Do you need a new roof?
Do you need a new Roof?
Seven Signs that your asphalt shingles may need to be replaced.
Your home is a significant investment and it needs to be protected. The roof is the most critical component of the building envelope in shielding your home from the weather. It is important to maintain your roof and repair or replace it when necessary.
Many homeowners assume that if their roof isn’t leaking it is in good shape, but this just isn’t the case. How do you know if your roof is in good shape? Does your roof need repaired or replaced?
Here are the roof issues to look for before they become problems.
- Curling Shingles
Curling asphalt shingles are a sign of both an aging roof and excessive attic heat. Shingles can curl in two ways: cupping, which happens when the edges of the shingle tabs turn upward, and clawing, which is when the edges of the shingle tabs stay flat and the middle starts to twist up. Curling shingles occur predominantly on the west and south roof exposures, where the shingles get more direct heat from the sun, and in valleys where the shingles over lap. Curling also occurs on sections of roofs where the attics have poor air flow, such as low-slope roofs, areas above vaulted ceilings and dormers. In all these cases, the curling indicates that the sealant strips between the layers of shingles is failing and the top layer of shingles is releasing from the shingles beneath them. Curling shingles makes the roof susceptible to wind up lift, ice damage and leaking.
Curling shingles are a strong indicator that the roofing system is at the end of its lifespan and in need of replacement.
- Missing Shingles
Missing shingles are easy to spot, and are normally the result excessive wind, a faulty sealing strip or physical damage. Missing and broken shingles will diminish a roof systems ability to shed water and are often the entry point of a leak.
If the shingles are relatively new, they can often be repaired. However, missing shingles can also indicate issues with the installation. On a newer roof, a significant number of shingle blow offs could indicate that a short cut was taken, and too few nails where us to install the shingles. On older roofs, missing shingles usually indicate failing tab adhesion and the end the of the roof systems lifespan.
In either case the roof should be inspected to determine if the roof can be repaired or if a replacement is required.
- Cracked Shingles
Cracked shingles are usually the result of wind up lift or physical damage, which typically shows as a horizontal break in the shingle. Shingle tearing can also be caused by thermal expansion and contraction of the shingle. In this case the breakage can show as both vertical and horizontal lines, or as a spider web. Thermal cracking is more prevalent in regions that experience severe temperature changes, and on homes that have excessive attic heat, due to inadequate ventilation. If the cracking is isolated the shingles can usually be replaced, but if the cracking is throughout the roof, it is usually time for replacement.
Cracked Shingles – Thermal Shingle Tearing and Wind Damaged Shingles
- Blistered Shingles
Shingle blistering occurs when the granule layer of the shingle bubbles up and breaks off, much like a blister in your skin. It appears as raised bubbles on the surface of the shingles or small circular dips that penetrate into the asphalt. It is a common problem with asphalt shingles, and can be attributed to two factors, trapped moisture and gases in the shingles and excessively hot attics. Moisture and gases that are trapped in the shingles during the manufacturing process try to evaporate after the shingles are installed in the sun, causing the granules to blister up. A poorly ventilated attic which becomes excessively hot can also cause shingles to blister. The extent of the damage often determines if the shingles can be repaired or if they will need replaced.
- Granule Loss
The granules on your roof shingles have many benefits. They add color, reflect UV rays, and resist fire. Over time, the granules come off due to weathering and daily heat exposure. Physical damage can also cause bare spots and a loss of granules. When the protective granules of a shingle are lost the shingles begin to harden from heat and sun exposure. The loss of granules will accelerate the shingle aging and can lead to a roof failure. When you clean your gutters, always check that there is not an excessive amount of granules and that your roofing shingles are not balding. If the asphalt shingles on your roof have relatively large bare patches where the granules have eroded away and exposed the underlying black asphalt to the elements, you will need to replace any damaged shingles. If the problem isn’t limited to just a few shingles, it may well be time for a roof replacement.
Missing Granules Granules in the Gutter
- Water spots on the ceiling
Perhaps the most obvious clue that you have an issue with your roof is seeing water in your home. Water stains on the ceiling are usually a sign of a roof leak. Roof leaks can be caused by several different things and can be tricky to pinpoint. A thorough inspections is often required to determine the source of the leak and how to fix it.
Ceiling water stains
- Roof Age
The age of the asphalt shingles on your home is a good indicator of whether a roofing issue can be repaired, or if the roof shingles will need to be replaced. In the past, roof shingles where predominantly made from felt paper and bitumen, referred to as organic asphalt shingles. They where made in three-tab, interlocking, and architectural styles, and had an expected 20 to 25-year lifespan. Today most shingles are made from fibreglass and modified bitumen, fibreglass asphalt shingles. They are expected to last between 35 and 50 years, depending on the shingle style and grade. If you have an issue and the roof is relatively new, a repair is often an acceptable and economic option. However, in some cases if the shingles are old or the styles and colors are not available, a roof replacement will be required.
If you live in a community where the houses are the same age, and your neighbors are all starting to replace their roofs, that could be a sign that you should do the same.
Old asphalt shingles
A roof can naturally reach the end of its useful life without experiencing a roof failure. It just looks old and worn. If replacing an old roof is delayed, however, it could result in bigger problems down the road. So watch for the warning signs to be sure to give yourself plenty of time to add the project to your TO DO list. If your roof has any of the signs above it time to get in touch with a professional.
At SHAW Renovation & Construction we know your home is a significant investment and is why we offer free roof inspections. We are a family-owned company that has been serving Calgary for over 30-year. We strive to provide the highest level of workmanship and customer satisfaction.
Call us at 403.233.9367 or visit www.shawconstruction.ca to set up a free roof inspection!