Repair vs. Replace: When do you need to replace your roof?

Replacing a Roof

Replacing your roof can be an expensive, inconvenient proposition, but going through an endless chain of repairs can be just as frustrating. How do you know when you need to repair your roof and when should you just plan on replacing it? We know you want some answers, so we've provided additional details below on how to inspect your asphalt shingle roof to determine when a quick fix is a good bet and when the entire roof needs to be replaced.

Inspection time

To start with, you'll want to get up on your roof and perform an inspection. Start looking at random shingles in four or five sets of ten, including some at the ridge and at the edges of your roof. Within each set, determine how many shingles have the following characteristics:

Broken Shingles

Loose tabs.

Are the shingle tabs adhered to the shingles below them, or are they loose?


Though you may see some small cracks near the edge, significant cracking that extends more than 1/3 of the way through the shingle should be noted.

Tabs that are broken or missing.

If they're not in place, they're not protecting your home's interior from moisture and can be a location for leaks to develop.

Shingles that are buckling or curling.

As asphalt shingles age, they tend to distort in shape, causing a buckling, curling or cupping appearance.

Tabs that are blistered.

Repairing a Roof

When shingles are exposed to excessive heat, they can form blisters. This creates a weak spot in the shingle that can become a location for leaks to start.

Most of the granules are missing from the tab.

Some granules will come loose and flow away with rainwater or wind, but if the majority of them are missing, the asphalt is open to abuse from wind, rain and sun.

Once you've inspected all your sets, average the total shingles of each of these six categories. We'll discuss what to do with these numbers below.

What it all means:

Take a look at your averages. If you have under one shingle per set average in a particular area, multiply that number by one. If you have an average of one shingle per set, multiply that number by five. If you have an average of two shingles per set with damage, multiply that number by ten. Finally, if you have more than two shingles per set in a category, multiply that number by 20. With six categories, that will leave you six numbers to add up. If they total more than 30, you'll need to get your roof replaced ASAP. If it's between 7-30, you have up to a year before the roof should be replaced, preferably with some significant repairs for higher numbers. If your total is 6 or less, a few minor repairs should have your roof back in excellent condition. Beyond your shingles, what condition is the rest of your roof in? Be sure to check for roof penetrations and flashing to ensure your entire roof is in good shape.

By knowing when it's time to replace your roof and when you can get by with a few repairs, you can make a smart decision on what needs to happen with your investment in your home. But what products do you need for the repairs or what new shingles should you go with for your new roof? The experienced associates at Wallboard Supply Company are ready to help you make the right decision. Please feel free to contact us today for more details, to place an order or to schedule a delivery.

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.