fbpx Free Estimate

Free Estimate

LeafGuard Cincinnati

How to Decide Between Patching or Replacing Your Damaged Roof

You’ve just figured out there’s a hole in your roof. Now what? It might be tempting to quickly patch the gap and call it a day. But before you do, consider the bigger picture. Roof damage that appears minor at first glance could be a symptom of larger problems, which might pop up again and again or worsen over time. Think about the long term condition of your roof and your goals for the home. In some situations, it might be worth it to seek a roof replacement rather than go with the quick fix of a roof repair.

How to assess roof damage

The first step in this process is to find out exactly what’s happening on your roof. If you can get on your roof safely, walk around everywhere you can to examine the shingles. Missing and damaged asphalt shingles should be obvious with a quick glance, but be sure to get close to see whether anything below the surface is damaged as well. Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, so check that a damaged shingle isn’t hiding a hole underneath it.

Aging and old roof shingles

While roof shingles typically last between 15-30 years, when they’re  old, they can become cracked and brittle or curl at the ends. Make sure that your shingles are lying flat and that they have a bit of give to them when you push on the surface.

Reviewing your roof from the inside

Don’t forget to check the inside of your home as well. Your attic is the best place to start, especially after severe weather. Sunny days are ideal as well, since you’ll be able to easily see any light coming through gaps in the roof, if they’re there. Water stains are another sure sign that something’s wrong with the underlayment or flashing. When that moisture gets inside your home, it can cause mold or mildew to form, which is a major health concern. Sagging in your ceiling is another red flag for roof damage. This may indicate that your roof deck is in trouble.

How to patch a roof leak

Collect your tools: roof sealant, pry bar, ladder and more

Before you attempt patching a roof, you should think about everything it entails. Ensure you have the proper equipment, including a ladder, flat bar or pry bar, utility knife, shingles, roof sealant, caulk gun, a hammer, and roofing nails to start. Check that you’re comfortable using all of these tools safely and properly before you jump into handling roof repairs yourself. Asking for help is always better than injuring yourself or accidentally causing more damage than was there to begin with!

Match your asphalt roof shingles colors and style

Color matching shingles with your roof patch is easy if it’s a common color, but you may need to search harder if your shingles are unusual in any way, or if they’re old. Some shingle styles and colors are no longer sold, so finding the exact style can be difficult. A mismatched shingle will stick out like a sore thumb, so this is an important step. Home improvement stores often carry roof shingles, but the selection may be limited. Also consider any additional features your current shingles have, such as algae protection or reflective properties. Some highly effective asphalt shingle styles and colors are exclusive to manufacturers who sell them to certified, professional roofers; therefore, you won’t find them in a store.

Patch the hole in your roof

When you start your roof repair, you’ll need to carefully remove the damaged shingle with a flat bar, breaking the adhesive seal that holds it down. Then remove the roofing nails from the old shingle, being sure not to lose them in the process (you don’t want to step on a stray nail!) Once the shingle is free, remove it and replace it with the new shingle. To patch a roof leak, nail it down and seal it with adhesive. Learn more about how to fix a leaking roof.

If there’s damage under the shingle, that’s a whole other issue. It’s best to contact a professional roofer for help rather than risk making the damage worse. In addition, if your DIY repair job doesn’t end up working, there’s no warranty protecting it. There’s no telling how long a repair might last. Sometimes, one-time roof patches remain just that…one-time. But if underlying problems persist, you may end up back at square one before long.

How to know when to replace a roof

Unfortunately, not every problem is solvable with a quick roof patch. Sometimes, the smartest and safest plan is to replace the whole roof. If your roofing is consistently underperforming and you find yourself worrying about leaks on a regular basis, that’s a key sign to look into a roof replacement. There are also more core warning signs you need a new roof to watch out for. With today’s technology, new roofs can last longer and perform better than they used to. Today’s shingles are built to withstand thunderstorms, blizzards, wind, and harsh damage. This way, you can protect your home’s largest investment with confidence. Roof replacements come at a price, but so does repairing or replacing severe property damages caused by a faulty roof.

Another benefit of replacing your roof is the opportunity to hire experienced installers to handle the job. With the right experts, your home will be set up for success. The best companies offer excellent warranties and roof installation services, so if anything were to go wrong, they’ll come back and fix it. You won’t have to worry about making a patch job last longer or trying to fix your own mistakes.

Still Trying to Decide Between Replacing or Patching Your Damaged Roof?

Before making any decision, however, get in touch with a roof repair specialist in Cincinnati. Some surface-level damage is easy to spot, but if you want to get to the root of the issue and discover sooner rather than later what needs to be done, a professional is the best person to help. Then, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s worth it to patch your roof leak or replace it.