Roof providers may guarantee a roof with a lifelong and impeccable performance. Unfortunately, this won’t always be the case. Unforeseen problems can weaken the roof and lower its lifespan, especially when it’s incorrectly or inadequately designed, installed, or maintained.

There are a few options for fixing roof problems, such as a full replacement, repairs, or recover. However, deciding on the action to take isn’t that simple. Homeowners should analyze and gather as much information as possible about the existing roof, before deciding whether to recover, replace, or repair your roof.

Factors That Determine if You Need a Roofing Job

The decisions are always on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the current status of the entire roof. A residential roof repair company can help the owners take the first step to investigate the existing roof system. A roofing inspection will be done, and take note of the following factors:

  • The remaining service life of the roof
  • Incidence and extent of leaks or water damage
  • Moisture or mold growth in the underlying insulation
  • Pliability and condition of the membrane
  • Bituminous membrane slippage
  • The structural integrity of the roof decking

In addition to factors relating to damage, the roofing specialist will consider the structure’s geographical region, cost of the project, construction schedule, occupant requirements, and owner’s long-term plans for the roof.

A roof evaluation isn’t just about detecting problems. It’s a way to pinpoint the cause of the problem, answer the owner’s questions, and work with them to develop a long-term solution. When the necessary information is gathered and reviewed, it’s time to decide whether or not you want to recover, replace, or repair your roof.

The Case for a Roof Recover

An alternative to a repair or replacement would be a roof recover. A roof recover is an alternative approach to a full roof replacement. It involves installing a new roof system over the existing roof, which saves costs and is less disruptive. There’s no need to remove and dispose of the existing roof membrane.

Recovering is an effective way to mend an almost sound roof. It’s the best solution for roofs that are still properly functioning, have good insulation and proper drainage, but have a membrane that has already met its life expectancy. This is also an opportunity to improve the thermal performance of the roof system as many recovers install a thin section of insulation or other material for the separation of the new roof membrane from the existing roof membrane.

Roofing manufacturers deciding whether or not to recover, replace, or repair your roof usually consider a few factors to narrow down their decision, including:

  • If your roof has an existing flat layer of asphalt shingles in good condition.
  • Check and review local building codes and ensure they are being accurately followed.
  • Ensure that roof ventilation is provided and is sufficient enough.

Your roof manufacturer will decline to opt for a roof recover if

  • Roofing materials — such as deck boards and wood — need to be replaced due to rotting, damage, and warping.
  • If there are two or more layers of shingles on the roof.
  • Even if there is only one layer, existing shingles are in such bad condition that new shingles are unable to lay even.
  • The roof structure sags or isn’t solid and stable.

The Case for a Roof Replacement

Full replacement is warranted when the existing roof system has deteriorated beyond being serviceable and no other option works. Since it’s such a costly solution, roof replacements are often seen as a last resort. It is the only alternative when the repairs fail or if the roof has been recovered once before.

A complete tear-off of the roof is also inevitable when there’s significant deterioration to the underlying structural deck. The existing roof system attachment can no longer provide the required wind uplift resistance or fire protection for the new roof assembly, or there’s excessive moisture below the membrane.

Roof replacements are a lot of work, but the right roofing professionals can get the job done easily and efficiently. In addition, you can ensure that your roof is adequately repaired, as many homeowners find that their roof has additional issues that may not have been noticed before. Either way, even if they can be costly, a roof replacement is a great option that ensures comfort and peace of mind.

The Case for a Roof Repair

Repairs are also a good option if you’re operating on a budget. Even roof systems that have been adequately designed, installed, and maintained could have some minor problems from time to time. In these cases, repairs can be easily made to extend the roof’s lifespan.

Roof repair is the best solution if the membrane and insulation are still in good condition and problems are easy to repair, such as eliminating a specific source of water intrusion by replacing deteriorated components like base flashings and pitch pockets.

However, if the repairs are done incorrectly, it will only be a matter of time before more interior finishes receive damage and the cost of repairs escalate. By then, repairs will become difficult to justify.

Additional Tips to Help You Decide

We understand that choosing to operate on your home is a big deal, and you still might be wondering how to tell whether or not you need to recover, replace, or repair your roof. Consider a few of these additional tips to give yourself an idea of what operation is right for you.

Planning on Leaving or Selling Your Home Soon?

If you’re leaving your home in the near future, you might want to consider recovering, replacing, or repairing your roof. Are you moving and starting a new job in a new location? A major roof operation might not be in the cards. Are you selling your home and hoping to maximize your value? An immediate roof replacement might be what you need to bump up your property value.

The Age of Your Roof

Your roof’s age will determine whether or not a replacement is a better option or if a repair or roof recover can get the job done. Roofs usually last around 20 years, so it might be more cost-effective long-term to repair the entire roof even if repairs are deemed sufficient. Newer roofs are more likely to require a repair or recover, barring any severe or extreme damages.

Roof Insurance

Depending on the roof insurance that covers your home, you might be eligible to reduce your costs or have certain projects completely covered. Most insurance companies only cover costs of emergencies, but even if you have a newer roof, a roof replacement might be much more affordable if your insurance can assist.

Get Help From a Local Roofing Contractor

Regardless of which option you choose for your property, one of the most important ways to ensure you make the right choice is to get a professional who knows a thing or two about roofing. A certified roof contractor can help get your roof back to doing its job, no matter what it needs.

Fahey Roofing Contractors can help you recover, replace or repair your roof. Residents looking for roofing contractors in Huntington, WV, or the surrounding areas should ask us about our residential roof replacement and repair services to learn more.