Your roof has to endure weathering to protect your home from rain or sunshine. If properly maintained, an asphalt roof can last up to 25 years. However, if your roof is in bad condition, patching it again and again can cost you more than getting a new roof installed.

So what’s the best option for you? Let’s see if you need to repair your roof, patch the damaged areas, or build a new roof instead.

Repair Your Roof When…

It’s not easy to tell just from outside what the underlying problems are and whether you need to repair the roofing or patch/replace the shingles. At the end of the day, only a roof inspection by an experienced roofer can tell you for sure.

Here are two signs that may mean you only need repairs.

1. Your Fasteners/Nails are Rusted

If the fasteners on your roof are exposed, they’re prone to get rusted when it rains. This can cause your roofing to come off or water to slip in.

If your roofing material looks in good shape from the outside, you probably don’t need to patch it or get a new roof. Get a roof inspector to identify all the faults, such as exposed fasteners and flashing, and get your roof repaired. The roofer will cover exposed fasteners and possibly reinforce your roof by replacing rusted fasteners. No patching is required.

2. Your Roof Is Dripping

If your roof is dripping at multiple locations, that’s another story (discussed in the “When to Replace” section). Your roof may drip even when your roofing material is in good condition. This is due to poor waterproofing.

There’s a set of specific roof installation standards that GAF recommends, and all GAF certified contractors like Certified Pro Roofing must follow. Improperly installed roofing that doesn’t follow the standards can allow water through your roof. Some of the reasons your roof might be dripping are:

  • Your roofing isn’t properly bonded with the roof.
  • The flashing isn’t installed according to the standards, allowing water in from the edges.
  • The cross wash isn’t properly sealed.
  • Fasteners and other piercings aren’t properly sealed with a sealant.

Many of these factors can also develop with weathering even if GAF standards were followed during installation, so you need your roof inspected for problems every year.

A person installing a roof

Patch Your Roof When…

The term “repairing” is often used to refer to patching as well, but the procedures are different. Patching is done when some parts of your roofing material are damaged, but your roof is in good shape for the most part. Here are two signs your roof needs patching.

1. You Roof Have Localized Damage

If you can see damage in a specific area on your roof while the rest of the roof looks fine, you may need patching.

Many factors can cause localized damage to your roof, but aging isn’t one of them. Wind, rusty nails, improperly installed shingles, and water damage can cause some roofing parts to deteriorate faster than others. Your roofer may need to replace more than just the visible damaged pieces as water may have damaged a larger area of your roof underneath.

Another source of localized damage is algae. Algae growth in the form of moss that can rot your roofing and the roof underneath. Unless you have moss all over your roof, you only need to replace the damaged areas—aka patching.

 A person looking for faults in roofing

2. Your Roof Has Damaged Edges

Many sources of damage primarily deteriorate the edges of your roof. Depending on the severity of these damages, patching your roof may be a more economical choice than getting a new one. Some common ways your roof may deteriorate at the edges are:

  • If tree branches are touching your roof, they will brush against the surface of your roof due to wind. This can cause friction and deteriorate your roofing over time. Metal roofing is also susceptible to this. Friction can remove the finish, leaving the plates vulnerable to rusting.
  • If the gutters are directly in touch with your roofing and if they get blocked by leaves, it can restrict the flow of water and force it on the roofing system.
  • When your roofing isn’t properly bonded to your roof, wind can blow it over, making space for water to get in. The water then causes damage to the roofing and the roof underneath.

When to Replace

When your entire roof has deteriorated to the point that repairing the roof is more expensive in the long term than getting a new roof, it’s time to replace your roof. Here are two signs you need a new roof.

1. Your Roof is Dripping from Multiple Locations

If your roof is dripping from multiple locations simultaneously, it’s unlikely to be anything other than deterioration. At this point, even if you repaired the faulty areas, you’ll soon find damage in other areas and will have to repair them again. It’s more cost-effective and time-saving to get a new roof rather than replacing it a few shingles at a time.

Dripping from multiple locations can be due to improper installation and poor waterproofing, but it’s probably deterioration if your roof is close to its rated lifetime. When your roofing has deteriorated, every part of it is vulnerable to damage.

Close-up of a deteriorated roof

2. A GAF Certified Roofing Inspector Says You Need a New Roof

It can be difficult to know for certain whether you need repair, patching, or a new roof just by looking. There’s only one right choice, and the wrong one can be a real waste of money.

Certified Pro Roofing can help. We are a GAF certified roofing contractor that provides roof inspection services in Pensacola, FL. We also offer new roof installation, residential roof repair, emergency roof repair, and roof maintenance across Pensacola, FL. Still not sure if you need a repair, patching, or a new roof? Get in touch via our website and call an inspection today!

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