The patch-or-replace roofing dilemma

When was your house built?

All roofs eventually wear out. Blazing sunshine, driving rain, frost, wind – your roof protects your home from all the elements but as time passes, it gets tired and less effective.

Right now, houses built in the 1970s are starting to need a roof replacement. And if your home was built in the 50s or 60s and hasn’t had any significant roofing maintenance, then it’s vital you arrange a roof inspection before it fails completely.

“But my old roof doesn’t have any leaks!” I hear you say.

Older homes actually have a way of coping with small leaks. Because they are prone to draughts, if the inside of the roof cavity gets wet it likely dries out again in the next hot nor’ west wind. The homeowner is unaware of what is happening beneath the tiles, but hopefully, the framing timber and ceiling are staying healthy and strong.

All of this raises a big question –

Do you patch a leaking roof or replace it?

This dilemma weighs up the risk of the old roof failing against the impact a re-roof has on your bank account. With a new roof for an older 3-4-bedroom home (say around 150m2) possibly reaching $20,000 it’s a decision a lot of homeowners agonise over.

Yet the cost of patching leaks can also mount up. Repairs will always be cheaper, but when we do multiple fixes on a failing roof the replacement roof soon starts to look a better option. Especially when you factor in the cost of working at heights – the health and safety mandated scaffolding could be $2,500-3,000 for each repair. We’ve even had cases where patching a roof was half the price of a new one!

Is it worth the cost?

Knowing that your home is protected from the elements? That’s certainly worth it.

But a new roof also makes your home more attractive to potential buyers, helping it stand out from similar houses, and it communicates your attitude to overall maintenance. Because the last thing a buyer (who is falling in love with your property) wants is their building inspection to highlight the old age or delicate state of the roof. They might even use the old roof as an excuse to push the purchase price down!

And don’t forget curb appeal. A new roof helps your house look good, both in person and for the real estate listing photographs.

How about financing?

Have you thought about using your mortgage facility to finance a new roof? A friendly mortgage broker we work with is happy to discuss options with you.

Costs are going up

Have you noticed how suburbs with similar aged houses get roof replacements at the same time? Christchurch built a lot of homes in the 60s and 70s, so the demand for re-roofing is rising. This impacts the price of materials and labor, so the best answer to ‘When is the best time to replace my roof?’ is certainly Today!

Choose your colour

There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the colour options for (especially steel) roofs today. As you drive around town checking out what other homeowners have done with houses similar to yours, notice that most roofs fall into three colour bands: grey tone, brown tone and green tone. You can’t really go wrong with those.

Remember, if you are pondering the patch-or-replace roofing dilemma, we are a phone call away. With over 20 years’ experience of roofing Christchurch homes properly, we love discussing how best to look after your whole roof.