Signs That Your Asphalt Roofing Shingles Need To Be Replaced Instead Of Repaired


You may know that you can repair certain types of asphalt shingle roofing damage. However, in some cases it is best to complete a roof replacement instead of a repair. If your roof is over 15 years old, then it very likely needs to be replaced since it is reaching its full life expectancy. If your roof is only 10 or 12 years old, then it may be a little bit more difficult to decide on a repair or a replacement. You can typically make this decision based on the damage you see across the shingles. Keep reading to learn of some signs that your shingles cannot be repaired and a replacement is needed.

Sun Damaged Shingles

Your roof is obviously subjected to the sun's strong rays each and every day. Your shingles are made to remain strong against the sun in several different ways. Shingles are constructed with granules, which are small rocks made out of ceramic materials. The granules are covered in a reflective paint that forces the sun's rays to bounce off the roof. These granules succumb to high winds, rain, snow, and ice and start to fall off over time. When this happens, you will notice dark spots on the shingles and loose granules in your gutter's downspouts. 

Once the granules start to break off the shingles, the shingles themselves are exposed to the sun. The base or mat of the shingles will then start to degrade. The bitumen, which is an oil-based product that impregnates each shingle will dry out. This will leave the mat dry and brittle. When this happens, the shingles will rip, tear, and degrade. They will no longer be pliable or flexible and large pieces of the shingles will start to break away from the roof.

If you notice rips, tears, and shingle curling, then these are signs of sun damage. However, if the damage is not widespread, then it may be caused by weather damage as well. You will need to inspect the shingles more closely. Inspect the roof, find the damaged shingles, and gently pull on the crack or rip. If the shingle starts to pull apart, then the shingles are too sun damaged to be repaired.

If the shingles seem to remain mostly intact, then you can try to fix the shingles with roofing cement. Place a generous bead of the material over cracks or under curls. Wait 24 hours for the cement to cure. If the curl remains flat against the roof or if the tear area stays intact, then shingle repair is possible. If the shingles resist your repair efforts, then a full roof replacement should be scheduled. 

Water Damaged Shingles

Water is another thing that can damage shingles to the point that your entire roof needs to be replaced. You already know that shingles can become dry when they are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. When the bitumen dries out, then the water that hits the roof can penetrate the mat base of the shingles.

This means that the fiberglass or paper material that makes up the shingle base can start to absorb a great deal of water. When this happens, you will see some telltale signs of water damage. The shingle material will start to become quite thick and appear lumpy. The different layers of the mat will pull apart from one another as well and spaces will start to appear within the shingle. The shingle may appear wavy and uneven at this time. 

You may start to see mold developing on your roof as the shingles allow water to remain in direct contact with the roof at all times. 

If you see the signs of water damaged shingles, then a new roof installation should be scheduled as soon as possible. The roofing felt and the plywood substrate are likely to deteriorate significantly if they are exposed to water for too long. For more information and help with diagnosing your roof problems, contact a residential roofing professional.


8 May 2017

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