Among the most essential workings of a home is its roofing system. Everything you treasure within your home, from your family to your belongings, is under the roof. Regrettably, roofs simply don’t last indefinitely. So if yours is approaching 20 years of age, it’s time to consider an inspection by a professional roofing contractor such as one of the Pittsburgh region’s top-notch roofing experts, Schultheis Brothers.
Such an assessment will reveal your damage, where the damage has occurred, and how serious it is. For example, the roof might require minimal repairs, or if it’s a bit older and has experienced a lot of tough weather, it might need more widespread repairs or a full replacement. Several factors go into deciding the best strategy.
Most contractors will carefully examine the shingles, the initial layer of protection. They’ll search for a substantial loss of granules that will erode over time. They’ll look for dents, holes, cracks, and lost shingles. It’s important not to decide on repair work when a contractor recommends a replacement. It may also result in damage to the home’s interior.
Look out for these general warning signs.
Be sure to heed these warning signs, as they will help you decide whether to repair, patch, or replace your roof.
- Curling, broken or missing shingles
- Shingle discoloration
- Mildew, moss, and/or algae sprouting on the roof
- Wood rot in your attic
- Shingle granules lodged in your gutters
- Obvious sunlight in the attic
- Indoor leaks
- Sagging roof
Note: A sagging roof is the one thing you should be concerned about most, as this points to a structural issue.
Roof age can be a crucial factor, too. We’ll discuss this below.
Overlooking a few of these issues can take you from a condition requiring only a simple repair to a situation where you need a roof replacement. The quicker you can get a contractor to your home for an assessment, the better your money-wise and your family’s well-being will be. This is particularly the case after big storms, which can damage older roofs considerably.
Roof Repairs vs. Roof Replacement Concerns
Budget-conscious homeowners investigating roofing concerns cross their fingers that they will require a modest repair instead of a total roof replacement. Arriving at that decision takes into account various factors. If your roof is relatively new and it recently took a pasting from a hailstorm, there’s a reasonable probability that the shingles require a few easy fixes. Older roofs suffering the same beating could be another story, somewhere between widespread repairs and total replacement.
Never presume you know what your roof requires; it takes a professional’s eye and years of know-how to recognize if repairs or replacements are appropriate. Contact your trusted roofing specialists at Schultheis Brothers, arrange an inspection, and let them assist in your planning the next steps.
To Repair or To Replace?
Here are the chief reasons to consider in deciding whether to repair or replace.
Age of the roof
The roof’s age is an enormous factor in determining whether to repair or replace your roof. Roofs have a limited life span, with most roofing experts agreeing that 20 years is when a roof will need repairs or replacement.
Just because you leak doesn’t necessarily mean you’re inevitably in for a full roof replacement. Sometimes, it’s an isolated leak in a particular flashing area, which can be easily resolved. However, if you have several leaks all over the roof, it’s to be expected that there are more substantial problems that will require a total replacement.
Extent of roof damage
The affected area of your roof can also help you decide whether it’s better to repair or replace your roof. If the damage is isolated or restricted to a relatively modest area, a roofing contractor may be able to repair it. For instance, if you detect a leak over your bedroom, there’s a possibility you have a small hole in the roof atop that area.
Any kind of damage limited to a tiny space can normally be repaired, so investing in a new roof is not required. However, if the damage impacts more than 30 percent of your roof, it’s best to replace than repair.
The Pittsburgh area is exposed to days with heavy winds over the course of a year. Hail can also be a chunk of the mix from time to time. Both of these weather episodes can damage a roof.
While our region doesn’t normally undergo punishing winds such as with hurricanes, the variation from frosty months of winter weather to muggy and swelting summer temperatures will also place strain on a roof.
How long do you intend to remain in your home?
If you’re considering selling in a few years, a new roof can be a selling feature for would-be home buyers. You don’t have to spring for the costliest roof. However, an old roof might classify your home as a “fixer-upper.”
If you’re planning to remain in your home for a lengthy period, you might rationalize the cost of updating your roof since your cost will be extended over the life of your home.
You’re on a tight budget.
There’s nothing like an issue with the roof to send someone on a tight budget into a fretful spiral. Before stressing out, remember that just because you’ve detected a problem doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get the total roof replaced.
Repairs can save you quite a bit, and you might be amazed how many times a leak turns out to be an easy repair. Keep in mind, however, that year after year of repairs can add up to substantial costs, and there are also structural issues to think through with a roof with numerous repairs. In some situations, a tight budget notwithstanding, replacement is the only option.
Moreover, should your aging roof require a total replacement, many contractors provide financing, which can help someone on a tight budget get what they need immediately and pay for it in monthly installments.
Trust Schultheis Brothers to help with your decision.
Okay, if the roof is clearly in bad shape, even to the untrained eye, the only decision is usually to replace it. But as is often the case, that decision isn’t so black and white every time, and, as we’ve seen, several factors go into figuring out whether you should repair or replace your present roof.
That said, your best option is to partner with a reliable roofing contractor such as Schultheis Brothers, who will pay attention to your concerns and help you establish a course of action to meet your needs.
When is roof replacement the only option?
As much as you’d like to resolve your roof concerns, every so often, the only option is a complete replacement. These are some of the most everyday reasons homeowners have replaced their roofs.
Widespread damage has taken place.
Widespread damage can occur due to various things. In many instances, a storm has moved through the region, and debris has been tossed about, affecting your aging roof, which no longer possesses the impact resistance to nip damage in the bud. Roofing contractors that examine a roof and discover that more than 30 percent of the surface has been damaged will advise replacement.
Significant hail and wind damage have occurred.
Most re-roofing projects occur after a hailstorm or a storm that lacks hail but has excessive winds that rip off shingles or toss the debris into them, producing dents and other damage. Also, a substantial volume of snow can place stress on particular sections of a roof that can damage it to the stage where re-roofing is the only option.
Melting snow can also create ice dams that will also destroy a roof. Don’t let the absence of major damage mislead you – plenty could be going on under the shingles, so arranging for a roof inspection is the best strategy.
The roof is simply too old.
As mentioned above, for most roofs turning 20 is a huge milestone and for many, the last one. At this age, homeowners start to experience recurring issues, which says if the roof needs extensive repair, it makes financial sense to proceed with the replacement.
It is non-compliance with codes.
Sometimes, a neighborhood has aesthetic codes that must be adhered to. For example, your asphalt roof is not in accord with a code that states it must be of a different material. Or there have been updated structural codes established since your roof was put on, and your roof is no longer in agreement.
Added benefits of replacing your roof
Okay, you’ve decided to replace your present roof. But what are some of the added benefits?
Let’s face it, unless you’re really looking ahead to the appearance of a re-roofed home; you’re still not going to be thrilled to undertake a roofing project. Whether it’s the short-term disarray from the project, the cost, or both, homeowners certainly don’t look forward to the job. However, there are these added benefits to consider.
- Offers a high return on investment. Who doesn’t want to look forward to a sizable ROI? There is a market for “fixer uppers” today; however, most homebuyers prefer a turnkey situation. Not wanting to buy low and spend a bunch of money on rehabbing the home, home buyers would rather come in and merely make interior design changes.
- Enhances curb appeal. Not only will a re-roofed home provide added value in the financial sense, but a new roof also offers curb appeal, which is an important aesthetic triumph. In addition, the roof accounts for a decent amount of square footage of the homes’ exterior, so it simply makes sense that a new roof will mean the house will “pop” when matched to others with aging roofs faded with age and environmental exposure.
- Superior energy efficiency. Shingle companies have developed innovative methods for producing shingles, offering more resilience and better energy efficiency. These two factors directly influence the comfort you’ll encounter inside the home, and the utility costs you pay.
As an example, in the winter, your house won’t be as drafty, and there will be prolonged pauses between your furnace turning on since the heat isn’t escaping the home as effortlessly as it manages with an aging roof. The same is the case in the summer months with your air conditioning. Your home merely retains its temperature longer with a newer roof.
Are you in need of a Roof Repair or Replacement?
Is it time to invest in roof repair or replacement? Then call the experts at Schultheis Brothers today. Our dependable roofing professionals are ready to put their know-how and tools to work for your Pittsburgh area property.
Whether you need to replace a few damaged shingles or want to upgrade to a more durable and long-lasting roofing material, our specialists can help create a customized solution that fits your needs and budget.
If you reside in Pittsburgh or the surrounding region, contact our office to schedule a suitable appointment with one of our roofing technicians.