Roof Maintenance: Patching, Lay-over, or Replacement?

    

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Roof maintenance is an essential aspect of owning a home. Not only does it add to the aesthetic look and curb appeal of your home, but roof damage can cause all manner of structural problems if not addressed. When it comes to roof repair, there is a big decision homeowners must make – should the existing roof be repaired, should a lay-over roof be installed, or does the roof require a complete tear-off and replacement. Each option has benefits and limitations. Keep these in mind when deciding your roof replacement options:

Repairs

Repairing a roof is usually an option when there are isolated sections that are showing signs of leaks or damage caused by wind or other adverse conditions. It is also an appropriate option if the existing roof is less than 10 years old.

Advantages of repairing:

  • Repairs can generally be made quickly and without much disruption to your home or property.
  • Because repairs are only made to sections that need it, the cost of repairing is inexpensive compared to a full replacement.
  • A minor problem such as a small leak may develop into a bigger issue over time. Addressing a problem with a repair will limit the amount of damage it will cause.

Disadvantages of repairing:

  • Asphalt shingles discolor as they age. This means that it is very difficult to match a repair with existing roofing.
  • If there is significant damage, particularly to the decking, patching will protect from further damage but it will not necessarily correct the problem.

Lay-over

If your home is in need of a new roof, adding an additional layer of roofing shingles may be an option. A Lay-over roof delays the inevitable – your roof will need a complete tear-off eventually – but many find it to be a cost effective and easy solution.

Advantages of lay-over:

  • This approach is less expensive than a complete tear-off because it does not require costly demolition, cleanup, and removal of the old roof.
  • Lay-over roofing will provide a unified look to your home, unlike repairs.

Disadvantages of lay-over:

  • Lay-over roofs do not fix a problem; instead, they cover it. This leaves the possibility of problems recurring in the future.
  • Some roofing materials do not lend themselves well to multiple layers, and it may not be possible to lay-over one material with something new.
  • Lay-over roofs add significant weight to a home. Too many roofing layers could cause structural strain.

Replacement

In general, asphalt shingle roofs last 10-15 years before they need for replacing. A roof replacement is necessary if the roof is old or has experienced significant damage, or if you are interested in changing the style or color of the roof.

Advantages of replacement:

  • Replacing the roof minimizes the need to have crews come out for multiple patches.
  • There are a number of stylistic options when it comes to residential roofing. A new roof allows you to change the outside appearance of the home.
  • A new roof is a reset on the 10-15 year timeline. This provides peace-of-mind that the roof is in good shape.
  • In the case of a tear-off, replacing a roof will give your roofers the ability to thoroughly inspect the deck, water barrier, and ridge vent for possible damage. When everything is exposed during a replacement, there will be fewer surprises in the future.

Disadvantages of a replacement:

  • Re-roofing can be a multiple-day process that involves a larger crew and need for more equipment and supplies. This poses a temporary inconvenience on the homeowner.
  • Replacement costs significantly more than a patch or minor repair work.

If you are unsure if your roof needs repair or replacing, consider an inspection and consultation with an experienced roofing professional. Contact us to discuss your options. We can help you make an informed decision that will ensure that your roof not only looks great, but is protecting your home.

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