Should I Do a Partial Roof or Full Roof Replacement?

If a tree fell on your house and punctured part of your roof, or if a Colorado hail storm damaged one section of your roof, do you have to do a full roof replacement or can you do a partial roof replacement? When our Denver roofing clients ask this question, our answer is usually the same – it depends.

Denver roofing companiesPartial Roof Replacement

Replacing missing shingles that blew off in a windstorm or shingles that suffered hail damage are fairly easy to remove and replace with new shingles. The new shingles may not match your old ones, but it’s a temporary fix for the short term. If the roof hail damage is more significant than a few damaged shingles and it’s limited to only one side of the roof, a partial roof replacement may be more economical than replacing the whole roof.

However, in many cases, a partial roof replacement by a Denver roofing company actually costs more than a full roof replacement, especially on a cost per square basis. There is also a risk that other problems will surface. For instance, if your asphalt roof has two or more layers, all the layers must be removed before a partial re-roofing can be started. The more layers to be removed, the higher the labor cost and disposal fee. In some cases, the labor and disposal costs are the same for a full roof replacement as they are for a half roof replacement.  

Another possible problem is the ridge line will not be balanced. This occurs when the old roof is a few inches higher than the new roof, so there is a lopsided effect that is visible at the ridges. Sometimes even a ridge cap cannot fix this problem.

A partial roof replacement is an option to consider, especially with a small budget, but there are some significant benefits to replacing the whole roof.  

Full Roof Replacement

A full roof replacement may be cheaper in the long run, and here’s why.

Roof Age

One major factor to consider when thinking about partial or full roof replacement is the age of the roof. Asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 25-50 years, depending on if they are 3-tab shingles or architectural shingles. If you replace one part of the roof, it creates an inconsistency in the total lifespan of the whole roof. For example, if one slope of the roof is replaced and the other slope is left alone, the total lifespan of the roof is decreased. A top Denver roofing company may not do a partial roof replacement because they know that bringing two slopes together at the peak of the roof is very difficult. Some roofing companies in Denver will not replace half a roof.

Roof Aesthetics

Another factor is aesthetics. As shingles age, they can look different, and it becomes almost impossible for new shingles to match the original color. The front slope of the roof may look different than the back slope because of how the sun, wind, rain and hail hit the roof. The sun’s angle on your roof can affect the shingle color. It would be like wearing a pair of gloves where one glove is brand new and the other glove is 5 years old. No matter what you do, the old glove will never look like the new glove.

Roof Logistics

The last factor to look at is the logistics of a hail damage roof replacement. If your Denver roofing contractor and/or your insurance company agrees to a partial roof replacement, that does not necessarily mean it’s in your best interest to proceed. Every roofing system ages at different rates, and some roofs are simply too old to handle a partial roof replacement which can be more harmful in the long run. In some cases, the plywood under the shingles can become rotted out and must be replaced with new plywood, and when this happens, a partial roof replacement is not recommended.

roofing Denver CONext steps

Once you have decided whether to do a partial or full roof replacement, the next step is to decide whether to install your new roof over the existing roof or to tear off the old roof first. If you already have two layers of shingles, you cannot add on to it; the roof must be replaced. If you only have one layer of shingles, you may not have to remove them before installing a new roof.

However, Colorado is a high wind state located in hail alley, and shingles will hold on better if they are directly fastened to the roof deck. Another reason to remove all the shingles is to inspect the roof deck for rotten plywood. If you have rotting wood, that needs to be replaced right away. Starting with a clean roof deck allows you the option to add ice and water shields along the eaves, which helps prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters.  

You can save some money by installing a new roof over the old one, but there’s a risk of creating a bigger expense down the road. If the whole roof is replaced, the cost is higher, but you get assurance that the job is done and you don’t have to worry about new roofing for a long time.   

Bottom Line

Hire a professional Denver roofing contractor to do a hail damage roof inspection or wind damage roof inspection on your home or business. Top roofing companies in Denver will determine whether a full roof replacement is required. Peak to Peak Roofing is a trustworthy Denver roofing company that will give you honest feedback about your roof, and they will recommend the best solution for you. Contact Peak to Peak today for a free roof inspection in the Front Range.