Asphalt shingles are responsible for protecting 75% of American homes. Early shingles that were used for about 1,000 years were made out of clay or wood and were not as reliable as the asphalt shingles that we use today. Shingles also require repair and replacement from time to time and our professionals at Fiddler Roofing know just what to do. Here is all the information on shingle roofing you could ask for.
A Brief History of Shingle Roofing
In the late 1800s, coal tar and gravel were used to coat rolls of felt, and these rolls were applied to roofs. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, a roofer named Henry Reynolds began cutting the rolls into individual shingles to make them easier to handle. He cut them by hand, so they were not perfectly uniform.
During the 1910s, manufacturers started to add crushed slate granules to increase weight and help resist high winds. The decade also saw the invention of new machines to apply the coating and granules. Die-cutting machines allowed the shingles to be quickly cut into uniform shapes. Wrapping machines and palletizers soon followed, making roofing shingles easier to ship and more convenient to handle. In turn, roofing shingles became increasingly affordable.
Around 1970, manufacturers began using fiberglass mats to produce asphalt shingles. These mats form the core around which asphalt, backing granules and colored granules are applied. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are fire-resistant, attractive and durable.
How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?
There are many factors that can affect the longevity of shingle roofing. The type of shingle is one factor, and costlier styles can often deliver longer lives. Three-tab shingles typically cost the least, followed by architectural or dimensional shingles.
At the top end, most manufacturers offer a heavyweight or designer style. The climate is another critical factor; shingles applied in areas with frequent hailstorms or in which the shingles will be exposed to high levels of harsh sunlight will have a reduced life. Proper maintenance is also important.
Having a professional roofer conduct annual inspections and repair any minor issues before they worsen can often increase the longevity of your roof. Longevity can also be affected by the quality of the installation. You will achieve better results if you hire an experienced roofer with an excellent reputation. It is also advisable to have your roofer remove your existing roof so that he can inspect and repair any damage to the roof deck.
What you should keep in mind when selecting shingles is that the ratings and warranties provided by the manufacturer do not necessarily indicate how long your roof will last. These warranties primarily cover defects in the products that can be traced to the manufacturing process. Weathering, hail damage, improper installation and damage inflicted by technicians walking on the roof are not covered by the warranty.
In New Mexico, the strong ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun can cause shingles to deteriorate at an accelerated rate; UV rays and high temperatures can cause the asphalt in shingles to dry out prematurely. Although there are certain types of shingles that can withstand many of the area’s hailstorms, typical asphalt shingles can be cracked or degranulated by hail. Seasonal temperature fluctuations can negatively impact shingles as well. Even if the manufacturer’s warranty is for 20 or 25 years, homeowners in New Mexico frequently find that they need to replace their asphalt shingles every 12 to 15 years.
What Are Some Signs That a Roof Is Failing?
If you have a reputable roofer conduct annual inspections, he should be able to advise you on the overall condition of your roof and its expected remaining life. Between or in lieu of professional inspections, there are several signs that you may be able to spot yourself. However, it is not advisable for you to climb onto your roof unless you have the proper training and safety gear. You could fall, but you could also cause damage to your roof where none existed previously. Stay on the ground and use binoculars to get a better view of your shingles and other roof elements.
- Leaks are often the first sign that homeowners notice. They see stains on the ceiling or even see the water dripping. However, roof leaks can be present long before you notice them. Paint that is cracked, blistered or peeling can indicate a roof leak. An exterior wall that is bowed inward or outward can indicate that a leak has damaged a wall stud. Sagging or peeling wallpaper can also be a sign of a roof leak. In the attic, mold or mildew may develop on the insulation or on objects you have stored there. You could find water stains or damp spots on the underside of the roof decking or on rafters, trusses, insulation or stored objects.
- Shingles that lose their granules leave the asphalt exposed to the elements, and it is the asphalt that is primarily responsible for making the shingle waterproof. Without a protective layer of granules, the asphalt can be easily damaged by sunlight and develop cracks that allow water to enter. It is common for asphalt shingles to shed excess granules during the first year or two following installation. However, if your roof is older, excessive granule loss can indicate that your shingles need to be replaced. Look for accumulations of granules in your gutters, around your foundation and near your downspouts. You may also be able to identify degranulated shingles by the dark spots that indicate exposed patches of asphalt.
- If your asphalt shingles are cupped, blistered, curled or cracked, they are probably nearing the end of their life. The main difference between cupped and curled shingles is whether the edges turn upward or downward. Blisters are more common in areas other than the edges of the shingles. Cracks can be difficult to identify at a distance, but you may note a dark line or find small pieces of the shingle in your gutters or in your yard.
- If you can see the nails that were used to secure the shingles, it may indicate that the shingles have shrunk or that they were installed incorrectly. Either way, you should take immediate action to prevent water from entering around the nails.
- Shingles can be blown away at any time, but when they are new and correctly sealed, it takes quite a bit to dislodge them. As they age, they can be blown off by winds with relatively low velocities, especially if the shingles are cracked or broken. Sometimes, you can spot shingles that are in danger of being blown away; look for shingles that are loose enough to move in the wind.
- Although it can be difficult to quantify, unexplained increases in your cooling and heating bills can signify a problem with your roof. If shingles crack or shrink, it becomes easier for air to move through your roof. Air leaks can also occur if the shingles are severely degranulated.
Given the importance of a quality installation, you should hire a reputable company with highly experienced personnel. At Fiddler Roofing, we provide high-quality shingle roofing services to homeowners in many locations in New Mexico. From your initial call to our thorough site cleaning, we will deliver the highest level of professional service. Our uniformed workers are specifically trained to deliver superior customer service and exceptional workmanship.
They will care for your roof the same way they would care for the roof of a family member. We offer shingle roofing from Owens Corning that is available in an extensive range of colors and styles, including impact-resistant and designer styles.