Asphalt shingles are popular roofing materials among residential properties. Unfortunately, these shingles can fall victim to various hazards over the years. In some cases, asphalt shingles require only minor repairs. That said, in other cases, a full roof replacement is necessary. So how do you know when you need a new roof? First, look for obvious signs of damage. Use this list to identify the top five warning signs you need a new roof, particularly if your roof is made from asphalt shingles.
If you notice the shingles are cracking, buckling, tearing, or curling, you should consider replacing your roof. Rain, snow, hail, wind, humidity, and sunshine all work against your asphalt roof and cause the shingles to break down over time. Cracking, buckling, and curling can also indicate that your attic area is not properly ventilated. If you have little or no attic ventilation, the heat can get trapped in the attic area, causing your shingles to “bake”—not only from the direct sun but also from underneath too. Whatever the reason for the shingle damage, be sure to seek a replacement if the damage is too extensive for repairs, the roof is old, or you want to swap out the whole roof for a more sustainable material, such as metal. Fixing this issue quickly is crucial because moisture can seep into your home and wreak further havoc without enough coverage up top.
Another common hazard among asphalt shingles is when they go missing entirely. Asphalt shingles can fall off your roof during certain weather conditions due to aging or improper installation. As asphalt shingles age, they can become brittle and simply break off. The adhesive edge of an asphalt shingle plays an important role in preventing water and wind from getting up underneath the shingle. If the adhesive seal on the front edge breaks down, the shingles become susceptible to wind damage or allow wind-driven rain to get up underneath the shingle. As mentioned above, having all your shingles intact is integral to keeping moisture out of your attic.
Inspecting and cleaning out roof gutters and downspouts is something homeowners typically do during fall or spring. Whenever you carry out this maintenance, be on the lookout for shingle granules in your gutters. If you begin to see excessive granules or small pieces of the shingle in your gutters, it’s a clear sign your roofing materials may be reaching the end of their lifespan. While cleaning the gutters, also take a look at the shingles close to the gutter. If you are seeing minimal granule coverage or spots where you can see the actual fiberglass base of the shingle, it may be time to have a reputable roofing contractor come out to inspect your roof.
Not only can old age lead to asphalt granules falling into the gutter, but it can also be the culprit behind all the issues mentioned above. An asphalt roof begins to break down the moment the roof is exposed to the weather. The environment and surroundings will have a direct impact on the aging of the asphalt shingles. Extreme swings in temperature, severe sun exposure, or roofs heavily shaded by trees are just some of the examples that impact the aging process. To keep the cost of the shingles down, manufacturers have reduced the oil content in the asphalt shingles, replaced the heavy felt paper backing with a lightweight fiberglass, and are using mineral fillers to protect against the weather. These cost-effective changes have significantly reduced the lifespan of the asphalt shingle. Always keep track of how long your roof has been on your home. On average, asphalt shingles typically last 13–17 years and will most likely need to be replaced by year 20.
As mentioned earlier, broken or missing shingles allow moisture to seep inside your home. If you don’t notice or fix the issue soon enough, leaks can occur in your attic over a long period of time, which can promote mold and mildew growth. If you notice any leaks in the attic, take a closer look at your roof to determine if repairs or a full replacement are necessary. As with most issues, repairs might be possible, but you should still consider investing in stronger roof materials to prevent these issues from occurring frequently.
Now that you know the top five warning signs you need a new roof, particularly when you have asphalt shingles, you can address these issues as soon as they occur. If you want to update your roof to something stronger than asphalt shingles in an effort to minimize the issues above, consider investing in metal roofing. High-quality, expertly installed metal slate roof shingles are environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, low maintenance, impressively durable, and have a lifespan of at least 50 years without requiring repairs.