Nothing is more important to your house than keeping your roof in good condition. It protects from rain, snow, sun and wind. Repairing and replacing shingles goes with the territory in maintaining your roof. Shingles have a built-in expiration date and installing fresh shingles at the right time will help prevent your roof from developing leaks or other serious problems.
How can you tell if your asphalt roof needs maintenance? Look for these signs when you make a closer inspection of your shingles:
Lifting shingles: Shingles must stay flat and flush with other shingles or it can lead to water leaks. In a short time, leaks can cause extensive damage to wood beams and other parts of the roof structure. Shingle lifting can be caused by strong winds, debris accumulation or improper nailing.
Curling shingles: Older roofs are often plagued with shingles that curl. Some shingles curl upward, others curl downward. A curl can start from any point on a shingle. Curling is usually caused when excess moisture becomes trapped under shingles or if the vents on your roof are not working properly. Curled shingles can easily break and cause roof leaks to form.
Granule loss: Asphalt shingles are coated with granules. As the shingles age, granules become loose and will wash away in runoff created by rain or melting snow. These will accumulate in gutters and under downspouts. Losing granules can leave bald spots on the shingles and cause the exposed asphalt to rapidly deteriorate.
Rips, tears or punctures: Any shingle is at risk to become ripped, torn or punctured at some point in time. These problems can be caused by strong winds, storm damage, falling debris or heavy foot traffic. Ripped, torn or punctured shingles must be replaced immediately. Leaks will form in those areas and weaken the roof in those spots.
Blistering shingles: Some shingles can develop bumps that resemble blisters when they are first manufactured. These blisters are not simply a cosmetic problem. Blisters expose the asphalt matting below the granules and reduce the life of the roof.
If you find any of these problems, it is time to replace your shingles and make other roof repairs as necessary. When you replace asphalt shingles, you can help them last longer by coating the new shingles with a polyvinyl coating. This makes the shingles more water resistant and enhances their ability to weather rain, snow and harsh storms.
Beyond replacing shingles, clear any debris from gutters and drains that can cause water to accumulate and damage the new shingles. Taking these simple steps leads to a longer lasting roof for your home.