Did you notice something on the roof recently? It was a bit concerning, most likely. It might have been as simple as some missing shingles after a bad storm. Or you may have noticed some odd rock- or sand-like granules in your gutter or rainspout. Maybe even from a distance you saw some odd black stains.

These are three of eight common signs of roof damage listed by Popular Mechanics magazine. They’re absolutely correct. There are others, of course, but whatever the signs may be, you’ve done the right thing and called an inspector out to take a look and assess the overall damage. They’ve looked at everything outside and inside, and they’ve approached you with your options. Things aren’t terrible, but there’s definitely some work that needs to be done. You’re given two options:

Repair the damage, or replace the entire roof. How do you decide? There’s no need to sugarcoat the primary determining factor for most people: how much is it going to cost?

When we think about roofing jobs, it’s easy for our minds to run away with high numbers and figures and it can get intimidating quickly. But there are benefits to both options, and our friends at ProFormance Roofing help us consider the two primary factors to weigh our decisions.

Future Prospects

First, consider the damage that was done. Did you lose shingles because of a storm? Were some damaged due to extreme cold weather? Was there a leak because of heavy rainfall? If these weather conditions are uncommon, then a repair and patch might just work out perfectly. If you’re able to repair whatever water and leak damage is underneath, replace just the missing and/or damaged shingles, and help protect against future unusual conditions, then it works out well.

However, if you live in an area where extreme weather is common, it may be a good idea to get your repairs done via complete replacement. Why? As part of the roof replacement, work can be done to help make it more resilient to high winds, heavy rainfall, and frigid cold.


Just like anything else, one factor that needs to be taken into account is the age of the roof itself. If you have damaged or missing shingles, but your roof is ten or more years old, any new shingles you put on likely aren’t going to match. “So what? They’re on the back of the house, no one’s going to notice.” Fair point.

What about the life expectancy of the roof itself? Many come with a 20 year guarantee. If you’re already 19, 17, even 15 years into it, it might be less expensive to go ahead and replace the whole thing now rather than in the future.

You may be wondering about partial re-roofing. While seeming more cost-effective, often times they cost several hundred dollars more that full re-roofs due to wasted parts and near-equal amount of labor.

Yes, keeping the costs in mind is the main concern for anyone when it’s time to choose between repairing and replacing. But understanding the difference between long-term versus short-term rewards is of equal value. Bearing that in mind will help you be certain to make the best choice.