Roof Repair or Roof Replacement?
It’s fairly easy to know when you need a roof repair – a leak during rainstorms, sections of roof visibly sagging or looking frayed and damaged, or bits of shingle shedding from the surface each time the wind blows.
There are plenty of Oklahoma roofers ready to help you fix up your home’s covering. However, the first question you need to answer is whether you should repair or replace your roof.
The roof’s age
Though not an infallible guide, your roof’s age is one thing you need to consider when you are carrying out roofing in Oklahoma. The newer the roof is, the more likely you can do a roof repair on only the problematic area and leave the rest intact.
On older roofs, even a small, seemingly localized problem is probably the symptom of overall roofing malaise which only full replacement can cure. In this case, it may be cheaper in the long run to replace rather than endlessly repair, section by section.
Roofing materials today are made to last from twelve to twenty years, though climate and local factors play a major role in how accurate this figure really is in practice. In this state, you should assume that roof survival will be closer to the shorter figure; in the absence of any other information on the roof, work from the premise that it will survive no more than 12 years.
Roofing in Oklahoma is subject to very rigorous weather – intense heat in the summer, intense cold in the winter, and violent storms at times. This is rougher than, for example, the mild temperature fluctuations of Oregon or Washington state, though it’s not as rigorous as Alaska, or some of the Deep South where hurricanes and intense humidity affect roof lifespan strongly.
If the roof is at the start of its useful life, roof repair should always be the first option considered. As 12 years approaches – or passes – replacement becomes a serious possibility. Many Oklahoma roofing contractors will give you solid advice on whether roof repair or roof replacement is more realistic, too.
Ongoing Maintenance of your Oklahoma Roof
Repairing minor damage to your roof is an excellent means of postponing the day when a complete replacement is needed. A couple of shingles knocked off one corner of the roof in a bad thunderstorm may not seem like a major issue. However, this creates an entry point for water and insects, which will cause the damage to spread. More of the roof will become involved, and what started as a small flaw which could have been fixed with a minor roof repair may end up as an early replacement.
Oklahoma roofers will be happy to provide you with these small repairs in addition to larger jobs. In order to catch these signs of future trouble, however, you need to look for them. You should conduct at least one yearly inspection of your roof. You can either climb up on a ladder to look – very carefully, since you can easily slide off even a moderate slope with no way to stop yourself – or inspect your roof using a decent pair of binoculars.
Damaged shingles are the most obvious sign of trouble, as are those that are partly peeled up or show deformation such as curling. Irregularities in the surface are also warning signs even if the shingles covering them are apparently intact. Roofing is designed to be flat, and any dips or sags beyond the slight variations you expect in a large planar surface might indicate anything from rot to a busy nest of carpenter ants devouring your roof from inside.
There are several other signs to look for, too. Rust on metal parts, cracks in the cement around chimneys, and damage to other structures in contact with the roof are also strong hints of possible problems. Finally, you should look in the gutters. If there are many detached granules of asphalt in the gutters, this means your roof is weathering rapidly and probably already leaking.
Interior inspection can also help to pinpoint problems in need of roof repair. Ceilings directly under the roof will show telltale darkish stains if the roof is leaking, even if the water isn’t yet pouring in strongly enough to actually drip into the rooms below. Peeling paint and cracking plaster are also major red flags.
If you see no signs of damage, you can postpone further action until your next inspection.
If, however, you see any of the symptoms listed here – or anything else suspicious – contact some roofers in Oklahoma for an assessment. This may cost anywhere from nothing to about $200.
The Oklahoma roof repair or roof replace decision
Oklahoma roofing is exposed to some fairly harsh conditions, so it pays to keep an eye on it and check it for damage after a strong storm. When you have gathered information and what you can see is indicating you have a problem, the age of the roof and the extent and nature of the damage give you a strong handle on how large your response needs to be.
Roofs can be repaired if they are fairly new, and the damage is limited to 30% or less of the roof – as a general, rather flexible rule of thumb. A roof under about 10 years can usually be repaired successfully unless the damage is extensive or extraordinarily massive, such as half the roofing being torn off by a passing tornado.
Replacement is better if the roof is in the 10 to 12 year range, or older, and if it is 20 years old, replacement is your only realistic option. Damage that includes 30% or more of the roof, or that extends down into the rooms beneath it in the form of massive water damage, widespread mold and mildew, and the like, also calls for replacement.
There is a third situation where replacement may be necessary – if a relatively new roof keeps springing leaks and developing other problems, whoever installed it likely bungled, and it will be cheaper to just rid yourself of the roof and bring in other Oklahoma roofing contractors to put on a fresh, better roof. The only upside is that the roof is probably still under warranty and this will cover most, or perhaps all, of the expenses incurred.
Choosing whether to repair or replace Oklahoma roofing is a matter that requires good information on exactly how extensive the problem is, followed by clear, objective, common sense analysis.
Be honest with yourself – don’t rush into replacing your roof if it isn’t necessary, and can be handled by a roof repair, but if the signs are pointing towards a major roofing failure, act decisively and replace. You will save yourself immense trouble, expense, and headaches in the long run. Your home value will also be raised in the event you decide to sell a few years down the road – a pleasant return on your investment, beyond the benefits of dry ceilings and a snug, comfortable home.
Topic: Oklahoma Roof Repair
Incoming search terms:
- fix sagging roof