When to Replace Your Roof Shingles

damaged shingle roof

Most homeowners don’t think about roof shingles and flashing every day. These are things that only come to mind when something is wrong, like a leak in the ceiling. Unfortunately, by then, the damage is done, and preventive maintenance is too late. The average homeowner doesn’t realize that if they see the roof shingles are lifting in places, then is the time to contact a professional roofing contractor.

While we all know that a complete roofing job can be expensive, making minor replacements of a few shingles isn’t as expensive. The labor and the individual replacement, roof shingles cost less than when doing a complete roofing job. While you can research “roof shingles: how to install them yourself”, the job does have an element of danger, such as climbing ladders, falling through the roof, or worse, off the roof. Hiring a professional contractor is the best and safest way to have lifted or missing shingles replaced or a complete roofing job done.

How Do I Know if My Roof Shingles Are Bad?

Just like your HVAC system, your roof needs your attention regularly. Periodic walks around your home, look for signs of damaged or missing roof shingles. In these areas, water can penetrate to the underlayment and decking, which will lead to rot, then it moves on into the attic and further.

If you notice curled, loose, torn roof shingles, or see uneven shingle lines, or the roof appears to sag, chances are the underlayment and decking have already started rotting.

How Do You Know If Your Roof Needs Replacing?

Depending on the area where you live, a roof may need replacing after a particularly heavy spring storm season. The hail and high winds can do damage to roof shingles that are not always visible from the ground. As such, it is recommended to have your roof checked by a professional roofing contractor. Most will do complimentary roof inspections and estimates.

Other times a roof may need replacing simply because it has reached its life expectancy, even though it is still providing a level of protection. Simply because your roof looks good, this doesn’t mean it isn’t worn out from climate and environment. Some indicators that it may be time for a new roof are:

  • Cupped or curled roof shingles
  • Bald spots on roof shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Age of roof (20 years+) 
  • Old and worn look
  • Roofing jobs in the neighborhood
  • Dark black or green streaks
  • borne algae cause dark streaks
  • Algae, lichen, moss growing on the roof shingles

What Type of Roof Shingles Are Best?

Asphalt roof shingles are popular for several reasons:

  • They blend easily with any house
  • They have extensive longevity
  • They are reasonably priced
  • They are easy to install

However, today, specialty roofing is trending with the use of materials like metal, slate, or tile. These are the more expensive roofing materials, but they do have a different look and can last longer than the asphalt roof shingles.

Materials for roofing shingles vary from region to region, such as in the Southwest part of the United States, where the heat and sun are intense, housing styles are typically Mediterranean, the tile roofing is popular. And in the Northeast, the style of houses ranges from Gothic to Victorian, they typically have slate roofing as was common in the 1800s. Across the country, metal roofing is found, especially in the countryside and rural areas.

What Are the Longest Lasting Roof Shingles?

When it comes to the longevity of roof shingles, slate shingles are known to be the longest-lasting materials. There are homes and other structures built in the 1800s and their slate shingled roofs are still intact.  Slate is a natural rock and is mined then cut into shingles, it is better able to withstand various climates. Additional Benefits Slate Roof Shingles Offer:

  • Unique appearance
  • Resists water absorption
  • Holds up in freezing temperatures
  • Strong and won’t damage easily in hail or high winds

On the negative side of slate roof shingles, they are expensive in comparison with other roofing materials. If slate roofing shingles get damaged, finding an experienced contractor to repair them can be challenging, and expensive. Slate roofing is a heavy material and should not be installed until an engineering inspection has been completed. The projected statistics by industry standards for other roof shingles are as follows:

  • Asphalt roof shingles – Average is 20 years for the average quality shingle and high-quality asphalt roof shingles can last up to 50 years.
  • Architectural asphalt roof shingles – The average lifespan of these shingles is between 25 years and 30 years.
  • Wood roof shingles and shakes – Average life span of wood roof shingles and shakes is estimated at 20 years or longer depending on weather conditions.
  • Metal Roofing – The life expectancy of this type of roofing can be at least 40 years and for as long as 80 years.
  • Clay Roof Tiles, Concrete Roof Tiles – These are both durable roofing materials and can offer a life expectancy of up to 100 years. Like slate roof shingles, they are a heavy material and an engineering inspection should be conducted before installing.  
new shingle roof

How Long Does a 30-Year Roof Really Last?

A big misconception in the roofing industry may be the longevity of 30-year asphalt roof shingles. And even though manufacturers are aware that their products do not last as the stated warranty, the call-backs are minimal to none.

30-year roof shingles can be expected to last 25 years at the most, based on climate and environmental exposure. If 30-year roof shingles are neglected meaning periodic roof cleaning is not performed or a properly installed gutter system is not used, 15 years is the maximum life expectancy.

Roofing is a necessary part of a structure. It protects the contents and occupants as well as holds the walls up. Because it has such a tremendous responsibility, it is an expensive part of a home or any structure and maintenance is necessary to keep it in healthy condition. When there is any indication of issues with the roofing shingles, prompt attention should be given to avoid having any future issues that could be more expensive.

Want to get started on your roofing replacement needs in Georgia, South Carolina & Florida, GA? RoofCrafters is the one to call for new shingles. Call 912-920-4147 today!