Roof Repair or Replacement: Choosing for Your LA Home

Roof repairs or replacements can be difficult to navigate. No one wants a roof that isn’t doing its job! When it comes to fixes, we can help you decide which option is best to keep the budget intact.

An average roof lasts between 15 and 50 years, with variances due to the type of roof and the quality of the materials. In the sunny expanse of Los Angeles, your roof isn’t exactly the most glamorous feature of your home, but it sure is one of the most critical. How long has it been since you’ve checked your roof?

Once you hit that 50-year milestone, it’s like hitting middle age—things start to get a bit creaky and a tad leaky, and repairs become more frequent. Roof repairs, while less pricey upfront and certainly less of a hassle than a complete replacement, can add up quickly. But how do you know when a complete replacement is required? Let’s find out.

orange roof on modern home

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable roofing contractors, we get inquiries every day about what options are right for homeowners– here are some key points you need to know.

Roof repair or roof replacement?

Think of a roof restoration as the spa day your roof never knew it needed. It’s like hitting the reset button on your roof’s aging clock, giving it a total makeover to keep it looking fresh and feeling fabulous. A successful roof restoration is a comprehensive process, tackling everything from patching up those pesky leaks to slapping on a fresh coat of paint to make your neighbors green with envy.

It could include repairing and replacing broken or missing tiles or metal, thoroughly cleaning, priming, sealing, and topping it off with a protective membrane and a brand-new paint job. 

On the other hand, a roof replacement is a complete overhaul, where the old gets kicked to the curb and the new moves on in. A roof replacement means ripping out the old roof, swapping out battens, and maybe even throwing in some new framing if your roof needs extra support. And then, of course, there’s the pièce de résistance – the installation of a shiny new metal or tiled roofing system, ready to weather whatever storms come your way.

Signs your roof needs a full-on replacement

When it’s time for some serious roof repair, your roof will tell you in various ways. Here is what to keep an eye out for:

The paint job

If you see bits of paint flaking off like confetti, your roof might need a fresh coat. But before you break out the paintbrush, getting a pro’s opinion is wise. Sometimes, what seems like a simple paint job could be a red flag for deeper issues lurking beneath the surface. Peeling paint might indicate that your roof’s defenses against the elements are starting to crumble, leaving you vulnerable to leaks and other inconveniences.

Water damage

You might spot the obvious signs like water stains on your walls or ceilings, but sometimes H2O gets sneaky, finding its way into nooks and crannies you never knew existed. Keep an eye out for suspicious trails of moisture, like discolored patches near pipes or vents or those ominous dark spots on your ceiling that appear out of nowhere. 

Tile trouble

If your roof sports a tiled look, you’re in for a guessing game. Tiles have a lifespan of around 20 to 25 years, but throw in some LA heat, and that timeline can get sped up real quick. Cracked or broken tiles might seem like minor inconveniences, but they’re a gateway to more significant issues like water damage and headaches galore. 

Age 

Once your roof hits the big 10, it’s officially entered the golden years – and not in a good way. Aging roofs are like high-maintenance Hollywood divas, demanding constant attention to stay in good shape. It may be time for a roof repair or replacement.

roof replacement on new home

The main roofing material options

From metal marvels to budget-friendly basics, there are many options that can be both budget-friendly and keep future roof repairs and replacements to a minimum.

Metal roofing 

Consider this the top dog in the roofing game. Sleek, durable panels crafted from heavy gauge steel. There are three main metal roofing options – the Wagler Panel, the Standing Seam, and Paradise Panel. The Wagler Panel comes in a 28-gauge thickness, available in a rainbow of colors, and can be cut to lengths of up to 35 feet. The Standing Seam panel has a thicker 26-gauge profile and the same color options and length flexibility as its Wagler counterpart. While the Paradise Panel is made from 28-gauge sheet metal.

Rolled roofing

Simple, affordable, and perfect for low-slope residential roofs or outbuildings like sheds and workshops. Made from mineral-impregnated asphalt material topped with mineral granules, rolled roofing might not win any beauty contests, but it gets the job done at a fraction of the cost. Just keep in mind it’s not exactly built to last – you’re looking at about 5 to 8 years before it’s time for a refresh.

Built-up roofing (BUR)

Constructed with layers of roofing felt impregnated with hot asphalt topped off with a layer of crushed stone for added durability, BUR systems are all about old-school charm and unbeatable longevity. With a proper installation, you’re looking at a solid 20 to 30 years before your next roof repair.

Rubber roofing

Perfect for flat or low-pitch roofs, EPDM rubber membranes offer a seamless solution that is resistant to leaks and built to last. Made from various materials, including neoprene, PVC, and polymer-modified bitumens, membrane roofing can last 20 to 35 years with the proper maintenance.

Asphalt composite shingles 

The tried-and-true classic of North American roofing. Made from a fiberglass base that is topped with asphalt and mineral granules, shingles strike the perfect balance of durability and affordability. Plus, with a 20- to 30-year warranty and easy repairability, asphalt composite shingles are a no-brainer for homeowners looking for a reliable roofing solution.

old roof shingles need repair

Need a little help with your roof?

At GreatBuildz, we help everyone find a great contractor to ensure a stress-free roof repair or restoration. As a leading authority in the industry, our comprehensive and free service locates pre-screened general contractors you can trust. Call 818.317.3567 or visit our website to start your search with our help today.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

How can we help with your project?

Explore More Remodeling Topics

Remodeling Cost Guides

Cost Guides

design ideas

Design Ideas

Finding a Contractor

Finding a Contractor

Picking Materials

Selecting Materials

remodeling advice

Remodeling Advice