A Little Knowledge Can Save You Money
While there is no substitute for the opinion of an experienced professional, having a little knowledge about what to look for will help you make an informed choice about what action to take.
No one can predict exactly when a roof will start to fail and leak, but there are signs you can look for that show it’s time to start thinking about replacement:
Missing Granules from the Asphalt
Missing granules: viewed from the ground this looks like dark patches (or lighter patches if the shingles are black). What you are looking at are patches on the shingles where the granules have fallen off.You will also notice large amounts of granules in the gutters when you clean them. The granules themselves are not responsible for waterproofing so if they are missing you won’t necessarily get leaks, but the granules protect the asphalt in the shingle from being damaged by the UV rays of the sun. So once they go, the shingles will wear out faster.
Curling: This is a result of the drying and shrinking of the asphalt in the shingles. There is no going back from this and it means that the shingles are becoming brittle and will begin to blow off in high winds. If this is widespread on your roof then it is a definite sign that it is getting to the end of its life.
Moss on a Shingle Roof
Abundant Moss: Moss growth on shingles doesn’t necessarily mean that shingles are old or worn out, particularly if it is only in one area. Often it can be simply cleaned
However, if the growth is widespread and abundant then it will begin to damage the shingles. It can get under the shingles and start to lift them up. If moss is taken care of early, then it won’t affect the roof. But if it is left to grow unchecked it will damage and prematurely shorten the life of a roof.
How Old is Your Shingle Roof?
Age: This is one important factor to consider when deciding if you need a simple roof repair or a full roof replacement. It is an unfortunate fact that the older styles of asphalt shingles do not last as long as their warranties would indicate.
In my experience most old-style asphalt roofs start to fail at around 14 years. If your roof is between 18 – 20 years old then you have attained a good amount of life out of it, and it is probably time to replace it. But this factor needs to be considered along with the other points on the list. If your roof is 20 years old but shows no other signs of wear and tear, then good! Keep going and see how much life you can get out of it!
Asphalt Shingles Blown Off the Roof
Shingles in the yard! This is a definite sign of the end!
It means that shingles have dried, curled, and cracked. Obviously, if the shingles are in your yard then they aren’t on your roof! So when you start to see this it is time to call the professionals.
Use these points to make your own evaluation of your roof. If you see one or more of these happening then it is time to call in the professionals for an evaluation. Being proactive can save you a lot of money in the long run by avoiding very expensive water damage repairs.