Patriots vs Colts; Toll House cookies vs Boston Cream Pie. Life is all about choices, and homeowners in southeastern Massachusetts have one more: roof replacement vs repair. Of course you pick the Pats, but how can you know what to do with your home’s roof?  

Four Factors

When trying to decide between roof replacement vs repair, you have four major factors to consider, even before you contact a nearby residential roofing contractor for pricing, options, samples, and a site visit. 

The four factors are always unique to your roof, so avoid the influence of neighbors, extended family, or friends. Your roof is not their roof. 

Before we dig in deep, though, a word of caution: never venture out onto your roof, whether you have a single-story ranch or a prototype New England saltbox. Roofs are dangerous, so leave the hands-on inspection to your roofer. Stay on the ground! 

Four factors to consider when deciding if you are better off replacing your home’s roof or paying less for roof repair: 

  1. Your roof’s age — older New England roofs are roofs ready to fail; the northeast’s tough climate ages roofs of all types faster than other, milder climates, so a shingle roof near 20 years of age is ready for full roof replacement, and flat roofing (over a porch, addition, or entryway) should be replaced every 10 to 15 years in our area
  2. Local weather — your property is a microclimate, with homes facing the Atlantic Ocean inevitably needing roof replacement sooner than those facing away from nature’s blasts; a wooded lot may offer protection against winds that a more open lot does not
  3. Your roof’s materials — Shingles come in several price lines, with economical three-tab shingles designed for fast, inexpensive installation but not designed to last as long as architectural shingles; flat roofing materials vary widely in quality; only your roofer can provide an accurate evaluation of the quality of your current roof’s materials
  4. Quality installation — If your current roof was slapped down by a day crew brought in from the parking lot of a big-box home improvement store by a contractor who cannot tell the difference between drip edge and flashing, your roof probably needs replacing; poor installation shortens a roof’s lifespan more than weather, age, or other factors

But Then … 

Full roof replacement is a major decision, surely. You cannot let some issues cloud your judgment, though. You say, for example, roof replacement is expensive, so let’s just skimp along with a roof repair.

That could be a costly mistake.

Your roof shelters literally everything you own. It provides warmth and protection to your family and pets. A roof leak could become a hugely expensive problem, with ruined furniture, personal possessions, walls, and more.

The best roofers offer financing options so roof replacement can be performed quickly, without fear of budget woes or visions of months ahead, living off macaroni and cheese. Roof repair may well be a practical, economical solution for some problems, but never put your family’s and home’s health ahead of money concerns. 

Oh, And Another Thing

You are not expected to be an expert on your home’s roof. Your trusted local roofer is a resource you can rely on. Remember, your roofing contractor hopes to develop a long-term relationship, not take advantage of you. If your roofer thinks roof repair is adequate, that’s what the roofer will recommend. If a complete, new roof is a better strategy, your roofer will outline the reasons in detail.

No reliable roofer can offer an opinion until the roof is examined, up close and safely (your roofer has the equipment and training to perform an inspection correctly). Most roofers take notes, photographs, and measurements when inspecting a residential roof. These are used to form a complete picture of your roof’s condition.

Listen to your roofer’s advice. Repair in a small area may be enough! Or, the one roof leak you know about could be just the first of many issues your roofer identifies:

  • Loose or missing flashing
  • Broken, cracked, crazed, or cupped shingles
  • Separated seams on flat roofing
  • Mold or rot on sheathing or roof rafters
  • Damp attic insulation
  • Deteriorated underlayment
  • Inadequate water and ice shield
  • Raised roofing nails

A top-tier roofer will provide a written estimate, whether for roof replacement or roof repair. Partner with your roofer if you opt for roof replacement; transform your home by selecting a shingle style, color, and price line that puts the crowning touch on your home. Contact us today at Couto Construction to find out what else to consider when choosing between a roof repair and a full roof replacement for your Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, or Rhode Island home. Allow us to draw on more than 30 years in the home improvement business, our vast network of industry connections, and our deep knowledge of roofing, all for your benefit!