Roof Repair or Replace? Some Important Pointers for Homeowners

Jan 5, 2016Blog

Repair the roof or replace it is an important question that plagues homeowners. We have a fair share of customers ask why their roof just can’t be repaired either due to timing or funding.  Keeping in mind the issue, Beantown Home Improvements has come up with a few pointers for homeowners to help decide between a roof repair and a complete replacement.

Roof Repair or Replace: Can’t It just be repaired?

The long and short of it? Yes. Almost anything can be repaired. The real question that needs to be asked is whether the roof is actually worth repairing. Beantown Home Improvements advises that sometimes repairing might not be the right way to go. If a contractors agrees to repair, homeowners must know the big picture. Repairs have their own pros and cons.    

Repairs Are Generally Not Guaranteed:

A repair typically is not guaranteed. You could have the world’s best roofer come out and patch an area. Even he will not be able to guarantee that it won’t start leaking somewhere else the next day. This is especially true if you have an older roof, multiple layers or was installed improperly in the beginning. A roofing system has multiple layers and it is almost impossible to tell a roof’s condition without lifting some shingles.

It Can get Expensive Quickly:

Repairs costs can add up quickly. The only exception perhaps is if your roof has a substantial amount of life left. Imagine paying a roofer to keep doing repairs over and over at a rate of $500 to $1500 a visit. A new roof starts around $5000 depending on the size. So what does this mean? It means that after three or four repairs, you could have bought a new roof with a 50 year lifetime warranty and not have to worry about paying for future repairs.   

Things Are Not What They Seem!

The first thought that pops into a homeowner’s mind when they are told to replace the roof is cost.  It’s important to note that profit margins on repairs are generally much higher than that of a whole roof replacement. That means a contractor will make more money on those three or four repairs than they would by selling you a whole new roof up front. In addition, doing repairs gives them a chances to sell you a new roof down the road whenever you are ready. This is an important point to consider when considering roof repair or replace.

When it Makes Sense to Repair:

Keeping in mind the above factors we explained, there are times where it makes financial sense to repair a roof instead of replace it. The two most common factors are as follows.

Size of the Roof:

If you have a very large roof, you may be able to do small repairs before you reach the price point of replacing the whole roof. In that instance, it might make sense to repair the roof a couple of times before replacing it. However, if you have a smaller roof, you should probably look into replacing the whole thing. Even if you don’t have the cash at the moment, Beantown Home Improvements offers financing.

Age of the Roof:

Contrary to popular belief, newer roofs can leak too. Sometimes flashing comes loose and allows water to penetrate. Other times wind might blow shingles up, or animals may break in and create leaks. Whatever the reason, if you have a newer roof, you should definitely consider a repair. On the other hand, if your roof is older, it’s time to call eantown Home Improvements.

Replace those Skylights!

Sadly time and time again due to the cost of installing new skylights many homeowners opt NOT to replace skylights when the roof is being replaced.  Honestly this is the biggest mistake we see all time time a homeowner can make and it’s a big gamble.  Skylights typically have a 10 year no leak guarantee on them.  Velux is really the only name left around these days in skylights and that is their warranty.  Many skylights however are well over 20 or even 30 years old if the roof has lasted much of its life.

That being said NO contractor will guarantee that a skylight will not leak if a new one is not installed with the new roof.  Inevitably old skylights do leak after a new roof has been installed due to several reasons.  The shear stripping of the roof itself is not a gentle process and while we do our best to gently remove the flashing kits and reuse them, they still have to be reused and will have old nail holes in them.  As far as the skylight itself, if made of wood many are simply rotten beyond belief or the gaskets may have long since dried out.


Usually the homeowners that have decided NOT to initially replace their sylights call us back within a month or two after the old skylight starts leaking.  Of course we can replace the skylight or even board up the hole, but at a cost higher than if it was done during the initial roof install.

Roof Repair or Replace Some Important Pointers for Homeowners

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