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When is it Time for New Roof Shingles?

Over 90 % of the homes in America are roofed using asphalt shingles. Shingles are used because they proved the best combination of low cost, appearance and durability. Further shingles are more adaptive to unique architectural conditions such as small eyebrow dormers and curved roofs. Shingles also provide an escalating scale of price and performance such that you can dramatically increase the life of a new shingle roof with a minimum of additional cost. Finally, with the number of manufacturers and each color selection you have an almost unlimited choice of colors to satisfy your aesthetic requirements.

The question than is when do I need to replace my roof. Based upon the shingle installed on your home it will last from 15 to 30 years. Only recently have some manufacturers begun to offer lifetime warranties on shingles so there expected life remains unproven. With the never ending existence of nature’s elements (wind, rain, ultra-violet rays of the sun) your roof is under constant attack.

The most obvious sign that your house needs a new roof is the appearance of roof leaks. As the roof ages it will become less effective at doing its job of keeping your home watertight. However, it is important to note that leaks are not a guarantee that your roof needs to be replaced. It is equally possible that some penetration (chimney, skylight, plumbing vent pipe or a vent) has opened up and a simple repair will solve the problem and eliminate the leak.

broken roof shinglesThe signs which are a sure indication that you should be looking to replace your roof in the immediate future are the following: pieces of broken shingles on the ground after storms. As the roof ages the shingles become more and more brittle. The winds that accompany a storm will break off pieces of the shingles and they will end up on the ground.

A second sign that you may need a new roof is to see excessive amounts of granules in your gutters. When you are cleaning out your gutters you should see some granules because with the constant rain water running over the top of your shingle some will be dislodged and flow into your gutter. However, with age there will be more and more granules and you will begin to see bare spots on the shingles.

Another sign of your roofs age will be to begin to see the shingles curling or “cupping”. As a shingle ages the asphalt based ingredients in the shingle begin to evaporate out of the shingle. These petroleum elements provide the shingle with its elasticity so without them the shingle will begin to shrink which makes them curl. These are the shingles most likely to break in the storms and end up on your lawn or in your garden.
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