Determining when to replace a roof generally has several key signs to aid you. Firstly, you need to determine some basic information about your roof. For example:
- What type of roof (material) do you have?
- When was the last roof replaced?
- What direction do the portions of your roof face?
- Is the roof leaking?
- Are your neighbours with similar homes having their roofs replaced?
Most residential homes in the GTA have asphalt shingle roofs. However, many homes have other materials installed such as: cedar shingles/shakes, metal, tile or flat roofing.
The life span of the above materials ranges widely. Since 90% or more roofs are asphalt shingles, we will focus on those details.
Older asphalt shingles are quite different than those made today. The shingles you have on your home are probably “organic” or “felt based” shingles. This refers to the construction of the asphalt shingle. Simply put, a layer of felt paper is sandwiched between two layers of asphalt. The coloured granules are then embedded to the top surface. As for today, the exact same process is used with one exception. Instead of the felt layer, a layer of woven fibreglass is used.
What’s the difference? Simply put, over the life of the roof, fibreglass shingles tend to last longer based on the two main advantages of the fibreglass mat. The other advantage today is that higher quality modified asphalt is used on the sealant strips. This prevents shingle blow off in later years.
- Fibreglass is more flexible than felt
- Fibreglass will not absorb water as felt does
Older asphalt shingles that were professionally installed should have a life span of 15-25 years. However, there are many reasons these roofs fail prematurely. These are as follows:
- Non or under ventilated attic/roof deck
- Poor installation
- South facing roof surfaces (experience more U.V. rays)
- Low slopes
Generally, your asphalt roof will need to be replaced if you observe the following:
- Missing shingles
- Loss of granular surface
- Curled or buckled shingles
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