Do you know how old your roof is? If not, it would be a good idea to check. When weather damage is not a factor, most roofs last for decades. However, don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security. Regardless of your roof’s age, be careful you don’t overlook small warning signs. Ignoring signs of damage and wear can lead to some serious structural problems for your home.
Let’s take a brief look at how long your roofing material should last, how weather affects it, and warning signs to look for.
The most common materials used in home roofing are asphalt or composite shingles. On average, these will last about 20 years with premium brands going up to 50. Architectural asphalt shingles can go an average of 30 years because they are thicker.
Metals roofs are even better. These can last anywhere from 40 to 80 years. Have a slate roof? These can last more than 100 years.
No matter how durable the materials, any surface will sustain damage if the conditions are severe. High winds can push up shingles on their edges or potentially pull them off altogether. If a shingle does blow off, the ones around the new gap will become vulnerable. Not only can wind damage the shingles themselves, it can cause secondary damage. Wind can blow down tree branches, loosen chimney bricks, blow over satellite receivers – all causing damage.
Hail is perhaps the worst weather related event that can occur to a roof. In a hailstorm, hard, icy balls can easily dent metal, crack tiles, and break away the protective granules on asphalt shingles. Most materials can resist smaller hailstones, but in the event of a hailstorm, you should check for signs of damage after the storm blows through.
Snow and ice usually do not have any lasting effects on shingles except for heavy conditions which can cause shingles to crack. Be especially vigilant when it comes to post snow and ice events. Melting snow can seep under your shingles, refreeze, and cause a condition called ice dams. The resulting freezing and thawing pattern can quickly lead to broken shingles and interior water damage.
Suffice it to say you should regularly inspect your roof for signs of age and wear. This is particularly important after a severe weather event. Look for shingles that are curling or have buckled from below. Note any missing or cracked pieces. Also check your gutters for granules. This is an indicator that the asphalt is wearing off your shingles. Another key indicator of a developing problem is mold, fungus, and moss.
Be sure to do some inspections of the interior of your home. Look for water spots in your attic and on interior walls. These are sure signs of shingle issues that are allowing water to seep into your home. If you see damage during your inspections, do not panic. This does not necessarily mean you are looking at having to do an entire roof replacement. No matter what the situation, Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, Inc. is here to help.