Roof repair: Knowing when to repair and when to replace

Worried about whether your roof problem might grow into a major replacement project? Here’s how to tell if your problem requires just a repair or if it’s time for a full roof replacement.

Problems that can be fixed with repairs

A single leak on a new roof: If you notice a damp patch in your ceiling, don’t panic immediately. Examine your attic or crawlspace for other signs of damage. If the leak appears to originate from one spot in your roof, this problem is likely a minor issue that a roof repair expert can find and fix. Single leaks are often caused by problems with unsealed flashing or past damage in roof membranes. Finding the leak and fixing it can take care of this problem. However, if your roof is more than several years old, a single leak may soon be joined by others.

Damage from a storm: Storm damage is not usually indicative of any widespread roof problem. Instead, storms and winds create spot-based damage, often from falling tree limbs or powerful wind gusts from specific directions. After the storm, assess the damage: Usually the roof repair will involve replacing shingles and patching spots damaged by falling objects.

A problem in only one section of the roof: Sometimes issues plague only a certain part of your roof. Moisture may be seeping into just one corner, a faulty rafter or beam may be causing issues on only one ridge or fasteners may be failing in only one location. In these cases, you can move forward with roof repair … as long as you know the issue is not widespread.

Signs of widespread problems

Moss and similar growth: Moss, lichen and other thick growth across your roof indicate a serious underlying problem. These plants need moisture to survive and are typically hiding some serious roof damage. If your roof has a lot of moss, consider replacing it entirely.

Worn shingles: Shingles (and other roofing materials) are only made to last so long. If your shingles are fading, cracking and falling apart, they have probably been on the roof too long. It’s time to replace them. Sometimes replacing the entire roof can be less expensive in the long run than replacing only the most worn-down part, Bob Vila notes.

Cracking and rusting around flashing: Flashing can succumb to rust and warping over time. If your flashing (and any visible metal strips in general) is starting to crack or show signs of rust, your roof may need an update to stop leaks before they take over and create more serious issues.

Long-term moisture problems: A single leak, spotted quickly, is easy enough to repair. But a long-term leak tends to create structural damage, rot, mold, pest problems and other issues. Leaks that have lasted a long time have often seeped into other sections of the roof. It may be better to look into a full replacement.

Homeowners in Roswell and beyond can call Findlay Roofing for a free roof analysis!

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