Problems with your roof, including leaks, need not necessarily lead to serious damage to your property. The key to avoiding what may be significant damage, with a lot of consequential expense, is to detect problems early. Once the problems have been detected, the correct decision about the best remedy will also have to be made. However, roof damage is not necessarily that easy to detect early. It could be aptly compared to the situation faced by human beings when it comes to safeguarding their own health. Most of us do not go to the doctor until we start to suffer from symptoms. In fact, many of us wait even longer, until the symptoms become less tolerable. Often, by the time we go to the doctor the condition has become more serious because it started to affect us even before we began to feel any physical sign of it. The same thing applies with roofing problems. They can sometimes occur without showing any immediate sign and only become obvious when a great deal of collateral damage has been caused. Whatever stage of damage has been reached, however, once the roof damage has been identified it will be necessary to take remedial measures. Whether those measures involve mending the damage or a complete replacement will depend on a variety of factors.
The Condition of the Roof
In deciding whether to carry out roof repairs or a complete replacement your roofers should look at the state of the roof, its age, history of faults and repairs, maintenance history and likely overall life expectancy. Obviously, the older the roof, the greater the number of previous repairs and a relative lack of prior maintenance are all likely to point strongly in support of a roof replacement. Conversely, the newer the roof, the lack of a previous history of repairs and/or a good maintenance record will make it more likely that the property owner will elect for repairs rather than replacement. A close survey of the roof will also identify whether the presenting problems are a result of an acute episode such as a storm or heavy rainfall/snow/hailstone or whether they are evidence of a more long-standing issue that is endemic, systemic or structural.
Another significant issue in the decision making process will be whether the roof is covered by insurance or a warranty. Obviously, a replacement of the roof will be more expensive than carrying out localised repairs. It may be possible to replace the roof if the need to do so is accepted by the insurance company or the underwriter of the warranty. If not, the property owner is likely to have little alternative but to accept roof repair as the only possible remedy to the problem.
If the roof is not covered by a warranty or insurance, the roofers’ hands may be tied by the resources of the property owner when it comes to making a decision between repairs and replacement. Although this may well be the case, however, we would caution any roofing contractor of carrying out patch repairs to a dangerous roof. Not only is this unlikely to remedy the problem in the long term, it could result in the property suffering catastrophic damage which may endanger the well-being of its occupants.
The best way of ensuring that roofing problems are detected early and that the damage is more likely to be repaired easier, rather than involving the cost and inconvenience of a complete roof replacement, is to have regular roof inspections. Whilst twice a year would be preferable, at least once a year should help with the early detection of those troublesome roofing problems.