Replacing your roof can be an expensive, inconvenient proposition, but paying for a roofing repair to gain a temporary fix can be at least as frustrating. How do you know when to repair your roof versus a complete replacement? S&T Metals has put together a short tutorial to help you to inspect your asphalt shingle roof and decide if a quick fix is a good option for you or if it may be time to consider a new roof.
Roofing Repair Inspection
We want to begin by inspecting the roof to get a better idea of the overall condition and locate any defects. You will want to inspect the shingles at the peak and around the edges in particular along with the rest of the roof.
Please do not climb on to your roof if you are not 100% comfortable and can do it safely. The pros at S&T Metals are always here to help and we will happy to perform the inspection for you.
Start looking at random shingles in groups of ten, including some at the ridge and at the edges of your roof. Within each set here are a few things that you want to be on the lookout for:
Broken or Cracked Shingles
Broken and missing singles will greatly compromise your roof’s ability to shed water and can be an entry point of water. The most common cause of broken shingles are wind or damage from falling limbs or hail.
You will often see small cracks near the edge however, significant cracking that extends more than 1/3 of the way through the shingle should be noted.
Loose or Broken Tabs
Determine if the shingle tabs are adhered to the shingles below them, or are they loose? If they’re not in place, they’re not protecting your home’s interior from moisture and can be a prime location for leaks to develop.
Shingles That are Buckling Curling or Blistered.
As asphalt shingles age, they tend to distort in shape, causing a buckling, curling or cupping appearance. Shingles that are exposed to excessive heat will sometimes form blisters. This creates a weak spot in the shingle that can become a good location for leaks to start. You should note any buckling, curling or blistered shingles.
Missing Shingle Granules
Over time granules will come loose and be carried away with rainwater or wind which is normal. When you see areas of shingles where the majority of the granules are missing this will expose the asphalt to abuse and potential damage from wind, rain and sun.
Flashings located around skylights, valleys, eaves, rakes, wall details, stacks, and chimneys are all subject to separation, lifting, and dried out caulking. The flashing details can lift and separate due to general expansion and contraction. Expansion and contraction will cause fasteners to become loose and the bottom-flashing flange to lift thus allowing water to enter.
Once you’ve inspected your entire roof you should count the total shingles in each of these categories. Next we’ll talk about what to do with these numbers.
Determining a Roofing Repair Versus Replacement:
Take a look at the total number of damaged shingles. If you have under one shingle per set average in a particular area, multiply that number by one. If you have an average of one shingle per set, multiply that number by five. If you have an average of two shingles per set with damage, multiply that number by ten. Finally, if you have more than two shingles per set in a category, multiply that number by 20. With six categories, that will leave you six numbers to add up. If they total more than 30, you’ll need to get your roof replaced ASAP. If it’s between 7-30, you have up to a year before the roof should be replaced, preferably with some significant repairs for higher numbers. If your total is 6 or less a few minor roofing repair should have your roof back in excellent condition. Beyond your shingles, what condition is the rest of your roof in? Be sure to check for roof penetrations and flashing to ensure your entire roof is in good shape.
Knowing when it’s time to replace your roof and when you can get by with a roofing repair will help you make an informed decision on what is best for you and your home. But what products do you need for the repairs or what new shingles should you go with for your new roof? The experienced pros at S&T Metals are always here to help you make the best decision.