Any damage to your home’s roof from age, impact and/or weather and seasonal changes can lead to leaks, mold and other problems that destroy cherished keepsakes and other property. It can also cause a sudden and expensive remediation situation.

Yet, you should never make any repair or replacement decisions without first considering the following:

Roof Damage

The best method for determining if you need to repair or replace the roof is by hiring an experienced roofer to perform a total inspection. He/she will look for a wide range of issues, including shingle wear, tears, blisters, cracks and gaps, if applicable, wrinkling, buckling, curling, uplift, broken seals, missing flashing, wood rot, mold, water pooling and other signs of leaks. Some types of damage require more work than others. With spot damage, a roofer can usually make repairs without replacing the entire roof. Any signs of extensive damage, major code violations or continued problems after past repairs usually requires full replacement.

Professional Options

Before you even call a professional to perform an inspection, make certain that you’re choosing the most qualified person for the job. Instead of picking someone based on a word-of-mouth referral or a quick Internet search, investigate each local roofer and check out customer review websites. Additionally, contact each roofer to request inspection prices and their typical lower and upper range of repair/replacement costs, and then compare the companies. If this repair is related to an insurance claim, your local home insurance agent should also be able to provide you with recommendations.

Weather Conditions

It’s critical that you get roof repairs done quickly if a major problem exists, but outdoor weather conditions and holidays can negatively affect the work and increase your costs. In the Phoenix area, the best time for roof work is right before the monsoon season when rainfall will be at its lowest unless a roof is severely damaged. A lot of roofers have busy schedules and charge their highest prices right after the season and during holidays. At the same time you don’t want to be calling restoration pros to fix the water damage after flooding, right?

Property Value

Repair and replacement work can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Any improvements, such as adding skylights or using energy efficient designs, make it even more valuable. Different materials also increase value – for example, metal can increase overall property and resale values because a quality metal roof lasts longer than roofs that have shingles and suffers less damage.

HOA Rules

If you live in a developed community, always contact your Homeowners’ Association to ask about roof repair/replacement and construction policies. Many homeowners have been financially burned in the past by not contacting their HOAs before construction. When you don’t follow HOA rules, it can fine you and even take you to court. You can lose thousands of dollars if your HOA or a judge decides that you have to redo the work. Something as simple as the type, direction and number of shingles can go against community rules that an HOA enforces.

Project Budget

Repair and replacement costs can run several thousand dollars depending on the type and size of the roof and the amount of damage. A roof with a lot of “character” often costs the most because of the labor involved when working on non-flat structures like gables, skylights and chimneys. Repair or removal and replacement of rotted, wrinkled and buckled areas, including the underlayment, soffits and fascia, also increases labor costs. Keep in mind that there are often insurance benefits that offset costs. Although some insurers increase premiums after new construction, most companies offer premium discounts because new roofs lower risk in general and when they’re made of impact- and wear-resistant or energy efficient materials.