Roof Repairs Vs Roof Replacements


If there is one thing that everyone knows about Vancouver it’s that it rains… a lot. There’s soft rain, hard rain, sideways rain, you name it. And while we can be glad we’re not shovelling snow, rain comes with it’s own headaches, the the damage it does to our houses.

No matter where you live, the weather is going to begin to wear down your roof. When damage and wear and tear starts to happen, the question people often ask is, “should I repair my roof or replace it altogether?”

Do I Need A Roof Replacement?

As with many things, the answer is… it depends. Sometimes saving money now means spending more in the long run, but perhaps your budget only allows for a smaller repair at the present time. And you might not need a whole roof replacement, but if you’re bringing in a contractor with all the tools, equipment and crew, perhaps it makes sense to do the whole thing at once. There’s a lot to consider!

Get A Roof Estimate

Some good advice is to start with two quotes, one for a repair and one for a replacement. While it might seem like more money to replace the entire roof, you could save money in the long run. A contractor might offer to do all the whole roof at a cheaper rate per side than if you do only part of it.

Of course it’s necessary to look at what kind of damage your roof has undergone and what the likelihood is that something will happen again. Was there a freak storm that took off a handful of shingles or did the last windstorm cause some real damage and you’re expecting more to come?

DIY Does Not Always Equal Savings

Replacing a few missing shingles is a relatively easy and inexpensive undertaking, and is a good option if your roof is on the newer side and you are expecting to get some life out of it yet. Removing damaged and torn shingles and slipping in new ones takes precision and care, but it’s an easy fix.

Do I Replace Some Or All Of My Roof?

One drawback to repairing a small section of the roof is trying to match up new shingles with the old ones. You might not be able to find a perfect replica so you will end up with a noticeable patch that could potentially be an eyesore, even lowering your resale value. It’s up to you to consider how much the new shingles will stand out, if at all and how it will effect you.

Or it might be best for you to repair one side, maybe one side of your home is more exposed to the elements than the other. Repairing or replacing one side or half of your roof is another option to consider. In this scenario, the aesthetics will be less of a problem because the contrast between the new shingles and the old ones won’t be as noticeable as long as the color is close.

However, as previously mentioned, the cost of doing small roof repairs is often less cost effective in the long run, even if you have to put more money up front to begin with. Doing one section now means that you will have to do the others at a later time, which also means bringing in contractors two times.

If you’ve decided to go ahead and replace a large section or the entire roof, you’ll have to decide whether or not to build on top of the existing roof or tear off everything and start from scratch. Sometimes, the decision is made for you—the International Residential Code (R907.3) states that due to the weight of a roof, you can only have two layers of roofing on a building.

Even if you only have one layer, it might be wise to remove that layer and start from scratch, even though you don’t have to. It will give you a chance to inspect what is going on underneath. Again, this could save you money in the long run because you might spot wood rot or damage that if left unseen and untreated, could cause headaches in the future.

Should I Wait For My Roof Replacement?

Finally, it might be wise to start thinking about a roof replacement now, as roof replacement costs are going up. New WCB regulations are coming soon, this will require asbestos testing, if found the cost to dispose of it will be very high as it needs to be shipped to Alberta. Additionally, testing will need to be done by an engineer which that has a high price tag attached to it as well.

Like we said, there’s a lot to think about! Roof repairs vs. roof replacements is a battle that is decided through a good hard look at near and long term cost consequences. Have questions? Give us a call at Taves Roofing, we’re happy to to answer any questions you may have.