Small Business Brief


Repair or Replace: How to Know What Your Roof Needs

Throughout the U.S., millions of roofs (both residential and commercial) are in need of repairs and/or replacements.

Has it been a while since you’ve done any kind of maintenance work on the roof of your business? Are you starting to see serious signs of roof damage, such as water leaks or missing shingles?

If you’re on the fence about whether you should repair or replace roof, keep reading. Everything you need to know is outlined below.

Signs You Should Repair the Roof

To decide whether a repair or replacement is necessary, it’s important to know what signs to watch out for. Here are some signs that you can get away with roof repairs and might not need to invest a ton of money in a replacement:

You’re Missing Shingles

If there are some shingles missing from your business’s roof, you’ll want to replace them as soon as possible.

Assuming there are only a few shingles missing here and there, you likely don’t need a full roof replacement. Replacing the shingles ought to be sufficient.

Water Is Pooling

Is water pooling up anywhere on your roof? If so, you’ll want to address that issue as soon as possible.

This will save you from having to deal with leaks or water damage inside of your business, which will not be easy to fix.

There’s Wear and Tear Around Openings

If you notice wear and tear around openings, such as chimneys or vents, you’ll need to call a repair professional. In most cases, they can address these areas along without having to replace the entire roof.

Paint Is Peeling or Blistering

Have you noticed that the exterior paint on your building is starting to peel or blister? This can happen when there’s poor ventilation or moisture build-up.

Reach out to a repair professional as soon as you can to address these issues before they cause widespread damage to the roof.

Energy Bills Are Rising

If you’ve been paying more than you’d like to heat or cool your business lately, the roof could be the source of the problem. If there’s damage to the roof and air is escaping, there’s a good chance your energy bills are higher than you’d like.

Don’t just continue paying these bills. Investigate and find the source of the leaks so you can repair it.

Signs You Should Replace the Roof

If you notice any of the signs outlined above, you’ll likely need to call in a repair professional to fix the roof of your business. If you notice any of these signs, though, you may be in for a more extensive roof replacement job:

It’s Past Its Prime

Has it been close to 20 years (or longer) since your roof has been replaced? If this is the case, chances are it’s past its prime and would benefit more from a replacement than a few repairs.

You See Dark Streaks

The presence of dark streaks on the roof can be a sign of algae growth. This, in turn, can indicate serious water damage that could be more expensive to repair than to replace altogether.

Moss Is Growing

The same is true of moss. If you have moss growing on your roof, you likely have a lot of water buildup. Replacing it can help you start fresh and address any moisture control issues head-on.

Neighbors Are Replacing Their Roofs

This isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses. If the other businesses in your area have been around for the same amount of time as yours and they’re replacing their roofs, you probably ought to replace yours, too. This is a sign that it’s getting old and may be more prone to damage.

It Needs Extensive Repairs

If you find out that your business’s roof needs a lot of repairs, you might want to consider a replacement instead. Extensive repairs can add up fast, and you might find that you’re spending more to fix the roof than it would cost to replace it. 

Roof Repair Pros and Cons

There are benefits and drawbacks that come with taking the repair route.

For example, on the plus side, you can often save a lot of money by repairing instead of paying for a total replacement. You also don’t have to worry about long-term construction shutting down or disrupting your business.

On the other hand, though, depending on the extent of the damage to your business’s roof, paying for repairs might end up simply kicking the can down the road.

It might delay the need for a replacement for a couple of months, but you might end up spending more money over time if you keep patching holes or taking temporary measures to keep it in decent shape.

Roof Replacement Pros and Cons

When you replace your roof, the most obvious benefit is the fact that you have a brand new roof for your business. This means that you likely won’t have to worry about expensive repairs for a while, and, unless something serious happens, you won’t need to replace it for another 20 years or so.

Replacing your roof also gives you an opportunity to learn about different commercial roofing systems and find one that works better for your current building. This, in turn, can give you peace of mind and help you have more confidence in the structure long-term.

Of course, roof replacement can be expensive. It’ll take a significant chunk out of your budget to fund a replacement, and you may even need to borrow money to do it. However, paying for this now can help to save you from spending more money later on trying to keep up with repairs.

Repair or Replace Roof: Which Is Right for You?

As you can see, it’s not always easy to tell whether you should repair or replace roof for your business.

Hopefully, though, now that you have this information available to you, you can make a more informed decision about which option is best for you and your budget. 

Are you looking for more insight into repair projects for your home or business? If so, visit the Business Advice section of our site today to learn about some additional tips and tricks.