Roof Repair Or Replacement

Home Tips & Advice > Roof Repair Or Replacement


The part we never see is actually one of the most expensive repair houses will ever need. However, before you decide to replace the roof, check if repair is all it needs.

Eventually, all roofs wear out and need to be replaced, depending upon the quality of material and weather. Unfortunately, Calgary weather is very unpredictable and does not favor us all the times.

When it comes to maintaining the roof, at times we know that roof is calling for some work. But we are not sure whether it’s time to do the new roof or just some repairs would do the needful. If you do the replacement too soon, you will probably waste money. If you do wait for long, you might end up with a leaking roof and further expensive damages to your house. To get it done at right time, you should be able to assess the health of your roof and identify early signs of roof damage.

Unfortunately, as most Calgarians are not roof experts, they need to rely on expertise and suggestion of a professional roofer. That’s why selecting a legitimate roofing contractor is a very critical decision as they could help you save a ton of money in long term.

However, like most homeowners, if you are also double minded and can’t choose between replacing or repairing a roof, keep reading – we will help you make a right decision.

From the inside, early signs of roof troubles can be dark spots on ceilings, peeling paint, damp spots near fireplace and water stains on pipes which are venting water heater or furnace. From the outside, some warning signs indicating the needs of repair could be curling or buckling shingles, rust spots on flashing, chimneys, skylights and pipes. If you see the piles of grit from asphalt shingles in gutters, that’s not a good sign as those granules protect the roof from damage caused by ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Normally, roof repair is sufficient for fixing small issues like missing shingles, or cracked flashings due to rust, whereas a roof replacement is a much better approach to resolve more structural problems.

Below are some factors which need consideration while deciding amongst roof repair or replacement:

Age of your roof is the top most variable which needs to be considered. Do you know how old is your roof? You might be aware, but age alone won’t help in decision making unless you also know the expected lifespan of your roof too. The lifespan of a roof varies greatly depending upon the type of roof material. Below are expected life spans of some common categories of roofing materials:

Asphalt – Asphalt shingles are most commonly used roofing materials for Calgary homes. Typically, they last somewhere between 15 to 20 years but hot climates may even shorten this lifespan. Since Calgary is facing some extreme hot summers for last few years, some new higher variants are coming in which can make up to 40 years.

Cedar – Cedar shingles look beautiful and can appreciate the value of your house. They are likely to get max out at 25 years.

Wood – They most likely last at least 15 years, depending upon quality and kind of wood.

Slate – They are expensive but can serve you up to 100 years, being durable and very resistant to the elements.

Concrete – They are heavy & very durable and have a lifespan of 200 years or even more.

Metal – They are commonly used in commercial properties but now increasingly getting demand in residential buildings as well. They are very sturdy and tough to face storms and other natural forces and can last up to centuries.

So basically, if the roof is damaged but too much extent is in good shape or quite new or in middle of its lifespan, repairs should be fine. However, if the roof is reaching the end of its life cycle, replacing a roof might be a wiser long-term decision.

Roofing inspection will help you discover if there are any leaks in the roof. If the leak is isolated (mostly near flashing points), a quick repair can fix it. However, if leakages are scattered all over the roof, roof replacement is the way to go.

If its only couple of small areas on the roof which needs to be fixed, then few shingles and quick repairs would be sufficient. However, say if more than 30% of your roof is demanding attention, then roof replacement is the best answer.

If there is major damage caused by moisture in the structural framework of your roof deck, covering those defaults by new shingles won’t fix the problem. In this scenario, roof replacement including fixation of these defects in roof deck would be the best option.

If you decide to replace your roof, you also have an option to integrate environment-friendly features which can qualify for local/federal tax credits to reduce your overall project cost. Nowadays, there are new materials available in the market which are more energy efficient, have a longer lifespan and more resistant to wind, fire or hail. So you can consider these better materials in roof replacement to even qualify for good discounts on homeowner’s insurance premium.

If you are planning to sell off the house in few months, and the roof is mostly in good shape, then quick repairs would be a more sensible decision. On the flip side, a new roof would add to the value of your home by making it visually appealing, more energy efficient and be giving buyers much more confidence in their prospective investment.

Well it’s no brainer to only replace the damaged or missing shingles with new ones, but the only drawback is that your newly incorporated shingles might not match existing layer of roof, which usually get fade out by weather conditions and other elements, unless your roof is pretty new and you luckily had some spare shingles saved from your original roofing work. So if your roof is too much extent visible and you don’t want to show mismatched shingles, it’s better to replace the whole roof, in addition, it also extends the lifespan of your roof by few decades or so.

Now once you have decided to go ahead with replacing the roof, you need to decide whether you want to rip off old shingles or install a new roof over existing layer of shingles. Your choice depends whether you want to save some money now and risk big expenses in future or spend more now with a better approach and minimize expenses in years to come. However, local building codes restricts to have more than two shingle layers on your roof because it puts additional weight and pressure on the home structure.

Technically, the best approach is to remove the existing layer before getting a new one, which would save you lot of headache and money in future especially if you are living in a location which faces high winds, a single layer of shingles attached directly to roof deck would hold them strongly. Also, if you remove existing shingles, you also get an opportunity to inspect the roof deck for any defaults which need to be fixed before covering it with new shingles.

There are some hidden costs like gutter replacement which you should consider while planning for roof replacement. However, a reputable and professional roofing company will provide detailed estimate covering all aspects of project costs.

If you don’t have any time constraints, then you can opt for either option. However, if you need to fix the leakage quickly without any delay then you may not have time to book an appointment to schedule roof replacement.

By now you probably should have more clarity about which option to choose. Either way, don’t wait too long before your house starts screaming for help. Take the right decision today so you don’t need to worry about any failures when a storm comes close.

Also, you can make an educated decision to hire the best roofer by going through our easy to follow checklist.