Do I need to replace my roof shingles? This is a question we often receive from prospective clients. Every type of shingle has an expected lifespan that can range from 15 to 100+ years depending on the material. Asphalt shingles are the cheapest to install and have the shortest expected lifespan. On the other hand, slate shingles are more expensive but will outlive a homeowner if proper care has been taken.
Just because a material has an expected lifespan does not necessarily dictate if a replacement is needed. There are a variety of factors that lead to premature wear both internally and externally. In a perfect world, shingles would last beyond these time frames, but that is never possible.
So, what are the factors that determine if a roof shingle replacement is necessary? We will dive into the most common, as well as things you can do as a homeowner to ensure the best health for your roofing system.
Is Your Roof Leaking?
A leaking roof is the most obvious factor that necessitates some form of shingle replacement. Not all leaks require a full replacement, and some can be patched with a roof leak repair. Contractors will take into account how large the leak is, its location, as well as the roof age when determining the proper next steps. Leaks related to damage can often be fixed via repair, whereas leaks due to age related shingle failure will need to be replaced. Patching old roofs traditionally has poor outcomes. This is due to newer shingles being stronger than their older counterparts. These areas of strength can stress older areas and create a cycle of damage. When this occurs, it is often less expensive and much easier to just choose a replacement.
Are Shingles Falling Off?
Unless wind is present, it is uncommon for healthy shingles to just fall off a roof. If you noticed shingles are leaving your roof for no reason, this could be an indicator it is time for a shingle replacement. As shingles age, especially asphalt, they become more brittle. Small storms can easily decimate an older roof, as well as debris.
What Does the Roof’s Color Look Like?
While roof algae and moss growth can be fixed early, large patches indicate excess moisture. This is often found when a roof is in need of a replacement. Excess moisture indicates the roof is not shedding water properly. When this happens, shingles can become waterlogged which increases the chances of mold and rot into the roof deck below.
Roof Maintenance Staves of Replacement Needs
Many details exist to properly maintain your roof, which helps ensure the best lifespan for your roof. Simply put, debris causes damage. To prevent leaks from occurring homeowners should ensure they regularly clear their roofing system of larger branches. Following this, overhanging branches also pose serious threats. Not only can they drop larger pieces of damaging debris, but they also block the sun. In the shade, shingles cannot properly dry. This leads to algae growth which further weakens shingles.
Cleaning algae and moss growths is another important step in ensuring proper roof health. While we do not encourage homeowners to climb on their roofs, there are still steps that can be taken. Most home improvement stores sell washes for roofing systems that weaken the hold algae has. One thing to remember is not to use anything coarse to scrub. This will remove granules from the shingles and further weaken the system.
If you’re in need of a roof shingle replacement in the greater Boston area, our knowledgeable sales staff is standing by to help make the process as smooth as possible. We also specialize in roof repair if that is what you may need.