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When It’s Time For a New Roof

Roofs get the worse of the worst, they are constantly exposed to brutal elements every day. Baking sun, ripping winds, freezing temperatures and pounding rain, these are some of the rough patches a roof has to deal with everyday. This toll can help us understand why the protective layer may wear down after a couple of years. While some types of roofs can potentially last 25 years, shingles do eventually age, bend, break, tear or simply fall apart. From the ground looking up, it may be a little more difficult to distinguish how rough things are up there, but these signs may help you determine whether it is time to get a new roof this new year.

 

  1. THE ROOF IS ABOUT TO BE 25 YEARS OLD

Stay up to date as a homeowner and check your receipts and improvement records for the date the roof was last replaced. Typical asphalt shingle systems have lifespans of 20 to 25 years. If you are close or past that time window, most homeowners can begin to plan for a new roof.

Side Note: If the shingles were installed on top of an existing layer of shingles, then they might not last very long. Twenty years is the typical life span for these kinds of applications. 

 

2. YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE HAVING THEIRS DONE

For those who live in a home, the sound of roofing nailers in the neighborhood might be a sign that it is time. Most developments grow a few houses at a time, meaning that many of the homes in the neighborhood are relatively close in age. So, since these houses often use the same materials purchased by the builder at a bulk rate, the roofs should therefore, deteriorate at a similar rate. So, if everyone in the neighborhood is replacing their roof, may it is time for you too.

 

3. MISSING SHINGLES

If your roof has any missing shingles, that is never a good sign. Shingles go missing when the shingle itself weakens, and the adhesive holding the bottom in place starts separating from the course below. At that point, all it takes is the right gust of wind for shingles to fall off one at a time.

One or two shingles may not be the end of the world but in some cases, the cause could be the improper installation. A relatively quick repair could have the roof back in top shape, though the shingle color might not be the exact match.

 

4. SHINGLES ARE STARTING TO CUP, CURL OR CLAW

The first signs of that a roof is reaching the end of its life is cupping, curling or clawing. Cupping and curling look very similar, with the ends of the shingles peeling away from the courses below them and beginning to point upward. On the other hand, clawing occurs when the center of the shingle lifts while the ends stay in contact with the roof. Neither condition is a good sign, and they can be the result of extreme temperatures, improper installation, poor ventilation or age.

5. GRIT IN THE GUTTER ON 

Asphalt shingles have grit or granules embedded in their surface, and these granules create a barrier between the sun and the shingle. It is normal for a bit of grit to loosen up and fall off (especially if the roof is brand new). However, if you notice much more than normal granules are beginning to collect in the gutters every fall, that may be a sign of a serious roof problem. Without the grift, the sun will bake the shingles and cause them to warp, cup or deteriorate. 

6. CRACKING SHINGLES

In some cases, it may be possible to visibly notice cracks sprawling across two or three shingles from the ground up. However, those are NOT cracks. They are actually tears that come from prolonged thermal expansion and contraction cycles. As the sun rises and begins to heat the roof, the shingles will expand. As the temperatures drop, they begin to contract. With time, these tiles will tear and become the prime location for leaks and structural damage.

7. SHINGLE PIECES SHOWING UP IN THE YARD

Shingles do not always fall off in full strips. For deteriorating roofs, it can be as typical to see small chunks of shingles in the yard, and it is not always easy to locate where they are coming from. Homeowners that notice small pieces of shingles in their yards after a few different windstorms should consider getting a closer inspection at their roof or call in a pro to inspect it. 

8. SAGGING ROOF

A sagging roof is one of the most telltale signs that it is time for a new installation. This most often occurs when there is a structural issue below the shingles, such as severe water damage or a broken rafter. Either case, a contractor will need to remove the shingles and plywood sheathing underneath to get to the bottom of the issue.

9. WATER DAMAGE

Apparent water damage inside the home is a pretty clear indicator that the roof is no longer being as effective as it should be. This damage could be the result of ice dams, compromised shingles, deteriorated flashing or poor installation techniques. Whatever the case may be, leaks aren’t resolved on their own, and homeowners should look into replacing or repairing their roof in short order. A leaky roof can lead to unwanted issues such as mold or pests like carpenter ants.

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