Temporary Roofing Repairs: Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Have you noticed leaks or wear and tear on your roof, and your mind immediately jumped to the daunting idea of a roof replacement? If so, you’re not alone. Most homeowners can tell when there’s something wrong with their roof, and assume a minor roof leak means replacement – some even avoid it at all costs! Often, issues with your roof can be addressed through regular roof maintenance or basic repairs on the existing roof – protecting the investment of your home and extending the life of your roof.

Protect your home & wallet

If you drive a car, you probably take it for regular maintenance checks. Your mechanic likely suggests regular maintenance you need, like oil changes between every 12,000 to 16,000 kilometers or changing the air filter. These minor repairs save you from a big maintenance bill down the road, protecting the longevity of your vehicle and saving you money.

Your roofing professional is here to do the same thing – instead of waiting for a costly roof replacement, by fixing issues as they arise you will save money in the long run and keep your home safe and comfortable.

Regularly check the condition of your roof and keep an eye out for possible issues that can indicate if your home needs a roof repair or a replacement. If you are considering putting off a costly roof replacement by performing repairs as needed, be sure you are monitoring your roof to ensure you are not putting the value of your home at risk.

So, how can you tell when you need a simple repair and when you need to buckle down and replace the entire roof?

When to repair your roof?

Repairing your roof is a much more affordable option than replacing your roof, and in many cases all you need is a simple fix to ensure your roof is working properly and looks it’s best. Even if it’s a simple fix, don’t wait to contact a roofing professional – the sooner you can fix the issue, the less likely you’ll have greater damage to your roof and home.

If you find yourself in any of the following situations, your roof may just need a repair.

Roof leaks repairs

Although a couple leaks in your roof may seem like a major issue, roofing contractors can fix most leaks with some patchwork.

However, untreated leaks can cause water damage and mold or wood rot to your framework. Once the framework has water damage, repairs and replacements become more extensive and expensive. To avoid this, treat leaks immediately. As long as water damage affects only a small section of your roof, roofers can fix the damaged areas with a simple roof repair.

Missing shingles

Roofers can also easily replace missing shingles. They can also check the roof’s flashing details, pipe towers, and chimneys if requested while they are at it. Missing shingles may be the cause of leaks and there may be underlying issues causing the missing shingles such as poor, broken or weathered seals, popping nails, overdriven or underdriven nails and more. These roofing issues should be addressed to prevent further missing shingles. Once they identify areas of water intrusion, they can replace flashing, shingles, seal vents, and pipe openings or other roof penetrations.

Curling roof shingles

If your roof shingles start to bend, have a roofing contractor assess the condition of your roof. Curling shingles no longer protect your roof from the elements. To avoid water damage and prevent further damage, have a roofer replace the damaged shingles. Shingles can curl from improper attic ventilation, defective products and especially affect organic shingles as they age and lose integrity.

Curled shingles are a sign that the shingle is losing its integrity which can lead to leaks or wind damage during a storm. They often affect one part or side of a roof that is weathering faster than other areas of the roof. These areas that weather faster could be where downspouts drain or in valleys, for example. When this happens, they sometimes only need minor repairs, in which case the roofing contractors can fix the damage quickly and cost-efficiently.

If your roofer suggests repairing your roof now but recommends replacing your roof soon, start saving your money. Most homeowners can’t pay to replace their roof on short notice. Repairs can save you from the immediate cost of replacement. Over time, however, you may spend more money on numerous small repairs.

When to replace your roof?

Roofs endure constant wear and tear from sun exposure and moisture. Has your roof already suffered damage from storms or debris? Here are some signs to look for that will help you know when it’s time to replace your roof.

Algae growth

You most likely can’t avoid algae growth. The spores land on your roof and start to grow. Fortunately, if you treat algae quickly, you can avoid having to replace your roof. On the other hand, once algae has spread, you will need to replace your roof. You can eliminate algae in its early stages by having your roof cleaned by roofing contractors.

Roof decay

Cracked or dried out shingles, wavy roof structures or dips in the roof may indicate deterioration underneath your roof. Roof decay weakens your roof’s structure and limits the amount of weight it can support. When your roof reaches this point, you will need to replace it.


It’s only a matter of time until every homeowner will need to replace their roof. Even if a roof has been properly maintained, if it is more than 50 years old, it may be safer to replace than repair.

Your roof’s lifespan depends on the type of shingles you have. Here are some common roofing materials and how long you can expect them to last:

  • Asphalt: Most homes have asphalt shingles. They usually last for 20 years with newer shingles able to last longer, but our harsh Alberta climate may shorten their lifespan.
  • Cedar: Cedar shingles are beautiful and can increase the value of your home. Their lifespan is around 30 years.
  • Metal: Metal roofs generally last for about 50 years before they need replacing and proper maintenance or re-ply applications can extend the life of your metal roof.
  • Natural slate: Most churches and historical buildings use natural slate. Slate roofs can last more than 100 years before replacement is necessary.
  • Synthetic cedar: Synthetic cedars combine the beauty of cedar with a longer lifespan. Homeowners usually can expect their roofs to last up to 50 years before replacement.
  • Synthetic slate: This material looks like natural slate, but is made with rubber and plastic. Synthetic slate generally lasts 50 years or more.

Can you put off your roof repair?

Even if you need to replace your roof, you may not have the finances. If this is the case, look into payment options other than paying out of pocket, or consider making smaller repairs in the meantime.

Roofing payment options

One option to help with the large financial burden of a new roof is utilizing your home’s equity. Many homeowners use their home equity to finance a roofing project, easing the upfront cost while protecting their home value. Even if a repair only lasts 10 years, your home’s value will appreciate enough during that time to cover the replacement cost.

Another option may include financing options through your roofing company to help you cover the costs of roof replacement. Depending on the type and cost of repair, you may be able to defer payments or schedule a payment plan. We are offering customers the choice to get their payments deferred by 3, 6 and even 12 months. Contact our sales team to find out more. Deferring payments can cost less than many repairs and can be a good option for customers especially when other problem spots needing repair may show up soon.

Living in Alberta, there may be tax rebates available if you are improving your home’s energy efficiency by installing a new roof, especially if you are increasing the energy efficiency of your home. Not only will this save you upfront with the rebate, but you will also save money over time on your heating bills!

Band-Aid roofing repairs

Many homeowners may be tempted to postpone an inevitable roof replacement by performing smaller repairs, to help reduce the cost. In the long run, this approach will cost you more money as you pay for additional repairs instead of replacing the roof, but understandably many homeowners may want to wait until they are in a better financial position to install a new roof. This might be an effective strategy to help put off the larger expense, but be sure to talk to a professional roofing company to ensure you are not damaging your home by leaving problems unchecked, and remember that temporary repairs are only a short-term solution. 

The best way to determine if you need a repair is to have your professional roofing company assess your damages. In these unprecedented times globally, you might be concerned about having a contractor at your home to assess these repairs.

A. Clark Roofing & Siding are committed to following stringent safety protocols and are able to perform contactless assessments, repairs and replacement. Call A. Clark Roofing & Siding LP today to help you decide between repair and replacement, and what financing options may be available.

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