However, if your roof is over 20 years old and increasingly experiencing an issue after issue, it may be time to replace it altogether.

The size of the area that needs repairs: Determine the size of the area that is having an issue. A smaller surface area can easily be repaired or patched, especially if the cracks, leaks or missing shingles are localised.

However, if the damage is covering a large surface area and the patchwork of repairs is increasingly becoming unsustainable, it might be time to replace the roof. Generally, we recommend a roof replacement when more than 30% of your roof surface area is damaged.

The cost of Replacing the Roof: Of course you cannot go ahead with a major home improvement project such as roof replacement unless you have budgeted for it prior to making the decision. Analyze the cost of re-roofing and compare this against the cost of repairs.

If you are spending more than 30% of roof replacement costs on your repairs, consider installing a new roof. Remember to factor in the additional costs associated with the installation When looking for price estimates, ask the contractor to send you a comprehensive quotation for the entire job including the hidden costs.

The layers of shingles already on your roof: How long have you been doing the patch work? How many layers of shingles do you have on your roof? Local building codes prohibit having more than two layers so if you already do, you must factor in the cost of ripping these off to install a new layer of roofing.

How important are aesthetics for you? Is it important for you that the new roof colour and style must match the old one? If the old roofing was installed decades ago, you might find it hard getting a precise match of modern roofing materials. In that case, you may have to settle for mismatched roof or an entirely new roof.

Most homeowners will begin by patching up the leaks and other parts of the roof that are damaged. Sometimes, this may involve a partial re-roofing in order to restore the damaged section. No matter the path you take, there are lots of consequences, financial or otherwise, that you will need to grapple with. Let us look at each of these alternatives to restoring your roofing into a shipshape state.

Roof Repairs

These are the most common roof restoration and maintenance procedures in Melbourne. Most of the roofing problems ranging from leaks to damaged tiling and clogged gutters will simply need simple repairs. Repairs are cost effective, timely and the most reasonable course of action for a roof with small or localised damages. Repairs on a smaller surface area are generally less noticeable so you can easily mix the new and the old without creating an ugly checkerboard on your roof.

However, repairs may not always be cost-effective. Doing partial re-roofing to fix damages will cost you more per square feet. If this is spread over a large surface area, then the repairs may actually end being costlier than replacements. In this case, you should adhere to the 30% rule: If more than 30% of the roof surface needs fixing, you should simply replace the roof.

Roof repairs may also exacerbate already existing problems. For example, if your roof already has multiple layers of roofing material, all these layers will have to removed in order for a new layer to be inserted to repair the problem. This will increase the cost of repair and disposal.

Finally, there are the aesthetic considerations. Due to constant innovation and changing manufacturing standards in the industry, you will not always find a precise match of roofing materials. So you might have to do with the proverbial checkerboard roof. If your roof is highly visible, it is not always the most pleasant sight.

Roof Replacement

Roof Repair MelbourneOverall, a roof replacement is generally more cost-effective and has a better aesthetic outcome than a patchwork of repairs. The cost of repairing a small part of the roof may be as high as 30% of the cost of complete re-roofing. In that case, it would make sense to simply install new roofing. If your roof is already too old-approximately 20 years and above depending on warranty- and with extensive damages, it makes economic sense to simply replace it.

However, before you decide to re-roof, you should put several factors into consideration including the age of the existing roof, your budget allocation, the extent of wear, the local climate as well as how susceptible your current roof is to any future weather adversities.

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