When your roof is damaged and needs work, a few factors influence whether your best option is to call for repairs or a total replacement. Before you make a final decision, ask for an inspection and get a recommendation by a professional roofing contractor if any of these situations apply to you.

Damage is Widespread

If damage to your roof is widespread rather than an isolated spot, there are two important considerations to make. The first is the cost of repairs compared to the cost of replacing your roof entirely; if your roof is getting old and the costs are at least comparable, going all the way and having your whole roof replaced is usually the better choice. The second is the extent of current damage and the risks of future damage if your roof isn't replaced. The damage may be widespread but mostly superficial, or it could be more serious damage that individual repairs won't be able to properly address. If the latter applies to you, having your roof replaced now is worth sparing yourself potentially worse damage down the road.

Roof Structure is Damaged

If the underlying roof structure itself is damaged or weakened, often caused by water damage, this is a more serious issue that often requires your roofing material to be taken up anyway. Fixing your roof structure to prevent collapse or leaning is vitally important, and not worth the risk to keep using your current roofing material, even if any damage appears isolated. When your roofing contractor comes to give your roof a thorough inspection, ask what they recommend based on the damage, risks, and current state of your roof.

It Will Need Replacing Soon

A well-installed roof should last at least two decades, but its total lifespan beyond that depends on what material the roof is made of. For example, asphalt shingle roofs start to show signs of wear after roughly twenty years, while tile roofs can last as long as fifty. With this in mind, combined with the current state of your roof as a whole, it may be a good idea to have your entire roof replaced if it's going to need to be done within the next few years either way.

This isn't just a good idea in order to get a big project out of the way early. It's also helpful to avoid more repair bills. The frequency with which your roof will need repairs as it comes up to the end of its lifespan may increase as the effectiveness of your roofing material wanes. If your roof is still fine for the most part, replacing it now isn't a necessity. If it's starting to wear down noticeably, however, or if you've been calling for repairs more frequently, ask your roofer if they recommend replacing the entire thing rather than putting it off for longer.

Contact a roofing contractor near you to learn more.