A Guide to Roofing Improvement. Repair? Replace? ROI?

Your roof has a tough life.  Just when it’s survived another long, cold Canadian winter, it faces the heat and humidity of the summer months ahead.  That’s why spring is the perfect time to assess the state of your roof, and to decide whether you need to take steps to improve its condition.  Here is a general guideline of where to begin:

Look for Proof of a Faulty Roof
No matter how old or new your roof is, it’s always a good idea to conduct quarterly inspections of its condition.  Start with the interior walls of your home that touch the roof and look for things like flaking paint, ceiling stains, and peeling wallpaper. All of these may be an indication that your roof has a leak.

On your roof itself, symptoms of deterioration can include missing shingles, visible fiberglass threads, raised shingles with nails protruding, or any areas that look darker or a different shade.  Check the roof deck in your attic as well, noting any water stains, rotting, and pinholes of light. If you are uncertain, you can always hire a roofing professional to do an assessment for you.

Two Options: Repair or Replace
If you’ve discovered signs that your roof may be damaged or leaking, first determine if it’s repairable.  A roofing professional may be best able to determine this. If it’s less than ten years old and only has a few minor issues, the remedy may simply require a little patchwork.

Sometimes a simple repair won’t suffice, and you need to consider replacing your roof altogether.  A professional roofer can determine the state and age of your roof to help you decide if you want to replace it.  As a general rule, if your roof is older than 15 years or showing significant signs of decay they’ll likely recommend that you replace it.  A moderately sized, professionally-installed roofing job will usually take about three to five days to complete. Select a roofing system design and colour that is in keeping with the neighbourhood standard and the colour scheme of your home.

Reap the ROI
If it’s time to replace your roof, you should consider what the return on investment will be.
The most common type of roofing system is the asphalt shingle, where you’ll pay on average between $2.50- $3.50 per square foot*.  If and when you sell your home down the road, you can expect to recoup an estimated 25-75% of your roofing investment*.

Replacing your roof can also add a lot of curb appeal to your home.  A new roof gives your home a mini-makeover, making it look more modern and up-to-date – not to mention safer and more energy efficient.  To make the most of your investment, be sure to maintain and inspect it on a regular basis.

*The Appraisal Institute of Canada, 2011: http://aicanada.ca