A solid roof is one of the key components in sustaining your building envelope. Essentially, that envelope is the dividing line between external conditions and the conditions inside your home. Your roof redirects rain, holds up snow until it can melt, and soaks up UV damage on behalf of the inside of your home. However, once your roof suffers damage or begins to degrade, you face a choice. Do you go with a roof repair or a roof replacement? Keep reading for some key things to consider as you make that decision.

Roof Age

Your roof’s age can play a huge role in repairing or replacing it. Let’s say that your roof is only eight years old. You can reasonably expect around 20 years from your average 3-tab shingle roof. You’ll get even more out of a well-maintained tile, metal, or architectural shingle roof. A repair can potentially get you another 8, 12, or more years out of that roof. If you have a 3-tab shingle roof that’s 16 years old, on the other hand, replacing the whole roof may make more sense. A new roof was already on the near horizon anyway.

Scope of Damage

Another key thing you must consider is the type and scope of the damage. Let’s say a wind storm blew through and ripped off or tore some of the shingles on your roof. In that scenario, a repair may make more sense because the scope of the damage is relatively small and light. What if that same storm knocked a limb loose from a nearby tree? The limb punched a big hole through your roof. In that situation, a replacement is likely your best and only option. The type and scope of the damage in the second scenario put the interior of your home at substantial and more or less immediate risk. Anything from rain or pest insects to rodents could get into the house through that hole.


Money isn’t necessarily the first thing you should think of when it comes to a roof repair, but it’s a very present concern for many households. The average roof replacement isn’t cheap. For an average size home and using 3-tab shingles, a replacement comes in around $8600. If your budget is already on the ropes, a full roof replacement at that price may be a financial non-starter for you. A roof repair may come in at a price point that will still hurt, but it won’t leave you in a desperate situation for the foreseeable future. If your budget cannot handle the strain of a replacement, a repair can help prolong a roof’s life until you can afford the replacement.

Overall Condition

Not all roofs wear at the same pace. A well-maintained roof may still have a lot of life left at 15 years old. A roof that the previous owner neglected may be on its last legs at 12 years old. If the roof has mildew or moss growing on it, that can shorten its life in a hurry. If leaks went unfixed for a while, mold might grow beneath the shingles or on the supporting sheathing. That mold can damage the integrity of the roof. If you live in a particularly hostile environment with extremely low temperatures, the shingles may start curling due to exposure. If the roof’s condition is subpar at the damage, you may opt for a full replacement.

Plans to Sell

With the residential real estate market supporting some of the highest selling prices for homes, you might be contemplating a sale shortly. One of the big sticking points for many buyers is the roof. Most buyers don’t want a home where replacing the roof is something they’ll need to do within a few years of buying. If your roof is about 12 years old, you may decide that a replacement makes sense before putting the house on the market. You’ll have to negotiate about one less thing before you can close on the sale. If you expect to stay in the home for another five or ten years, you may go for the repair and do a full replacement down the road.

Repair or Replace

Deciding between a repair and a replacement isn’t the kind of thing most people make a snap judgment about. There are a lot of factors that the average homeowner must consider before they commit to one path or the other, and it’s always great to hire a local roofing company like Altitude Roofers to help out on this process. As a rule, lighter damage on newer roofs means a repair. More often, serious damage, such as a puncture in the roof or serious degradation from ongoing neglect, means a full replacement.

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