Damaged Roof – Repair or Replace?

Fixing a damaged roof can be among the most costly of home maintenance expenses. When you find an issue, you’ll need to decide whether to repair the damage that’s done, or replace the roof entirely. But how do you know whether to repair or replace, and what other factors should you keep in mind?

Roofing trouble - damage to shingles that needs repair.

Signs You Should Probably Repair

Missing Shingles

This will be one of the easiest to spot. Shingles can fall or blow off due to inclement weather and can be easily replaced for a low cost. That is, if you don’t care about visual differences between the new and the old.

Plants or Moss

You may find plants or moss growing on your roof. While this necessarily isn’t a life-threatening concern, you should have someone come out to see about repairing it. As it grows, moss acts like a sponge and collects rainwater. This rainwater can affect the roof underlayment, causing damage and mold inside of your home.

Leak or Crack in Roof

If you can see sun shining through in your attic, or if you start to notice water damage inside of your home, you probably have a leak or crack in your roof. These normally aren’t too difficult to repair and most times can be done DIY-style.


The benefit of repairing your roof is that you’re not paying the full cost to replace it, which can be many, many times more expensive. The downside is that you’re typically just masking a problem which may eventually return.


Signs You Should Probably Replace

Roof is More Than 25 Years Old

While more modern roofing materials are proving to last much longer, most experts agree that a new roof on a home will last between 20-25 years. If you’ve been in the home that long, make sure to have your roof checked by an expert. If you’ve just moved in, check with the previous tenants to see when they last had the roof inspected.

Shingles Curling/Buckling or Granules

When shingles begin to curl or buckle, this is usually a sign of intense weathering or other potential problems like leaks. Additionally, if you start to find shingle granules in your gutters, this is a sign of more serious, overall damage.

Roof is Sagging or Drooping

Over time, with the accumulation of rainwater and snow on the roof, the ceiling rafters inside of your home can begin to buckle and pull apart. If you find your roof drooping or sagging in anyway, it may be time to consider a replacement.


The benefit of replacing your roof is peace of mind knowing that your roof will be in good shape for the next 20-25 years. The downside is that you will be paying significantly more to replace your roof as compared to a repair.


Other Factors to Consider:



How much longer are you planning to be in the house? If it’s only a few years, it may make more sense to simply repair the roof. If it’s much longer, you’d simply be putting off the problem.



Do you want to do this yourself? Many roof repairs can be DIY, however if done incorrectly, they may not solve the problem or lead to bigger issues. It may make more sense for a professional to assess and fix the problem.