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Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement: Which is Right for You?

contractors repairs roof on smaller section of home

Your roof is the first line of defense against everything from falling tree branches to ice and snow.

It’s important to have your roof inspected on a regular basis to quickly assess damage as it occurs. The average roof lasts around 20 years, but there are several factors that determine how long yours will last – your roofing materials, maintenance schedule, and the climate you live in, etc.

At the end of the day, the more you pay attention to your roof, the longer it’ll last. If you notice damage to your roof, you’ll have to decide between roof repair and total roof replacement. It’s not an easy decision, however, as many things have to be considered.

We’re here to help you out by outlining the pros and cons of roof repairs versus installing a new roof. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your roof problems, just keep reading and we’ll help you take the right measures for the health and safety of your home.

Pros and Cons of Roof Repair

It can be difficult to figure out how bad roof damage is. Certain issues look bad but are relatively easy fixes, while benign-seeming problems can snowball into ones that put your home at risk. The temptation is usually to take the cheaper option and have your roof repaired, which comes with a set of pros and cons.


contractor does roof repairs on steep rooftop

The most obvious reason to have your roof repaired is that it’s a lot cheaper than having the entire thing replaced. Things like shingle replacement or algae removal may only cost a few hundred dollars, as opposed to thousands for a roof replacement.

As long as you have the repairs done quickly, another pro is that they prolong your roof’s lifespan. With the right company on the job, they’ll take a diagnostic approach to your roof and fix any problems that might get worse.


The big negative with choosing roof repair is that it might only be temporary. If your roof is getting older or you don’t know how old it is, there’s a good chance that you’re just due for a replacement.

When you have an old roof, the materials are more prone to degrading and breaking down. Old roofs have seen too much wear and tear for a few simple fixes to keep them going. This is why you need a roof inspection from a reputable roofing company to determine the best course of action. At O’Donnell Roofing Co., we provide honest recommendations and will let you know if a replacement is needed. More times than not, we will do a temporary fix to avoid leaking before we proceed with the full roof replacement, depending on the roof’s condition.

Pros and Cons of Roof Replacement

As with roof repairs, roof replacement comes with a set of pros and cons. 


Installing a new roof means you get a fresh start. It’s an important investment in the long-term health and value of your home. 

Modern roofing materials and insulation can help to increase your home’s energy efficiency. There’s also the opportunity to install things like solar panels to drastically affect your monthly bills, as well as your carbon footprint.

roof solar installation with small repairs


The main issue with roof replacement is the cost. There’s no denying that it’s a big expense, but it’s something you have to think logically about. You’ll have to replace your roof at some point and the longer you wait to do it, the more problems will continue to arise, which you have to pay to repair. If pricing is a concern, you want to work with a roofing contractor who offers financing options. Add link to financing page.

Factors to Consider

Ultimately, the best thing to do when deciding to repair or replace your roof is to look at some of the main factors. Weigh all of the following and you should have a clear answer one way or the other.

Your Roof’s Age

If you have an old roof that you keep having to repair, it probably makes more sense to replace it. When your relatively new roof gets damaged, it’s probably more sensible to repair it because the bones of the roof are still in good shape. If the repair is due to weather damage, you can always work with your home insurance company to see if the costs can be covered.

How Bad Is the Damage?

You obviously need to consider the severity of the damage. If you’re looking at a sagging roof that’s compromising your entire home, you need to get it replaced as soon as possible.

Minor leaks, algae, missing shingles, and other aesthetic damage should be repaired, so long as the roof itself is functional. You should still have the repairs done as soon as possible to avoid things like leaking, mold damage, and problems with your foundation.

Roofing Materials

Roofing materials have to factor into the discussion because different materials have different life spans. A slate roof, for example, can last up to 100 years, while shingles only last 20-25. If you know your roof should last 100 years, it certainly makes more sense to pay for repairs. 

slate roofing material after roof repair

Your Future Plans

Consider your plans for your home. Are you staying at home for the foreseeable future or are you making a move in the next few years?

A new roof can add considerable value to your home, or more accurately, an old roof can lower the valuation of your home. By replacing the old roof, you’ll end up recouping most of the installation and material costs when you sell.

Your Monthly Bills and Budget

Even if you’re staying in your home, there are a lot of benefits to replacing an old roof. As mentioned earlier, having an energy-efficient roof can lower your monthly bills significantly.

When you’re thinking about your budget and whether you can afford a roof replacement, this has to factor in. Your old roof might be costing you more than you realize. If the money is tight, on the other hand, making essential repairs can help you put off the replacement until you can afford it.

Making the Right Choice

We hope we’ve given you some food for thought when it comes to roof repair and roof replacement. It’s not an easy decision by any means, but by taking everything we’ve said into consideration, you should reach a logical conclusion about your roof.

Sometimes a professional opinion is what can tip the scales. If you need a roof inspection, contact us at O’Donnell Roofing today. Our family business has been helping the Philadelphia area residents with roof repairs, replacements, and maintenance tips for nearly a century, so you can trust us to give you the right advice for your roofing needs.

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