After a long winter, your roof may have suffered damage through the season. Extreme weather, storms and blistering cold can leave behind some notable damage in its wake. Repairing your roof might be a more cost effective solution than replacing your roof, but you want to ensure that if you need to invest in a new roof you do so before it is too late.

Evaluating the condition of your roof

Consider hiring a home inspection company to professionally assess your roof. They can provide you with an educated opinion regarding the condition of the shingles on top of your home. This information can help you decide whether or not to repair patches or replace the entire structure.

Another indicator that can determine your course of action is the age of your roof. Housing Logic recommended replacing if it is older than 20 years.

Spotting a leaking roof

It is crucial to always be on the lookout for leaks from a damaged roof or insufficient shingles. Look for peeling paint, damp spots, water stains or dark areas on your ceilings. From the exterior, you will want to evaluate the shingles using binoculars and look for rust spots and buckled or broken shingles.

If you suspect a leaky roof, ensure that you act quickly. Water damage can be especially extensive and ultimately expensive. 

Risk of spot repairs

While tending to individual sections of your roof that may have been damaged over the course of winter is an economical decision, doing so may put you at risk for more substantial expenses down the road. For example, water damage as a result of severe roof issues may destroy your interior drywall and mold might begin to grow.

You may also want to consider whether patching your roof will be a potential eye sore, according to the Claims Journal.

"It gets down to aesthetics," John Englehar, Consumer Reports' associate director of home improvement testing, told the Claims Journal. "If it's on the front side of the house I don't want to patch. The patch is going to be a different color."

While there are some negatives associated with spot repairs, in some instances it may make more sense than replacing the entire roof. Make sure that you regularly check the condition of your roof to ensure you are on top of its condition and aware when it is time to replace it.

Investing in a new roof

If you decide that it is a smarter decision to replace your old roof, DIY Network suggested doing a great deal of research before committing. There are a number of factors you will need to consider before embarking on this journey. You will have to decide how much you can afford, who to hire, when to begin the process, the type of material you want to use and other roofing-related choices. 

It is also important to know whether your existing shingles are able to be roofed over. You can have a maximum of two layers of asphalt shingles on your roof. Doing a second layer can save you time and money because you do not have to invest in the removal of old tiles or slates.

Shop around when purchasing a new roof. There are a variety of options available that can help you conserve energy and save money down the road. You will also want to discuss how various products will age over time with your supplier. In some instances colors may fade. You want to ensure you still love your roof down the road.

Your roof is a protective agent for your home. Check that it is in peak condition and know whether you can repair patches or should invest in an entirely new roof.