When it comes to your roof, making the right decision is important for both the lifespan of the roof as well as your bank account. The most common decision we see that homeowners have to make about their roofing in Birmingham is whether to repair a damaged area or replace the roof, either partially or completely.
Damaged or missing shingles are relatively easy to replace, as well as inexpensive. The damaged shingles can be removed and new shingles can be applied very quickly. One thing to consider is the age of your roof and whether you have extra shingles available. If your roof is relatively old and you do not have any spare shingles, the repair job will probably not match your existing roof. This may not be a big deal to a lot of people, especially if the shingle replacement will extend the roof's life by 10-15 years, but if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, a huge eyesore can make or break the deal.
If the damage to your roof is more significant than the shingles but is only found in a small area of the roof, a partial roof replacement is a much less expensive option than reroofing the entire house. The replaced section can easily be blended with the older roof and will keep your home safe from the weather elements.
An important factor in partial roof replacements is how many layers of shingles your roof already has on it. If your roof has several layers, they will all have to be removed in order to complete the work, resulting in additional costs and an uneven roof due to the extra layers of the old roof meeting up with the new part of the roof.
Whether your roof has a small area that needs to be replaced or several areas, it is important to consider the age of the roof. What is the life expectancy of your shingles and how long has it been since they were replaced? If they only have a few years left in their lifespan, it may be best (and cheaper) to replace the entire roof all at once.
If you decide to have your roof completely replaced, you then have to decide whether to tear the old roof off or install the new roof over the old roof. You can either save money now but face the risk of bigger expenses in the future, or spend more money now, get the job done correctly, and lessen the chance of future problems.
If your roof already has two layers of shingles on it, you have to tear off before adding more. Your roof structure cannot handle the weight of another layer of shingles. Sure, they may not seem heavy when you're holding one in your hand, but covering the roof with 1500 square feet is almost the same as parking an SUV on top of it.
If your roof only has one layer of shingles, the decision is up to you. You'll want to consider the fact that shingles hold better when attached directly to the roof decking, so if you live in an area that sees high winds, you'll probably want to tear off the old before applying the new. Another point to keep in mind is the fact that the entire roof deck can be inspected and repaired if the old shingles are torn off first. This is important because not only can all of the damage be spotted at once, small repairs can be made, and the roof decking can be reinforced, but extra water shields and other protective layers can be installed.
A complete roof replacement is expensive, but will last for decades. If you find yourself in a situation requiring some form of roof repair, do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you make an educated decision.