The key to any home improvement project is making sure you are minimizing your costs and getting the most bang for your buck. Choosing the right contractor is the first step in this process and any worthwhile contractor will be able to answer your questions honestly and accurately.

When considering a new roof, one of the first decisions your contractor should help you with is whether to simply patch up leaks and damaged materials or if a complete reroof is necessary. There are blatantly obvious clues that you need a reroof, like walking around your home with an umbrella 24/7 to avoid leaking water, but most are much more subtle. Here's what to look for before making the big decision.

Roof repair or replacement

Moisture Damage: Walk around your home and check for moisture marks. This may be anything from small brown stains to peeling paint. If you spot a moisture mark that leads to a small leak, a short-term repair is most likely all you need. However, if there is extensive damage to the roof or ceiling, such as mold or mildew growth, a full replacement is needed.

Shingle Damage:Shingles are one of the least-durable roofing materials, so over the years it is not unheard of for them to curl, split, crack or just totally missing. Fixing a couple shingles here and there is simple and relatively inexpensive, but if more than 30% of the material is damaged a roof replacement is the more cost effective answer. Partial reroofs can become problematic because all roofing layers must be removed to avoid an uneven and lopsided roof. This means increased labor costs, but only part of your roof is being replaced, so going for the entire replacement is usually less hassle and worth the money you'll spend.

Weather Damage: Here in Connecticut, severe storms have become very common especially in the past few years. Storms like Nemo or Hurricane Sandy caused roofs to collapse from the weight of the snow or trees to fall on your home, damaging a section of your roof. Obviously, here an entire roof replacement is essential and sometimes an upgrade to a stronger and more durable roofing material may be recommended to avoid any similar problems in the future.

Date of Last Repair: Even if your roof is in perfect or fair condition the age of the material is a huge factor in your repair/replacement decision. If you have an older roof that's nearing its expiration date, it might be wise to replace before a crisis occurs. The longevity of your roof depends on the kind of material used and roofing shelf lives vary greatly.

  • Asphalt Shingles: Average life of 15-20 years, but newer and more advanced designs last up to 40 years.

  • Wood: Depending on the climate, wooden roofs have a lifespan of 15-30 years.

  • Clay or Concrete Tile: One of the most durable options, these options are basically impenetrable and last 35-50 years.

  • Metal or Aluminum: Due to metal's ability to prevent warping or degradation, the average lifespan is 50 years or more.

Roof Layers: If these factors have led you to decide to replace your entire roof, you now face the decision of installing the new roof over the current one, or ripping off the old one first. The benefit of a simple overlay is that it decreases the cost because there is less labor involved. However, a tear off and replacement has added benefits. Removing the first layer allows you to inspect the roof deck for any rotting or inadequate fasteners. Additionally, roofing materials hold better and longer if they are installed directly to the roof deck, which increases their durability. Keep in mind that the Connecticut Residential Code for roofing layers is only two on a roof, so if you already have two layers, an overlay is not even an option for you.

If you are considering a roof replacement or repair, let Fiderio & Sons help! Visit our showroom in Meriden or fill out our online form for a FREE roof consultation and an extra $250 off!