The lifespan of a roof, particularly shingled ones, is largely dictated by weather conditions. Around the 25-year mark, asphalt roofs often show signs of rapid deterioration. Symptoms like curling or cracking shingles, light peeking through roof boards, or outdated flashing can hint at the need for a replacement. Observing neighborhood roof replacements, especially in similarly aged homes, or finding loose granules in gutters may further justify a professional inspection. Regular roof check-ups, particularly as the roof ages, can preempt minor issues from escalating into costly repairs.
Your Roof is Almost 25 Years Old
When considering a new roof, it’s important to first of all understand that the most significant factor is the weather. Depending on where you live, shingle roofs can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years. Additionally, maintenance is also a significant contributing factor in the lifespan of a roof, and so is the quality of the shingles.
However, if we look at the average asphalt roof across different locations across America, deterioration becomes quite noticeable and rapid around 20 to 25 years after it is first installed. If you see signs of other problems with your roof towards the 25-year mark, it may be time to consider a roof replacement.
If you notice your neighbors are replacing their roofs, it may be beneficial to pay close attention. Most likely, your neighbours home were built during the same period as yours and have had to endure the same weather, and other factors similar to yours. So, if you notice that, it makes sense to at least have your roof inspected by a professional.
Curling and Cracking Shingles
Shingles that curl and crack are signs of weather damage. If you are noticing shingle damage to your roof, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with your roof. It just means that it’s aging, and will probably need replacement in the for-coming years ahead.
When it comes to curling, professionals classify these with two variations. “Cupping” is when the edges of the shingle begin to curl upwards, and will resemble the shape of a cup. “Clawing”, unlike cupping, is when the center begins to bulge upwards.
In both of these cases, the curling shingle creates an opportunity for water to get through and possibly cause a leak. If your roof is relatively new and you see just a few shingles curling, fear not, as these can just be replaced individually. But if you notice curled shingles spread around the roof, replacement may be inevitable.
Cracking is mostly the result of wind damage. Events, that may cause wind damage, like a severe storm, may be a cause to replace a section of damaged shingles. However, if the cracking is showing up all over the roof, it is probably reaching the end of its life. Similar to curling, cracking allows for water to penetrate the shingles and make its way to your decking and your attic. If you are uncertain, best to have a roof inspection and possible replacement before any serious damage affects your home, as if it is caught too late, and water does penetrate the home, the bill for fixing the issues may be a lot steeper.
Light Penetrating Through the Roof Boards
Get up into your attic during daylight hours, and simply look up. If you see any light penetrating the roof, you are in direct danger of a leak. There’s a good chance of serious conditions with your shingles if the damage has gotten to this point, but there could be other causes related.
If your attic feels humid, there is likely insufficient ventilation, which is a serious sign of concern. Poor ventilation doesn’t allow air to move freely under the roof, and may lead to warped decking and rotting shingles.
Flashing is a sheet of metal that is installed in the valleys where roof slopes connect, and around anything that creep into the roof, like a chimney for example. The flashing collects the flows of water that gather there and leads them into the getters. Flashing around chimneys and other openings help keep water from penetrating the roof in these delicate areas.
If your flashing seems a little outdated or shows signs of rust, it may be an indication that it is reaching the end of its life. Fortunately, Flashing can be replaced without replacing the whole roof, but if you notice flashing and roof damage, it is probable that your entire roof is ready for a replacement.
Holes in your roof is not a good thing. Luckily, asphalt shingles are completely covered in granules that protect the asphalt from the sun. Those granules, overtime with weathering, can start to come loose. When that happens, your roof can begin to fall apart rather quickly.
What are the causes of loose granules? Damage from hail debris or debris from a storm related event. When something impacts your roof, granules will often be knocked loose. Pinpoint small pocks where the granules have been knocked loose and if replaced on time it can protect you from more extensive repairs and costs. Tree branches hitting your roof may have the same effect of damage, and it would be wise to check the shingles if this happens.
Age is another cause for loose granules. With time, the weather can loosen the granules covering your roof. A good way to check this on your own without inspecting your whole roof is to check the gutters. If you see loose granules, they will be swept up in water draining from your roof and may end up in your gutters. If you see granules in the gutters all around your roof, you might have massive damage, and it would be a good idea to call in a professional to have a look. If your roof is newly installed, and these granules appear, there is no need to panic. Some granules will come off of newly installed shingles, and that’s completely normal.
Get Regular Inspections
No matter what condition your roof might be in, it is widely advised that you get your roof inspected once every three to four years. Towards the end of a roof’s life-expectancy, it’s advisable to have it inspected every two years so you can monitor and catch minor damage and aging before conditions worsen. Start an internet search below for a complimentary inspection, planning and suggestions for needed repairs