Signs That Your Asphalt Roof is in Rough Shape

October 8, 2021

If you’ve got a house, you’ve got a roof. And if you’ve got a roof, chances are it’s covered in asphalt shingles. Surveys of the construction and remodeling industry show that the vast majority of today’s homes have asphalt shingles—and by vast, we mean a whopping 80% of houses in the US. 

There’s a few reasons why asphalt shingles are so popular—but the biggest reason is price. Asphalt shingles are the most cost-effective roofing solution on the market. Asphalt is also fairly durable: If the roof has been installed correctly and doesn’t sustain major damage, asphalt shingles should last around 20 years or so in Minnesota. That said, asphalt is still the roofing material with the shortest lifespan—especially compared to metal roofs, which are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. And in our state, roofs are extra-susceptible to damage from snow and hail.

So how do you know if your asphalt roof is nearing the end of its life? We’ll cover the telltale signs below.

Visual Signs of Damaged Asphalt Shingles

The first thing to look for is the overall color of your roof. Asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of shades, so it may be difficult to tell whether your roof has become discolored over the years. If discoloration isn’t obvious, try to see whether there are any large patches of shingles that are a different color than the rest of the roof. This could indicate an area that’s sustained extra water damage. 

Another key sign is moss on your roof. Moss and mildew grow in areas that remain damp for long periods of time, which can suggest underlying water damage to the roof structure. 

Aside from color cues, the shape of the shingles themselves is an indicator of how well a roof is holding up. Look for curling, cupped, or buckling shingles—these can be signs of moisture intrusion in your roof’s underlayment or decking, a poorly-ventilated attic, or old age in general. 

While you’re looking at the shape of your shingles, see if you can notice any cracking. Cracked or torn shingles happen when extra-hot temperatures cause the asphalt material to expand—and when it cools down again, the asphalt contracts. In much the same way expansion and contraction can cause cracking in road surfaces, it can lead to cracks in your shingles. This in turn can lead to leaks during rainy or snowy weather. 

Finally, take note of the overall shape of your roof. Notice any dips or sagging? This is a bad sign; one which signals that there’s been significant moisture intrusion into your roof’s structure—enough to warp the wood itself. When a roof gets warped, it’s past time to call in extra help to fix the problem.

Tips to See Wear and Tear

“Great,” you say; “now I have things to look for.” But how do you really get a look at your roof? It’s not like inspecting something at eye level. If it’s hard to tell the status of your shingles when you’re on the ground, there are a couple ways you could try to get a better view. 

First would be trying to get a peek out of a second-story window, if applicable—depending on your home’s footprint, you may be able to see the shingles that cover first-story rooms. Another (more high-tech) method would be to take aerial photos with a drone camera. This will give you a birds-eye view of the state of your shingles. 

Your best bet, especially if you suspect your roof is in poor repair, is to contact a professional roofing contractor to examine and assess your asphalt shingles. If you’re ready for peace of mind, contact Keyprime Roofing and Remodeling today for a free consultation.

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