A very important question which property owners will at some point face is – should I replace my roof or repair it? Although you may think that you should simply repair it – the cost benefit is pretty obvious – there may be more to this question than you think.

Of course you can opt to replace whole sections of roof with a completely new covering and so get a good “half-way-house” option but generally speaking there are definitely times when a repair is the appropriate option, and other times when it is definitely in your best interests to get a complete replacement. If you automatically go for the  cheap option of a repair or patch job without a thorough examonation, you may well find that you are just patching over serious problems which will come back to haunt you very quickly.

When you should replace the roof and when a repair is good enough…

Most roofs have a long expected life-span of a few decades however in the UK in particular the weather can play a big part in reducing lifespan. Sheffield in particular is blessed with wet and wild weather on regular occasions and we also have a colder than average UK climate.  The big issue with weathering like this is that once moisture in particular gets in, then it can be a rapid downhill road for your roof. Patch repairs are only effective if they genuinely cure the problem and completely stop the ingress of moisture.

The repair option

Normally you can repair a leaking roof as often the cause relates to flashing and the joints between two parts of your roof – generally between broken tiles or the roof covering and the edge where the roof meets the gutters or chimney.

Damaged tiles or torn felt can also be repaired quite easily without you incurring great expense. Where synthetic roof coverings are used however, the overall condition of the material must be assessed. If the damage has been caused by the overall weathering and degradation of the roof covering then a patch repair will not make a long-term solution.

When you need to replace your roof

When your roof shingle or a synthetic roof covering has become too weathered then there is no way around it – you need to seriously consider a replacement. This is where you find that the material has become brittle and tears and cracks easily with fairly gentle working with your bare fingers. Cracks will continue to appear and you will be continually patch repairing – that is if you are able to spot where the moisure is gaining access or are even aware that you have a problem. Quite often in these circumstances there can be several small cracks, all letting in water and you only become aware of them when it is too late.

Spot repairs can work if done well however if your roof is nearly at its natural age limit anyway then replacement will undoubtedly be the best option.

Complete roof replacement?

There are a number of options when looking at a major roofing problem – you can replace all or part of the roof and you should consider how long you are planning on staying in the house. If you don’t expect to be there in a few years then you may get away with a second covering over your existing roof – a real cost saver and potentially a good option but this may of course put off potential buyers when it is time to sell.

If you are in your house for the long-haul and have no intention of moving then it’s time to bit the bullet and replace your roof completely. Opt for the best long-term materials availablem a good roofing contractor, and then forget about it for the next 20 years or so!