This 10 point checklist will help you to determine if it’s time for a new roof. If your asphalt shingle roof shows these signs, it should be evaluated by a professional roofing contractor. Call the roofing experts at PCS Roofing to get a professional evaluation of your roof and to determine if your problems are shingle, flashing, or weather related.
- Missing Roof Shingles
Dislodged shingles or shingles that have been blown off the roof surface indicate that your roof’s asphalt shingle is losing its tar seal. When this happens asphalt shingles will become loose and have the tendency to flip up or off in even the lightest wind storms. Once the tar strip loses its seal not much can be done with the old shingle. Temporary tar sealing will work in the short term, but is not guaranteed to fix the problem permanently. Replacing the missing tab shingles is an option, but you need to be careful depending on the age of the roof. Mixing new asphalt shingles with much older, worn out asphalt shingles may cause other problems.
- Missing Granular on Roofing Shingles
On a new roof, asphalt based shingles have a granular covering to protect the tar surface and give the shingle its attractive appearance. Over time, the granular surface of the asphalt shingle loosens and wears off. Once worn down to the asphalt base, the asphalt shingle will tend to dry out and crack exposing the underlying roof. Once the granular surface has worn from the asphalt shingle base, the shingles must be replaced.
- Curling Roof Shingles
Curling is generally caused by poor ventilation or a dried out asphalt shingle base. Once this curling process starts, nothing can stop it. Eventually the curled pieces break off which may cause the roof to leak. When a roof reaches this stage it is important not to walk on it if possible. Walking on it will dislodge the curled pieces will make them break off from the asphalt shingle base. Many inexperienced roofers will attempt to inspect a roof with curled shingles.
- Blistered Roofing Shingles
At this point the shingles have had it. They are cracked, bubbled looking, and, in most cases, dislodged from their seal and original roof placement. This is another instance where everyone should remain off the roofing surface in order to avoid further damage to your existing shingles. Under these conditions, PCS Roofing would recommend a completely new roof.
- Multiple Layers of Shingles
When we started in this business back in 2004, it was common practice to install an asphalt shingle roof over an existing asphalt shingle roof. The manufacturers at that time even provided directions on how to do this type of installation. That has all changed and no reputable roofer would even consider installing shingle on shingle roofing now. Doing so will void your shingle warranty. What the roofing manufactures found is that the first layer of shingles actually cooks the layer or layers of shingles installed over top of them. We can attest to that since we have found up to 5 layers of shingles on some roofs. This will decrease the life span of the new shingles installed thus costing the consumer thousands in the end. Always remove all shingle and other roofing products down to the wood deck surface before installing a new roof.
- Algae Growth on Shingles
The growth of brown or black algae on your asphalt shingles will not hurt your shingles’ performance. It doesn’t look very good, but it will not affect the shingle surface. After 14+ years in business, PCS Roofing has never replaced a roof due to algae growth. Any replacement was either for appearance or because of condition of the underlying roofing material unrelated to algae. Removing the algae is optional and can be done using a bleach solution, however, bleach does remove granular as well and so we don’t recommend it.
- Flashing and Caulking Damage
Most flashing products are made of aluminum, copper or tin. The latter being the most susceptible to water damage. Most flashing problems are repairable; however, don’t accept caulking as the fix all for your roof flashing problems. Most flashing problems are caused by incorrect installation or from the flashing being dislodge from its original place due to ice, water or wind. Caulking is used to “pretty up” the edges of the flashing and is primarily a mask. If flashings are incorrectly installed any leaks are usually caused by flashing issue and not the caulking job. I suggest a complete roof evaluation before you spend any amount of money on costly repairs.
- Roof Buckling
One of the main causes of roof buckling is poor roof ventilation. Most manufactures also site poor ventilation as the # 1 cause of premature shingle wear. When heat and moisture are trapped in an attic space, it causes severe damage to the roof truss system and the roof sheathing deck. PCS Roofing performs an attic inspection prior to replacing any roof. We check for proper ventilation and recommend additional vents if required to prevent roof buckling on your new roof.
- Water Damage and Rotting Roof Wood
About 75% of all asphalt shingle roofs that we replace each year have some sort of rotting or water damaged wood that the homeowners are not aware of. The professionals at PCS Roofing take pride in our ability to spot those areas even before the roof surface is removed. Finding the signs of water damaged areas is key in evaluating a roof. Low spots in the roof surfaces or funnel areas, sagging or out of place lines of site are just some of the determining factors in spotting damaged areas. We recommend measuring the damaged area and then doubling the replacement radius.
- Water Marks / Interior and Exterior
If you find a water mark on the ceiling of your home or in the soffit area off your roofing overhang you have a water infiltration problem. That does not necessarily mean you need an entirely new roof. PCS Roofing will make the necessary assessment of the water mark and determine if it is related to a shingle, flashing, gutter, or maybe a chimney problem. Most homeowners call a roofer for leaks that are usually not caused by what the homeowner originally believes to be the problem. Correctly diagnosing the problem and implementing a good solution could save the homeowner thousands in unwanted repairs and keep the remaining untouched areas from future damage.