Asphalt shingle roofs are designed to last up to about 30 years, but that doesn't mean that all roofs make it that long. Many factors, including high wind, hail, and other destructive elements, can drastically shorten a roof's lifespan.
Once a roof has reached the end of its run, it should not remain in place, or serious damage can happen. That's why it's important to identify a roof in poor condition as soon as possible. Below are four signs and cues that your roof may be in need of replacement.
1. Cracked or Curling Shingles
One sign your roof may need replacement is the presence of cracked or curling shingles. Roofing shingles are essentially sandwiches made from layers of asphalt and fiberglass, and if excessive drying, heat, or other negative environmental factors overtake the shingles, cracking, or curling could be the result.
Cracked shingles are detrimental since they can permit moisture to penetrate and pass into the roof decking. In addition, cracked shingles begin to pull away from roofing nails and create ever-expanding fissures. In the same way, curling is also problematic since it leaves the edges of shingles vulnerable and wide open for water penetration.
2. Visible Gaps or Light Inside Attic
A simple light test can indicate whether or not your roof may need replacing. This test is conducted by entering your attic on a sunny day, then turning off any lights and blocking any windows, vents or other openings.
Allow your eyes to adjust to the darkened conditions, then begin to visually scan the underside of the roof deck for signs of light, especially where roofing nails penetrate the plywood. Any visible light is a sign of possible shingle damage or other concerns. Keep in mind that water can enter the same openings that light can pass through, so don't delay contacting a roof installer.
3. Roof Granule Loss
A possible indicator that your roof is in trouble is an increase in the amount of visible roof granules. On the very top of asphalt shingles lies a layer of finely-crushed rock or ceramic particles. This layer may be thin, but its presence is highly important to maintain a tight roof.
Without the granules, the underlying asphalt becomes fully exposed and is unable to withstand sunlight, ice, rain and other forces of nature.
The appearance of tiny, sand-like particles in your gutters or on the ground next to your home indicates the shingles are shedding their topmost protective layer. You can expect some granule loss; however, if there are enough granules that you can scoop with a teaspoon, you will need a roofer to evaluate your home.
If you aren't in a position to evaluate gutters or the area around your home due to landscaping or other limiting factors, you can inspect the shingles themselves using a pair of binoculars. Look for dark areas where granule loss has occurred; this will be particularly clear after a severe hail storm, for example, where each hailstone knocked loose substantial amounts of granules.
4. Missing Shingles Missing shingles is a clear sign your roof is in need of replacement or repair. Torn out shingles indicates they are losing their strength and are no longer able to be held by the roofing nails. Don't delay in seeking help if you find missing shingles, as leaks will occur quickly in areas with no coverage. The reality is your home's roof can't afford even one missing shingle.
If you have concerns about your roof and live in the Austin, Texas area, be sure to contact Top Dog Roofing for help. Our team of professionals is ready to assist in getting your roof back in shape and protecting your home from loss.