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How to know if your roof needs repair or replacement

SPONSORED — It fulfills a basic human need, but the roof over your head needs a little care from you, too. When you’ve got a roof issue — from broken shingles to leaks and other damage — you’ll want to know your options. Whether you simply repair your roof or spring for a new one depends on several factors.

Roof age

They say age is just a number, but when it comes to your roof, that age can tell you a lot. According to Angie’s List, most roofs are built to last 20 to 25 years. If your roof is nearing, or over, that age and you’re experiencing problems like leaks or missing or bending shingles, it might be time to replace it. Additionally, roofs that are built over an existing layer or roofs that are poorly ventilated might need to be replaced sooner than the 20- to 25-year mark.

Partial reroofing

Many people think of roofing as an all-or-nothing endeavor. The truth is that some areas of your roof may get beat up a bit more than others. If you see missing or broken shingles, these can be replaced, but you’ll want to make sure there are no leaks underneath. Your shingles are the aesthetic element of your roof, so try to find a good match to your existing shingles. If you’re working with an experienced roofing company, it can help you find the best match.

When the damage exceeds a few shingles, you’ll want to get a good assessment of what’s going on with the roof. Sometimes one area of the roof may be damaged while the rest has several years of life left in it. In this case, partial reroofing might be a good option. This is much less expensive than a new roof, however, it may lead to some issues down the road — like unevenness in appearance and wear.


No one wants to get caught in the rain – particularly inside your home. If you see water stains on your ceiling or see or feel a leak, that doesn’t necessarily mean you immediately need a new roof.

“Discovering a leak in your home can be a stressful moment and often times people immediately think they have to replace their roof,” said Corey Boyd, co-owner of Riverside Roofing, based out of Bothell. Often, a leak is caused by missing shingles or failed caulking or flashing. Finding the source of your leak is important, as moisture can shorten a roof’s lifespan. A trustworthy roofer will not only find and repair your leak, but will give you an honest assessment of your roof’s lifespan.

Full reroofing

If your roof is in its golden years (the 20-year mark), you’ll want to consider a new roof over a partial reroofing project. Typically, a new roof costs less per foot than a partial job, so if you’ll need to reroof another area in the next few years, you may save money in the long term with a new roof. Additionally, a new roof ensures the end result is aesthetically uniform, which is always good for your home’s curb appeal.

Reroofing options

If a new roof is on your shopping list, you have a few decisions to make. You can choose to either tear off the old roof or simply reroof over the existing one. While leaving the existing roof is more cost-effective, it’s not always possible – or recommended. The International Residential Code R907.3 prohibits roofing over an existing roof if the existing roof is water-soaked or deteriorated, there are two or more applications of roof covering or if the existing covering is wood shake, slate, clay, cement or asbestos-cement tile.

When it comes to your roof, you’ve always got options. An experienced, trustworthy roofing company can help you determine whether repair or replacement is best for your home — and your wallet.