Should I Repair My Roof or Replace It?


A roof will require some repairs over its lifespan, and most roofs eventually need to be replaced. Usually, a roof lasts between 25 and 50 years or more. Your home’s location, climate, and roof material influence its lifespan.

If you suspect your roof is damaged, you can repair it in some cases, but in others, a complete replacement is necessary. Before you decide on a roof repair in Portland. OR, you should know that if your roof is more than 20 years old, you will most likely need to consider replacing it soon.

Age of the Roof

The passage of time is a damaging factor to your roof. You may notice some signs, but others are harder to spot. Generally, if your roof is over 20 years old, you may need to replace it. Here are some different types of roofs and their general lifespan:

  • Three-tab asphalt shingles – 15 to 20 years
  • Wood shingles – 25 to 30 years
  • Metal roof – 20 to 50 years
  • Architectural asphalt shingles – 30 or 50 years
  • Composite shingles – 30 to 50+ years
  • Slate tiles – 50+ years
  • Concrete or clay tiles – 50+ years

If your roof is old, the best thing to do would be to replace it instead of focusing on repairs. Over time, many things might have damaged your roof, some that make repairing it difficult and costly. If you had maintenance done on the roof once a year, it could extend past its natural lifespan.

When your roof is old, it will lose granules. The bond between the granules and asphalt on the roof shingles dissolves, loosening the granules. In this situation, repairing isn’t advised because the shingles would be irreparable.

Curled Shingles, Dark Streaks, & Visible Moss

If you notice a few curled shingles on your roof, you can repair them. However, if most of your shingles are curled, a roof replacement is necessary. As shingles curl inward, outward, they will soon fall off the roof, leaving your home exposed to the elements. Leaks will shortly follow, which will result in moisture in your walls and ceiling.

If moss is on your roof, it is advised to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, large patches of moss can damage the roof’s foundation, creating cracks and leaks, which lead to further damage. In this case, a roof replacement is essential.

Dark streaks indicate significant water leakage. Repairing is impossible in this scenario, so you have to replace your roof.

If your roof is sagging, it is caused by water damage from leaks. Repairing isn’t an option in this case, and you will need to replace your entire roof to avoid a collapse.

Water Leaks, Wind, and Hail Damage

Water leaks need to be fixed as soon as they are detected. If left untreated, you will need to replace your roof instead of simply repairing it due to internal damage. With wind or hail damage, you can either fix or replace your roof, depending on the extent of the damage.

If several shingles appear to be cracked or ripped off, or you can see entire portions of your roof stripped of shingles, you will need to replace it. If there are only a few, you might be able to repair your roof. The best way to tell is by contacting a residential roofing contractor.