The Life Cycle of a Roofing Shingle
When your new roof was installed, friends and neighbors may have remarked how it enhanced the beauty of your home. However, research indicates that aging begins soon after the shingles are installed and progresses rapidly during the initial curing phase of its life cycle. During this stage, granule loss may occur, small blisters may develop, or the shingles may curl slightly at their edges. You may even notice that this curling is more pronounced during cold weather and the shingles may lie flat as temperatures rise. The good news, however, is that after this curing stage, the shingles enter a long period of slow aging, which lasts for the major portion of the shingle’s natural life.
During the “mid-life” period, aging continues at a much slower rate. The cracking or granule loss still occurs but does not increase at a noticeable rate. Only after this long period of mid-life does the aging process begin to accelerate once again as the shingles enter their declining years. It’s during this period that homeowners normally think about a roof replacement.
Depending upon the style of shingle, the normal weathering characteristics described earlier may be a sign of more serious problems. For example, cracks across a typical three-tab shingle may be a sign of a weak reinforcement. This type of cracking threatens the waterproofing integrity of the roof and needs to be addressed immediately.
For the appliqué-style shingle, on the other hand, cracks that are restricted to the unreinforced decorative appliqué are the result of normal weathering and do not compromise the long-term performance of the roof system.
Granule Loss Exposing Asphalt
Large areas of granule loss that expose the underlying asphalt place the shingle at risk of premature failure because UV rays can now get to the asphalt layer. In situations in which hail has knocked off large areas of granules, you can expect the life of your shingles to be appreciably reduced due to the effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun and should be investigated by your homeowner’s insurance carrier. Shingles with open blisters in which the asphalt becomes visible are also at greater risk for premature failure.
Although your shingles may exhibit signs of cracking and balding, this does not indicate that your shingles are defective. There are many variables beyond the manufacturer’s control which can contribute to the premature failure of the roofing shingles.
Hopefully, this can help you identify normal aging characteristics of asphalt roofing shingles and become a more informed homeowner. Take the time to determine if the conditions you have observed are serious enough to require immediate action. Should such problems occur, please contact a Minnesota roofing contractor for a review of your situation and possible courses of action.
Not Sure? Call a Roofing Contractor!
Get Help From A Minnesota Residential Roofing Contractor
If you notice any of the problems laid out here, a professional who knows how to install and repair roofing can conduct a full inspection. It will cost to be sure but if you can discover and repair the roof damage before it becomes too serious, you can get away with a simple repair job rather than having to replace your entire roof.
A professional Minnesota roofer can inspect your shingles and let you know if they can stay, or if they have to go. The ultimate goal is to provide you with a secure, sturdy roof that can last for decades. Even if you plan to tackle a roof replacement project yourself, invest in a visit from a good roofing contractor to make certain you are on the right track.
Hopefully, this can help you identify normal aging characteristics of asphalt roofing shingles and become a more informed homeowner. Take the time to determine if the conditions you have observed are serious enough to require immediate action. Should such problems occur, please contact a Minnesota residential roofing contractor for a review of your situation and possible courses of action.