How To Gauge Whether To Replace Or Repair Your Home’s Roof

At some point, a homeowner may be faced with the decision to either repair or replace their roof. Roofs made of asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, can have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. However, that number can be impacted by rain, wind, ice, animals, snow, drastic temperatures and other factors. Read on for information about how to decide whether your roof needs to be repaired or completely replaced.

Cost of Replacing vs. Repairing Your Roof

If your roof is several decades old, needs frequent repairs or has sustained considerable damage, you may need to completely replace it. The average cost of an entire roof replacement is $5,700 to $12,500. Other factors that can impact the cost are the roof’s size and slope (pitch). A roof with a steep pitch is more difficult to replace because it has complex valleys and ridges and could be more hazardous for contractors. This may add another $1,000 to $3,000 to your bill. Not only does replacing your roof make your home safer, but it can increase your home’s value, bolster its energy efficiency, enhance its curb appeal and reduce your insurance costs.

If you’re considering repairing your roof, the materials and type of damage factor into the price. Asphalt shingles are less pricy, while metal and slate tiles are more expensive. The size of your roof is less important than the type of damage it has sustained. Minor repairs include minimal tile replacement, punctures and small roof leaks. These cost $150 to $1,000. Moderate repairs include flashing replacement, decking/felt repair and limited damage. These repairs cost $1,000 to $2,000. Major repairs include sagging roof, partial roof replacement and extensive roof replacement. These repairs can set you back $2,000 to $8,000.

Age of Shingles: Are There Visible Signs of Wear and Tear?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material. Made of a single layer of asphalt, ceramic-coated granules and fiberglass, they have a timeless aesthetic, come in a wide array of colors, are versatile, energy efficient and are algae and rust-resistant.

Damaged shingles can show visible signs of wear and tear. These shingles may be:

  • Broken
  • Cracked
  • Warped
  • Loosened
  • Curled (also called cupping)
  • Dry
  • Worn
  • Missing granules

You may also be able to spot areas where shingles are absent, as well as shingles that have fallen to the ground (this generally happens after a powerful storm).

The Reason Why Animals/Pests Are Getting into Your Home Through the Roof

Animals can be very clever when it comes to getting into homes via the roof. Animals that are masters of uninvited entry include:


Squirrels are very athletic and can effortlessly jump onto your roof from nearby utility poles, power lines and trees. These critters can jump a distance of six to eight feet. After they land on your roof, they can find their way inside through loose shingles, structural gaps, vents and damaged soffits.


Mice are agile animals that can climb gutters, balance on wires and jump from nearby branches to lay claim to your roof. Once there, they can access your house through loose flashing and unsecured shingles. A mouse is tiny and only needs an opening the size of a penny to get inside.


Raccoons are extremely tenacious creatures that have a talent for cramming themselves into tight spaces. They can nimbly climb virtually anything and gain entry to your house through small holes in the roof and loose shingles. Sometimes they even find their way inside your roof by tearing off shingles themselves.


Bats love attics, and they often get in by squeezing themselves through damaged or rotting shingles. Even a tiny opening can usher in a bat. Bats can also create their own openings by forcing themselves through rotting wood.

The decision to repair or replace a roof may be a difficult one. It’s one of the more challenging choices that a homeowner has to make. However, whichever one you choose, it’s ultimately an investment in your safety, security and peace of mind.