Probably one of a homeowner’s least favorite things to hear from a contractor is “You need a new roof!”

When does it make sense to just do some repairs, and when do you have to give in and admit that it’s a necessary evil?

As it turns out, many roofers just want to replace a roof entirely and don’t want to be bothered with making repairs.  However, this might not always be the best solution for the homeowner.  Aside from getting multiple opinions, how can you tell which is the best solution for your home?

We’ve searched for some advice. gave us 10 things to look for.

Things to look for on the inside:

1) Places where the roof deck is sagging

2) Signs of water damage or leaking

3) Dark spots and trails

4) Outside light showing through the roof.

On the outside:

When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains).

The HomeTeam Inspection Service offers these tips on what to check on the outside:

5) Cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.

6) Loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.

7) Excessive amount of shingle granules in the gutters

8) Signs of moisture, rot or mold.

9) Drainage – are gutters and downspouts securely attached, open and free of debris?

10) Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space.

Life Expectancy

How long your roof lasts depends on a number of things:

  • Type of material
  • Weather conditions
  • Correct installation
  • Slope of the roof
  • Proper ventilation


As with anything in our homes, the better it is maintained, the longer the roof will last.  If you have those black streaks of mold on your roof, find a good company that knows how to remove the mold without damaging the roofing material.  If you develop a leak, get it taken care of before it becomes a bigger, more costly problem.

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish

According to Remodeling Magazine, you want to make sure that you’re not sinking too much money into multiple roof repairs that will cost you more money in the long than if you just replaced it now.  Their advice: get your contractor to help you weigh the pluses and minuses of repair versus replacement.

Finally, when you are looking for the right company to work on your roof, make sure that they are perfectly comfortable with recommending repair instead of replacement, when appropriate. It turns out that many roofing companies don’t want to be bothered doing repairs, so in all likelihood, they will recommend replacement, even it a repair would do the job.

As always, feel free to call Keith at Innovation Construction for a fair and honest assessment of your roofing needs.