Replacing roofing shingles is a necessary but expensive home improvement task that most homeowners will face at least once in their lives. If they are not replaced in a timely manner, deteriorated or damaged roofing shingles can quickly endanger the value and structure of the home by allowing moisture to infiltrate the interior. In addition, the occupants may experience negative health issues caused by excessive humidity or exposure to mold if the roof has begun to leak.
While most homeowners want to have their shingled roofs replaced before damage from leaks can occur, they may be unsure of when the work should be performed. Homeowners in this position can use the following criteria to help them decide when to move forward with this important home improvement project.
Estimated or actual age
The first consideration when trying to decide when to schedule roof replacement is the estimated or actual age of the existing roofing shingles. While many roofing material manufacturers have made recent design improvements to improve the durability and lengthen the expected lifespan of their shingles, general roofing industry guidelines often suggest that existing roofing shingles should be considered for replacement after about two decades of use.
Homeowners who purchased their home with the existing shingles in place can use their seller's disclosure document or home inspection reports to help them determine the actual age of their roof. If these documents are unavailable or raise additional questions about the age, homeowners can choose to have their shingles professionally evaluated by an experienced roofing contractor to provide an estimate of both age and expected remaining lifespan.
Damage and deterioration
If the roof has experienced damage or deterioration beyond that associated with normal aging, homeowners may need to move forward with roof replacement well before their home's existing shingles reach the two decade mark. Damage related to storms, such as that caused by high winds, hailstones, and impacts from falling tree limbs and other debris, can tear or puncture the shingles. In addition, exposure to excessive wind and rain can cause damage to the granulated surface of the shingles, speeding up their deterioration rate.
Roofing shingles can also be subject to damage if organic matter like fallen leaves, acorns, and pollen are allowed to accumulate on the surface and trap moisture within their layers. The heat caused by the composting action of these materials quickly softens and weakens roofing shingles, causing them to need replacement far soon than their expected lifespan.
Homeowners who want to get accurate information to help them decide when they should schedule roof replacement can do so by having their roof inspected by a residential roofing contractor in their area. Contact a company like Zees Roofing and Construction to learn more.