Roof Restoration vs Replacement

What’s Best for Your Home?

Roof Restoration vs Replacement

Is your roof looking worn and tattered? Are you wondering whether to restore or replace it? Many homeowners face this problem.

Roof restoration and replacement are very different. Each has pros and cons. So how do you know what’s best for your home and budget?

Here we’ll compare the two. We’ll look at the costs, durability, coating, appearance, and maintenance of each. By the end, you’ll know if restoration or replacement is smarter for your roof.

What is Roof Restoration?

It repairs and improves the existing roof instead of totally replacing it. It involves:

  • Cleaning the roof
  • Fixing damaged areas
  • Applying protective coatings

The goal is to extend the roof’s life and avoid replacement as long as possible. Restorations typically cost 50-75% less than replacement.

What is Roof Replacement?

This means completely removing the old roof and installing a new one. This involves:

  • Tearing off old shingles/tiles
  • Checking and repairing the roof deck
  • Adding new underlayment
  • Laying new shingles/tiles

Replacements provide the strongest, most durable roof lasting 20-25 years. But they cost much more than restoration.

Pros and Cons of Restoration


  • Extends roof life 5-10 years
  • 50-75% cheaper than replacement
  • Keeps original roof look


  • Shorter life than new roof
  • Lower energy efficiency
  • Needs ongoing maintenance

Pros and Cons of Replacement


  • Longest life (20-25 years)
  • Highest durability and weather resistance
  • Better attic insulation and resource efficiency
  • Fresh, new look


  • 2-3X more expensive than restoration
  • Disrupts home during installation
  • May change original architecture

Key Things to Think About


Cost is usually the biggest factor. On average, restoration is $3-7 per square foot. Replacement runs $6-12 per square foot. Replacement costs more at first, but may last longer before needing work again. See if restoration can extend your roof’s life at a lower price vs. if replacement is the better long-term investment.


Restoration typically extends the useful life 5-15 years. Replacement offers 15-25+ years of durability. Consider your climate, roof type, and desired longevity. Replacement wins on durability, but restoration can still get you more good years if the roof is structurally sound.

Energy Efficiency

Replacement lets you install new decking, underlayments, ventilation, and radiant barriers that can really boost efficiency. Restoration also provides some improvements like coatings and sealants. If your roof already has decent protection, the difference may be small.


Over time, roof material can get stained, fade, or have moss/algae growth. Replacement gives a big aesthetic boost. Restoration also improves appearance through cleaning, paints, and roof repairs. If curb appeal matters, replacement may be more pleasing.


Proactive maintenance helps spot restoration needs early. After replacement, keep doing maintenance like gutter cleaning and inspections. Restoration requires ongoing maintenance as issues come up. Replacement resets the clock, but don’t skip regular upkeep.

When to Consider Restoration vs Replacement

Here are guidelines on when to restore vs replace your roof:

Consider Restoration When Consider Replacement When
Roof is under 20 years old Roof is over 20 years old
Only minor damage like cracks or leaks Severe damage like warped decking or sagging
Want to keep original architecture Architecture not a priority
On a tight budget Expenses not as big of a concern

Best Option: Roof Restoration

For most homeowners, restoration is the best choice.

It costs much less than full replacement. The average homeowner can save $5,000 to $10,000 with restoration.

It also keeps the original architectural style of your roof. New roofs often use different materials and designs.

While replacement offers more durability and efficiency, restoration provides solid value at a fraction of the cost.

As long as your roof is structurally sound, restoration plus maintenance is typically the most cost-effective option.

Roof Maintenance Tips

To maximise your roof’s life, be sure to:

  • Inspect your roof twice a year and after big storms
  • Clear debris like leaves and branches
  • Repair minor roof damage before it gets worse
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Trim back overhanging tree branches

Proper maintenance helps your roof last longer between restorations. Be proactive for the most value from your investment.

Pro Tip

Before deciding on roof restoration, consult a roofing professional to assess if your roof can be restored close to its original condition. Get multiple quotes to compare roof restoration costs. And make sure any work comes with a warranty from the roofing company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance cover restoration?

Most policies cover restoration for storm damage. But general wear and tear is not covered.

Can you restore slate or tile roofs?

Yes, slate and tile roofs can definitely be restored. The tiles/slates are repaired and resealed to extend the roof’s life.


When to Consider Restoration vs Replacement

For most homeowners, restoration is the most cost-effective roof solution. It extends your existing roof’s life at a fraction of replacement cost.

Be sure to regularly maintain your roof. And if you notice major damage or leaks, replacement may be smarter.

But for most, the process of roof restoration service hits the best balance of cost and performance.