How To Read Your Roof

A roof system is a series of products that work together so that your home stays free from water damage. Components of your roof include sheathing, underlayment, flashings, ventilation and most often shingles. Each element of your new roof must be installed with quality materials and professional workmanship to insure the protection of your home.

What's Normal?

  • Curling
  • Surface cracking
  • Closed blisters
  • Algae stains
  • Slight granule loss

What's Not?

  • Open blisters
  • Cracks exposing underlayments
  • Exposed asphalt
  • Granule loss
  • Ceiling stains

Aging Is Natural

It is natural for your roof to age. The process begins as soon as your shingles are exposed to nature. The sun can raise rooftop temperatures as high as 50-70 degrees above ambient temperature. The excessive heat and ultraviolet radiation from the sun has been shown to accelerate the aging of the shingles’ asphalt layers. Other factors contribute to the natural aging process, such as:

  • Pollution
  • Hail
  • Snow loads
  • Tree limbs
  • People walking on your roof

Asphalt shingles will begin to age as soon as they are applied to your roof. Minor curling, surface cracking, blisters, algae stains, granule loss and buckling are all signs of aging that may not require further action. However, a professional assessment by a licensed roof is your best way to know for sure.

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Curling

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Curling

Curling is a common phenomenon in some shingles and is not a defect. It is natural for asphalt to age and asphalt layers to shrink with time. This shrinkage may result in the slight curling of the edges of the shingle.

Surface Cracking

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Surface Cracking

While minor cracks may not be noticeable from the ground, you might spot them while hanging your Christmas lights. Intense heat from the sun often allows protective asphalt oils to deplete, causing minor cracks. Keep in mind that these normal weathering characteristics are not cause for alarm as long as your shingles are still performing their intended purpose of shedding water. Cracks that penetrate through the fiberglass or organic mat should be investigated.

Blisters

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Blisters

Occasionally, naturally occurring small, circular raised areas known as blisters may appear on your roof. These pockets may vary in size and be open (exposing the asphalt) or closed. Blisters are often a direct result of under-ventilated attics or excessive use of plastic cement. Closed blisters are not reason for concern as long as your shingles are still performing their intended purpose of shedding water. However, open blisters do mean asphalt is exposed and immediate attention is required.

Algae Stains

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Algae Stains

In moist, humid areas, dark brown or black patches may appear on roofs. These streaks result in a dirty rooftop, often more visible on lighter-colored shingles. This naturally occurring stain is caused by algae growth and will not affect your shingles’ ability to shed water. Algae discoloration should not be confused with moss or tree droppings, which typically produce only localized discoloration.

Granule Loss

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Granule Loss

Since extra granules are used in the manufacturing process, some granule loss is to be expected during the early years of your roof. Other factors, such as foot traffic, hail, snow, or bushing tree limbs, may cause loose granules. However, exposed asphalt due to granule loss is a reason for concern and requires immediate attention.

Buckling

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Buckling

While not technically a sign of aging, a distortion of shingles known as buckling can occur months after original application. Lack of adequate attic ventilation can increase the moisture content of the decking material. This may cause expansion and movement of the wood deck to buckle shingles.

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