Roof Repair or Replacement?

Roof repair or replacement is a difficult choice for homeowners. Some house owners will put off any required roof maintenance and repairs until they detect either inside water damage or exterior dry-rot damage as a result of roof leaks. Other homeowners will opt for a roof replacement even though repairs might extend the roof’s useful life. Furthermore, many real estate transactions are stayed or terminated when a buyer who has limited funds and is purchasing a house in as-is condition must obtain a roof certification from their lender before being informed by their roofing firm that they require a costly roof renovation.

In this post we’ll cover the options of repairing vs. replacing your roof, what are some pros vs. cons and what are some crucial things to think about:

Roof Age:

When a new roof is put on a house, the manufacturer produces roofing material with an expiration date. It’s critical to know when the house was constructed or if the roof was replaced previously because it determines how long the material will endure. Check with your city or county building department to see when the last permit for roof construction was issued.

Material Lifespans:

The manufacturer’s warranty period is only a gauge. It should not be taken as a precise science since many roofs will outlast their predicted life with appropriate upkeep and repairs. The following are some examples of the anticipated lifespan of various roofing materials, in general:


  • 3-Tab Composition (20 Years)
  • Dimensional Composition (25-40 Years)
  • Presidential Composition (40-50 Years)
  • Tile (40-50 Years)
  • Wood Shake (20-30 Years)
  • Steel (40-50 Years)

Sun Exposure:

The south side of the home, as the sun travels from east to west across the sky, is exposed to light all day. The north side of the property is in shade for most of the day and never receives any sunlight. Because of continual sunshine and wind exposure, the roof with a southern exposure gets more wear. If a tile layer were to shed or break, for example, excessive granulation loss on a composite roof, or in the keyways of a wood shake roof, any underlayment would become exposed. The underlayment will dry and crack from being exposed to the wind and sun, allowing rainwater to enter the attic directly during the rainy season.

You will notice this on a composition roof, where the granulation is worn more on the south side than any other side. You will also see this on wood shake roofs, where the shakes are more worn, brittle, and dry on the south side. In general, the extent of the repair to an older shake roof or an older composition roof can depend heavily on the amount of damage to those parts of the roof with the most southern exposures.


Choosing between roof repairs and full replacements may come down to your longer-term objectives. If you just bought a house, longevity and value might be more important. As a result, a roof replacement ensures that the property is adequately protected and enhances its value. While we don’t recommend short-term thinking depending on your circumstances, roof repair can sometimes set you up better for housing market contingencies or planned renovations in the future. Still, if your roof needs replacing due to extensive damage it may be more practical to do so immediately.

Be sure to consider where you are in life before deciding between your roofing material options.


Not all roofing inspections are created equal. When you are considering roof replacement or roof repair, an inspection by a roofing company that is seasoned will give you the best advice about your options. Getting a second opinion from another roofer can help ease your worries and include a better idea of what alternative options are.


So, whether you’re considering a roof replacement–or maybe you just some simple roof repairs, contact Roof MD for a FREE, in-depth roof inspection today! Fill out a short form below, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule the ideal time.