All roofs need to be replaced at some point or another, so deciding when to do a full replacement might require speaking to a professional. After all, you don’t want to replace the entire roof when a small patch job would have sufficed. On the other hand, trying to perform minor repairs on an old, weakened roof can lead to constant leaks and water damage. In order to choose the perfect time to replace versus repair, you will need to be able to identify the beginning signs of an aging roof.

If your roof is more than 20 years old, or if it is showing obvious signs of wearing out, then replacing might be a smart choice. However, roofs can cost quite a bit of money. That’s why it’s important to contact a roofing contractor to take a look at your roof and let you know what the best course of action is.

Early Signs of Leaks

Checking your roof annually is a great way to plan ahead for any repairs you may need to make. Keep an eye out for any dark areas on the ceilings, peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs, any wet spots around the fireplace, and water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace. If you are looking for signs of damage from the outside, grab a pair of binoculars. If you notice cracked caulk or rust spots on the flashing, curling and buckling shingles, and worn areas around your chimney or pipes, then you have some obvious damage! Spotting piles of grit in the gutters from the asphalt roofing is a sign that your roof is no longer being protected from the sun’s rays. Also, don’t fret too much about black algae, as this is just cosmetic—yet masses of moss and lichen may mean that your roof is decaying underneath.

If you find some of these signs, it’s time to call a roofing contractor immediately. If Richmond has recently undergone a huge storm with heavy wind or hail, a professional will be able to assess the roof to make sure it is still in good condition.

When to Repair

If your roof is pretty sound overall, then you can repair a leak without much of an issue. This might only take about $10 to put some roofing mastic into a gap in the chimney flashing, or it might take closer to $1,000 to repair a leak in a roof valley. The good news is, if the roof damage is caused from something unexpected like a storm, your homeowner’s insurance will probably cover the necessary repair work.

What is the Cost of Re-Roofing?

In order to install a new roof, your roofing contractors will need to remove your current roof. Stripping off the old one and beginning again is going to cost you a few dollars for each square foot, assuming you choose basic shingles. While some contractors will lay a new roof over the old roof for about a dollar less per square foot, this is not a good decision. The second layer won’t last near as long, and you won’t get new flashing or any upgrades to make the roof last longer. When it’s finally time to sell the home, your roof will look lumpy, and potential homebuyers will be able to tell that repair work was done in the cheapest way possible.

Factor in Hidden Costs

Once you start collecting bids from contractors, don’t just look at the total. Be sure to factor in what your bid is paying for, such as better building materials or disposal of the old roof. Also, there may be hourly rates for any structural repairs, as well as possible gutter costs. Once you have your contractor chosen, make sure that they are licensed and insured! This is your time to ask how the crew intends on protecting your yard, as well as who pays for any damages that may be incurred accidentally. Finally, try your best to schedule your roof replacement or repair during dry weather! That way, your lawn won’t be as damaged as the repair team works.

Making the Most of the Situation

To be honest, a new roof isn’t a purchase that families usually look forward to making. However, you do get a few benefits that may make the purchase feel a bit more worthwhile. You can add features to make your home more environmentally friendly, which could lead to receiving a federal tax credit to help you with the upfront costs. You can also choose roofing materials that are a little more fire, wind, and hail resistant. This might get you up to a 30 percent discount from your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Houser Roofing

Contact Houser Roofing today to get a free price estimate for your roof replacement or repair request! We are the roofing contractors Richmond can trust to get the job done right.