When a roof gets to the point that it requires professional attention, you'll likely have two options, roof repair or replacement. If you're not quite sure what the difference between the two is, it can be helpful to learn a bit about the choice between roofing replacement and repair projects. Here are three things customers should know before they make this decision.
What a Roof Replacement Entails
The idea behind a roof replacement is to strip off all the materials that are on a roof and replace them. Typically, there's a lot more than shingles or tiles on a roof. Underneath the outer layer, there is also a protective layer of felt. Beneath that, you'll find sheets of a type of plywood called OSB. The OSB is then nailed into rafters that serve to attach the roof to the rest of the house.
Unless there are major structural problems, it's rare that a replacement requires doing more than stripping the felt, the shingles, and some nails. If water damage has occurred underneath the felt, some sections of the OSB might have to be replaced. Something that drastic typically doesn't occur unless a situation, such as a saddleback roof, has been ignored for several months or years.
Although this might seem like the simpler solution, a lot depends on the condition the roof is in and what has happened to it. If your house has a fairly new roof and a flying tree branch punched a hole in it during a storm, a roofing company should be able to clean up the edge of the hole, install a new patch of OSB, and law down fresh materials in just that spot. Sometimes the solution is as simple as filling a small hole with a bit of fibered roofing cement.
Choosing Between the Two
Circumstances often dictate which solution you'll pursue. For example, if there is significant damage to a roof that might be 5 years or less from needing replacement, there's a pretty good argument to forgo repair and just start fresh even if the problem is small.
Weather frequently is a factor, too. Bad weather may force you to patch the roof for now and do more extensive work down the road. In some cases, this may mean doing a good-enough roof repair and then following up with a more aggressive replacement effort once the weather turns around.