Weathering is a natural process through which a roofing product ages or deteriorates. The rate of weathering depends on climate: exposure over time to sunlight, rainfall, and even the effects of hail and wind. Weathering deterioration) will occur in properly manufactured shingles, but variations in the shingle materials caused by the manufacturing process can result in accelerated or premature deterioration. Common weathering anomalies include shrinkage, cupping, curling, granule loss, delamination, algae or lichen growth, cracking, and tearing.
Weathering occurs as shingles are exposed to the elements. The originally rectangular tabs of these organic shingles became trapezoidal due to net shrinkage induced by weathering. Composition shingles age as they bake in the sun. Weathering anomalies embrittles the asphalt, which results in the organic shingles displaying cupping and clawing (downward curling). The volatiles literally get cooked out in the asphalt, followed by wetting of the organic mat along the perimeter.
75% of roofs in the United States are asphalt roofs. While asphalt roofs are not the best product, they are the least expensive. We'll go over alternatives to asphalt roofs in a different article, but for now lets delve into the 7 signs you should invest in a full roof inspection.
As the homeowner, when you move into your home, it's difficult to get transparent information from the previous homeowner, because the previous owner is not motivated to disclose how old the roof really is. Since you might not have exact dates of roof installation, you can use signs of wear and tear as the starting point in assessing the condition of your roof.
Warranties can help bring you piece-of-mind, but if roofing contractors can void the shingle manufacturer's warranty by not using approved installation methods and approved products (adhesives, vents, ice & water barriers, etc..). Hire a roofing contractor that has great customer service. Don't hire one based on price, alone.
Here is what we do know from working on so many types of roofs: asphalt roofs begin to break down within 5 - 6 years of initial installation.
1. Roof Shingle Separation From Adhesive:
The first sign of wear becomes evident with roof shingle separation. This occurs because the adhesive used was low grade or not applied according to specification. When the roof asphalt shingles separate from the adhesive, the shingles flap in the wind and begin to affect a larger sections of the roof.
2. Roof Shingle Curling:
Signs of wear and tear on your roof don't always happen because of defective shingles. Curling is a natural occurrence and it's why asphalt is not the best type of roof to install. It's normal for asphalt roof shingles to shrink and cause curling on your roof. Exposure to extreme differences in weather between summer and winter months dries out and causes your asphalt roof shingles to curl upward. Houston is a great example of these temperature extremes. In February 2021, Houston roofs were damaged because of the extreme difference between Summer 2020 and the catastrophic winter storm of February 2021. Temperatures reached 10 degrees fahrenheit.
3. Roof Shingle Cracking:
While minor cracks may not be noticeable from the ground, you will see the asphalt shingle crack while performing a roof inspection. Hot temperatures depletes protective asphalt shingle oils and cause cracking. The quality of the protective layers underneath the shingle become very important, at this point. Cracks penetrating the fiberglass or organic mat need to be fixed immediately to prevent damage to the inside of your home. Water damage can occur in your attic for a while before you notice it. Please don't let any damage accumulate because the insurance company will deny claims due negligence.
4. Roof Shingle Blistering:
Blisters on asphalt shingles can be prevented. Blisters are small (but vary in size), circular raised areas on shingles. These blisters are caused by under-ventilated attics or from the roofing contractor's excessive use of plastic cement. Keep an eye on these problems and get a roof inspection because blisters can be a sign that other problems will pop up soon. This is visible damage, but the question is: what other problems are lurking underneath that are not visible. Blisters can remain closed for a while, but please get this repaired soon.
5. Algae Stains:
Moist, humid areas create problems for homeowners when an unkept roof gets algae. Asphalt roof shingle manufacturers don't like to discuss algae in their warranty. You should have your roof cleaned once a year. Homeowners are surprised to find out roof cleaning service even exists. Algae shows up on your roof as dark brown or black patches. If you have a dark colored roof, it might even look as discoloration run-off on your roof. Asphalt shingles in humid conditions are almost guaranteed to get algae unless you take frequent preventive measures. There are other roof options that have algae language within their warranty. F-Wave REVIA manufactures their shingles with algae resistant technology.
6. Granule Loss:
Granule loss occurs everyday with asphalt roof shingles. This is why asphalt is not what I recommend for your roof. Asphalt is common in the United States because it is the least costly of all of the choices. Granules fall from the shingle just by turning it upside down. Granules continue to fall off with every instance of rain, with every bird that gets on it, and it is so sensitive that you shouldn't even stand on your roof. Most of the time, when we show homeowners the choices of roof technology and they are handling the sample shingles, they notice immediately the mess that the granules make on the table and the floor. They come to the conclusion themselves that asphalt is not very good for the longevity of their investment of their roof.
7. Asphalt Roof Buckling:
Roof buckling is the biggest red flag for homeowners that their roof cannot be ignored anymore. Visible roof buckling guarantees there are leaks inside the home. Lack of adequate attic ventilation is the catalyst that accelerates this roof problem because the moisture destroys the decking materials. The moisture expands and moves the wood deck which in turn buckle the shingles. The high quality products we use state in their literature that in order to fulfill the requirements of the warranty, specific vents, adhesives, ice and water barriers, etc.. must be installed. That means that roofing contractors that cut corners and don't offer you transparency will void your warranty by not using the approved products. Certain products require a specific number of nails per shingle. There are many details to quality of installation that homeowners aren't aware of before choosing a contractor.
Excessive heat and ultraviolet rays accelerate the aging of your roof. A thorough roof inspection is the first step in roof maintenance. The second step would be to sign up for a yearly roof cleaning service. The roof cleaners will help monitor your roof's wear and tear without the risk of you getting up on the roof and potentially getting hurt.
Please keep in mind a hot day of 90 degrees outside raises the asphalt roof temperature from 140 up to 160 degrees. Asphalt roofs do not insulate, they attract heat.
Don't hesitate to ask us any roofing questions you might have. We are here to help you.