One of the topics I frequently get when talking to people about roof repairs is when is it better to replace vs. repair your roof? Clearly if you have evidence of a roof leak, missing shingles, deteriorated shingles, your roof warrants a repair. But as with many things, you have to ask yourself when to repair and when to replace.
I recommend consideration of five (5) factors when it comes time to replace your roof. The first is that you have repeated or frequent leaks that need to be repaired – this is indicative that the roof is nearing the end of its useful service life. The second is age – as an example you wouldn’t typically replace a 5-year old roof, but if you have 15-20 years on your composite shingle roof then the repairs are going to get more frequent. The third is storm damage – we are coming into severe weather season in the local Lees Summit, Missouri area and all of Jackson County, and one severe hail storm can significantly reduce the remaining service life of your roof. The forth is homeowners insurance discounts – if your roof is over ten (10) years old, you will likely qualify for a pretty significant discount that may make it cost effective to replace your roof even though it isn’t failing. And last is pure aesthetics, you simply want to change the color of your roof, which is no different than painting your house a different color.
Obviously the first three (3) reasons are critical decision factors as your house is likely your single largest investment and you need to protect it. Aesthetics and how our house makes us feel perhaps seems superfluous, but your roof makes a big difference in perception and curb appeal. When you couple aesthetics with potential homeowners insurance discounts for new roofs, this ultimately may not cost much amortized over several years of homeowners insurance discounts.
A good local roofing company should be willing to work with you to discuss these factors and whether your roof warrants repair, or replacement should be a consideration. Don’t assume that repairs are automatically cheaper option, as often times there comes a point when repairs simply exceed replacement, not even accounting for homeowner’s insurance discounts you may be eligible for. A good roofing contractor will present options so that you can make an informed decision.
There are many roofing materials to pick from, and many people prefer the aesthetics of natural materials. Natural materials include wood, clay, and slate. And while many of our local homeowners associations in Jackson County Missouri used to require natural materials, more and more of them are changing this restriction to allow my choice of materials; architectural composite shingles. It used to be that composite meant only three-tab shingles, and these were definitely the “budget” solution for roofs; which is why homeowners associations did not allow their use. However, composite shingles have come a long way and architectural composite shingles are being embraced by more builders and homeowners associations at all price points.
The reasons for this transition are simple. Architectural composite shingles are available in a variety of styles and colors to complement any style home and offer a variety of aesthetics beyond any of the natural materials. Do you like the aesthetics of wood shingles? I can’t blame you, they look great. However we can get architectural shingles that mimic new cedar or weathered wood (depending on your aesthetic preference), something natural wood as a material cannot provide. And we can do so with less cost, less maintenance considerations, longer life, and a number of other benefits. Do you have a house with stucco finish that would look great with clay tiles? Again we can get architectural shingles that mimic clay tiles and do so with significantly less cost, less weight (clay tiles are heavy and need substantially stronger roof structure to support the weight), and less maintenance issues. What about a brick house that would look great with slate roofing? One more time, we can provide architectural shingles that mimic slate roofing and do so at significantly less cost, less weight, and less maintenance issues. Both clay and slate are brittle, so access for maintenance becomes challenging in addition to these materials also breaking.
And the biggest advantage of architectural composite shingles vs. natural materials is the adhesive bond between shingles. Wood, clay, and slate shingles are loosely attached and as natural materials will have slight movement. Composite shingles have an adhesive strip on the underside that allows the shingles to bond together when exposed to heat from the sun. This provides an extra level of protection against wind driven rain. While natural materials such as clay and slate typically have higher wind resistance, a properly installed composite shingle roof can also meet the same hurricane standards (that don’t apply here in Missouri, but demonstrate wind resistance). Ask your roofing contractor if architectural composite shingles are the right choice for you, and the advantages to composite.
With architectural composite shingles, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can get a roof that complements any architectural style of house, and do so with less cost, easier maintenance, and other benefits inherent in composite shingles.
We are an experienced Lees Summit roofing company with over 15 years experience in repair, service and installation.