Should You Repair, Patch or Replace Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

How do you know if you should repair, patch or replace your current shingle roof?

Well there are quite a few factors to consider in order to make that decision and the first step is understanding what each of these things means. Once we cover the basic definition of each, then we can look into other factors that will further help determine what we can do and what we should do.

Repair– A broad description just means any repair that your roof may need.  This can encompass several things; ie. worn out shingles, worn out or damaged roofing components (skylights, flashing, roof ventilation, pipe boots etc.)  damage to the roof and/or decking and of course, leaking.

Patch– A broad description simply means the replacement of shingles, this can be as few as just 1 or as many as an entire roof slope.

Roof Replacement– This is the replacement of your entire shingle roof and all roofing components.

Now that we have established what each option is, let’s go into the average life expectancy of each one and some factors that will let you know if your roof is eligible.

Repairs- These are typically reserved for roofs under 10 years old. If your roof is in good condition, properly installed and the presenting issue is a new problem and not something that is reoccurring, you would normally qualify for a repair. Repairs are a great choice especially when you are choosing Colony Roofers for the job.If you are just looking for a temporary fix that is cost effective to buy some time before a more permanent option can be made. **If done by a qualified contractor, the warranty terms will vary from no labor/workmanship warranty, for simple caulking and very minor repairs, to upto a 1 or 2 year labor/workmanship warranty for more in depth resolutions. Please note that these are pretty standard warranty terms throughout the roofing industry, but will vary by contractor. Please make sure to ask what the warranty is, before agreeing to have any work completed.

Patches- These fall under the same category as repairs and are typically reserved for roofs under 10 years old. However, since a patch can encompass a larger square foot area that can include an entire roof slope, this may be a good option for an ongoing, unsolvable problem, providing that the roof is in good condition. This is also a good option for homeowners that have known issues, but do not have the financial ability to replace the entire roof. Patches, much like repairs, are a temporary solution that can last for upto a few years, if done correctly.  ** If done by a qualified contractor the warranty will vary from no labor/workmanship warranty, for very small shingle replacements, to upto a 1 or 2 year labor/workmanship  warranty for more in depth resolutions. Again, please make sure to ask what the warranty is, before agreeing to have any work completed.

Roof Replacements- A full roof replacement can be done on any roof at any time for any reason regardless of age. Whether you don’t like the color or you are replacing it due to damage or just wanting a better quality of shingle, just know that this is always an option. ** If done by a quality contractor, your warranty should vary from between a 2 year to 10 year labor and workmanship warranty and then you will also receive a warranty that guards against defects in the shingle from the manufacturer, depending on the type of shingle you choose.

Now that we are clear on what type of service your roof qualifies for and the warranty that should accompany it, let’s talk about the shingles. There are different types of shingles and manufacturers warranties that come with it. It is important to understand a couple of things.

  1. Repairs and patches do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Only full roof replacements qualify.
  2. When doing a repair or a patch on your roof, the contractor will need to match the shingle color as closely as possible to your existing color shingle. Please note that if your existing shingle is older than 90 days, it will be impossible to match the color exactly.
  3. Shingles go through a weathering period. This means that after 90 days, the shingles will lighten slightly in color due to heat, cold and other environmental factors.

While there are many different manufactures, there are very specific shingle types; The two main choices are 3 tab shingles and dimensional/ architectural shingles. Let’s discuss their characteristics;

3 Tab Shingles– Are a single layer shingle that is 36 inches long and has a uniformed flat look. They are distinguished by having 3 cutouts or tabs that are made on the bottom edge of the shingle that are all exactly the same size,shape . “Each shingle looks like three separate pieces when installed, but it’s only one,” explains Joan Crowe, a technical services director for the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

This shingle offers a 20-25 year manufacturers warranty and is considered the most cost effective choice over an architectural shingle.

  • The con side of this shingle is that due to being a thinner, single layer shingle, they are more prone to damage and will not have as long of a life expectancy.

Architectural/Dimensional Shingle– This shingle is a bi-laminate (2 layer) shingle that varies in length, it will range between 36-39 ⅜ inches. It is also different from a 3 tab shingle in that due to the varying sizes and shapes of the tabs, it will give the shingle a more dimensional look overall. The adhesive tar strip on the back of this shingle gives it more waterproofing characteristics and better wind resistance. This shingle is 50% thicker than a 3 tab shingle and also comes with a longer manufacturer warranty.

The warranty for these shingles will come with a 30-50 year warranty and makes them the most popular choice for homeowners.

  • The con side of this shingle is that it is slightly pricier and due to the added thickness, it is also a heavier shingle. This can pose a problem for much older homes that are not upto current building code on structural support for the roof framing system. * It is recommended that you have your contractor look into this before starting a roof replacement on your home.

**Please note that there are also 40 and 50 year architectural shingle options available. However, since these shingles are exponentially more expensive and have a much longer lifespan, we have opted to not to list them here. If you would like more information, please speak with your licensed roofing contractor.