Most residential roofs here in the Pacific Northwest last about 17-22 years on average. The weather climate in the Puget Sound region brings rain, wind, hail, and harsh storms that can take their toll on composition, metal, and flat roofs alike. A major factor that can affect a roof’s lifespan is excessive tree coverage which contributes to the accelerated growth of moss and algae which can and will wreak havoc on any roof if left uncared for. Tree limbs can also break off from surrounding trees, landing on a roof or even penetrating it – which can cause shingles to become dislodged and leaks to quickly form. High winds can force water up underneath shingles or other roofing materials that are no longer adequately adhered to a roof deck. When a home’s roofing materials begin to fail – the roof deck, attic, and everything underneath become vulnerable to damage.
Whether a tree has fallen on a home or a leak has become readily apparent, it is best to remedy the issue as soon as possible to ensure the home remains safe and excessive damage is avoided. When a leak is noticeable within a home, this usually can indicate there is more damage above that may be unseen. Often, an inspection of the attic and roof will reveal further problems that may not be noticeable to an untrained eye. A residential roofing expert will be able to easily identify leaks, penetrations, or other areas of concern. When faced with these realities, homeowners will often decide to go with the lower-cost option of a roof repair, without realizing that this is almost always a temporary solution which can lead to additional costs, roof repairs, and even failures of the existing roof. Similar to a car, roof repairs can serve to maintain usability for a typically short period – before a total roof replacement becomes necessary. Almost every homeowner will face the reality of a roof leak or roof damage at some point in homeownership and will require the skills of a residential roofing contractor. To help guide you if this should happen to your home, we’ve covered a few key areas you should consider if your home’s roof should leak or incurs damage.
Age of the Roof
Every roofing material is rated by the manufacturer to last and efficiently protect a home for a specific amount of time. Most roofs installed in Puget Sound are composition roofs and are typically rated to last anywhere between 15-30 years. The lifespan of any roof depends largely on the quality of material, workmanship of the installation, and the level of maintenance and care performed throughout the years. Do you know when your roof was installed? This can often be a strong indication that your roof may, or may not need to be replaced.
When a roofing material starts to reach the end of its life – it will begin to become less efficient at protecting the materials underneath, which will lead to leaks and damage to plywood, attic insulation, and more. Dislodged shingles, streaks running down the roof, and granule loss are strong indicators that a composite roof is nearing the end of its usefulness. If a roof is older and presenting these types of problems, it is usually best to opt for a total roof replacement.
Repairing or patching specific areas of a roof can be a useful temporary solution however, this can be a “whack a mole” type of situation where additional repairs or patches are likely in the future. When repairing a roof, there is always the possibility of the repair failing. Because only isolated areas are being addressed, the surrounding areas can be unintentionally affected in the process.
Not only can roof repairs end up costing a homeowner more money in the long run but they also often simply do not look aesthetically pleasing. While this may not be an issue for some, having mismatched shingles is often not appealing. Because shingles fade over time from UV rays, weather, and manufacturers discontinuing color options – finding identical matching shingles is nearly impossible. Additionally, homeowners association rules can prohibit patching a roof with mismatched shingles, often calling for a roof replacement rather than a roof repair.
If a roof is actively leaking or has experienced leaks recently, or when there are heavy rains, chances are there is an area of the roof that will – at the very least need to be repaired. Identifying where a leak or multiple leaks are coming from can be a challenge. A professional roofing contractor such a Valentine Roofing is equipped to identify roof leaks and make recommendations to remedy the issue. If there are water streaks, spots, or sagging ceilings inside the home – it’s likely a leak has formed somewhere in the roof. At this point identifying the problem area and putting a stop to the leak is critical to prevent costly damage as well as protect your health and safety. Once water finds its way under shingles, metal panels, or PVC material – mold and mildew can start forming in the roof decking, attic, and ceilings. Even a small leak can cause wood to rot, attic insulation to be soaked, damage to the electrical system, and more.
A roof leak may seem isolated or small at first but there will often be additional shingles, wood, and materials that are damaged and in need of addressing – especially if the roof is of older age. Valentine Roofing often finds that while many homeowners are seeking to only repair their current roof because of a leak or damage, that in many cases a total roof replacement is not only necessary but ideal. A roof replacement can be more costly than a repair upfront but will eliminate the concern for further leaks and protect the home for many years to come, giving the homeowner peace of mind.
Cost of Roof Replacement vs Repair
Completely replacing a roof can be a daunting task for homeowners and understandably so. It can be stressful, inconvenient, and at times unaffordable. The initial cost is often greater, but the long term benefits are also much greater in many ways. As we said before, a repair is a temporary solution to a problem that can and will present itself again in the future, often at the least convenient times. Depending on the size of the repair, who was contracted for the work, and the weather climate – a failure of the repair can result in all sorts of damage and unforeseen problems. The last thing that any homeowner would want, is a major leak or roof failure during heavy rainfall, storms, or snow.
Most roof repairs range between $1,000 – $3,000 on average and can start to add up especially if multiple repairs are required. Because repairs only allow for a few years or months of additional protection in many cases and cannot usually be guaranteed or warrantied – there is much uncertainty that is passed on to the homeowner. The cost of a new roof depends on a few key factors such as a roof’s size, pitch, and material chosen. Composition roofs are the most widely appealing and cost-effective style of roof installed in the Pacific Northwest and some homeowners are pleasantly surprised at the affordability. When faced with multiple costly repairs or a brand new roof that will protect the home for the next 20+ years, many opt for a full roof replacement. However, a new roof is still a sizable investment for some and can often be an unexpected and unplanned-for cost. With this in mind, residential roofing company’s like Valentine Roofing now offer affordable financing options to help make this experience less stressful while ensuring the homeowner receives the protection they deserve.
We hope that these insights will benefit you in the event your home’s roof ever experiences a leak, damage, or major weather event. If you find yourself in need of a professional local South Sound roofing company that specializes in roof replacement and Leak-Stop repair, contact Valentine Roofing today.