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Repair or Replace – What’s the Best Choice for a Damaged Roof?

Considering the cost of the average shingle roof replacement, it is no wonder that homeowners will do as much as they can to put off paying for a new one.

Roof repair may seem the better option since it usually costs less, but is that necessarily true?

Sometimes, a roofing replacement ends up being the more cost-effective choice depending on the type of damage needing repair and the overall condition of the roof.

While there is no black-and-white answer to the question of repair or replacement, roofing contractors recommend weighing the facts involved, then making the best, most informed decision.

  • Extent of Present Damage - A single leak that involves one specific part of the roof or a section of shingles being blown off is hardly a call for roofing replacement in most cases, but more serious damage like widespread hail damage or decking rot that affects a large portion of the roof and structural support is a different story. 
  • Overall Condition of the Roof - The better the condition of a roof, the more worthwhile roof repair is and vice-versa. It may be a waste of money and effort to fix a roof that is already in poor condition or suffering from chronic issues like sagging, rot, or frequent leaks, but a worthwhile investment for a roof that is still sturdy and in great shape. 
  • History of Needing Repairs - Has the roof been a money pit in terms of needing repairs? Is there a new leak every season? If so, a roof replacement that eliminates all the problems at once is probably a better choice. 
  • Roof Age - Sometimes even a roof in seemingly great condition is a candidate for being replaced if it is at or beyond its life expectancy. The reason for this has to do with the reduced performance of the roofing materials, even if they look good on the surface. Old shingles dry rot, making them less resilient to weather and less energy-efficient. Conversely, a fairly new roof that has experienced significant damage may be worth repairing if the materials and structure are still in good condition. 
  • Cost Comparison - Sometimes, the cost of roof repair, regardless of the condition or age of the roof, will just be more than the cost of a roofing replacement if the replacement can be done faster and more easily.

Based on these five factors, homeowners and their roof replacement contractors should honestly assess the extent of roofing damage along with the condition and age of the roof and other factors to choose the option that makes the most sense.

Many times, that will be a roof repair, but other times it will be a roof replacement.

Though replacing a roof may be more expensive at the exact moment, it is a more economical choice over time as that new roof will last longer, be free of problems, and bring with it brand-new warranties to protect it.

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When Hiring A Roofer – What Does Bonding Mean?

When hiring a roofer to handle a roofing replacement or other roof services, it is essential that home and building owners thoroughly screen the local contractors available to do the work.

All roofers considered should be fully insured, but bonding is also important.

A detail that many consumers do not understand, bonding can provide important protection to the home or building owner in case their roofing services go awry. 

What Is Bonding?

Bonding is a type of insurance that protects not the roofing business or its employees, but rather its customers.

It is a contract taken out with a bonding company that provides coverage to the home or building owner that their roof services will be done according to the contract signed between them and the contractor.

In the event that the customer is not satisfied with the work being performed, they have the right to contact the bonding company directly and ask them to intervene. 

When Is Bonding Useful?

Bonding comes in handy in a number of instances where a home or building owner might otherwise be left with a poor or unfinished job that does not live up to what they paid for.

The surety bond signed between the roofer and the bonding company can be activated to cover the completion of work that the customer finds to be unsatisfactory partway through or to complete work that is abandoned by a contractor even if the customer has already paid for it.

A contractor who does not pay for their roofing permits, subcontractors, or suppliers is also a reason why someone might contact the bonding company seeking compensation. 

How Is Bonding Determined?

Not every roof service is bonded.

This is partly because it is an added business expense that the roofer must pay along with their business insurance, but also because not every contractor can get bonded.

To successfully sign a bonding contract, the roofer must submit an application that includes details such as their business plan and financial statements as well as proof of a favorable reputation in their community and in the industry. 

Who Needs Bonding?

In other words, bonding companies only cover roofers who might end up in a position where the bonding contract must be exercised.

They instead sign contracts with reputable roof services that are simply seeking protection against unavoidable events that could cause them to not finish a customer’s job, or fail to pay their costs related to it. 

In Summary

Considering this, a roofer who is successfully bonded is a sign to the customer that the contractor is trustworthy and has adequate protection for their customers in case of a problem that ends up out of their control.

When screening for roofing replacement or repair contractors, home and commercial building owners should always ask about bonding and insurance to make sure their chosen contractor is well-insured in all ways possible!