Should I Repair, Replace My Asphalt Shingle Roof?

Mike McClintock, Special to Tribune Newspapers writes: “After months of ice, snow and freezing temps, the best repair for an aging roof is summer. Blistering sun turns shingles almost gooey and reheats the dashes of tar that seal one layer to another. Even brittle tabs that started to buckle in the cold may flatten out. But how many more winters can an aging roof withstand?”

Asphalt-based roof shingles can take the abuse of weather and seasonal change for about 20 to 50 years. This is due to many factors, including the design of and the shingle itself. Standard roofing language for weight is how much the material weighs over 100 square feet, called a square. Generally single-layer asphalt roof shingles weigh about 200 pounds per square.

Hail Damage

Hail Damage to asphalt roof shingles.
Photo courtesy of Angie’s List

When deciding about re-roofing, consider the actual condition of the roof. Even from the ground you can spot several indicators before consulting a contractor. This can help you sort out the realistic estimates from the scams.

In his article McClintock talks about looking for the four basic stages of roof shingle wear, even from the ground.  These include:

Do the shingles display a washed-out color? On a dark roof the shingle wear is seen as black, shiny areas. While on a light colored roof, blotchy patches can be seen. This is a sign surface granules that have begun to wear away. Also check for those granules at your downspouts.  He cautions you to think about re-roofing in a year or so before the shingles deterioration get worse.

Storm Damage

Storm damage showing curled asphalt roof shingles.
Photo Courtesy of Angie’s List

Can you see visible cracks in the roof shingles?  In time bare spots become larger and asphalt dries and cracks. This is when cracks will appear especially on roofs subject to sun exposure. Now is the time to think about re-roofing while the shingles are still leak free and relatively flat.

Are your roof shingles actually falling apart? In this stage you begin to find little pieces of shingles in the gutters or on the ground. This is when the tabs (the exposed flap between slots) become brittle, then crack and curl. Water can also leak through exposed nail heads. Now there is no time to waste. You should re-roof now and if curling is widespread the roof needs to be stripped or the new shingles will not lay flat.

new roof

New asphalt shingle roof, free of any storm or hail damage
Photo Courtesy of Robbins Service, Inc.

Declare an emergency when: Upon examining your roof you find many tabs have broken off and most of the shingles are curled.  Then, my friend, the old roof must be completely replaced.  You must start from scratch and strip off the old roof before extensive damage from water leaks occurs. 

Has your house recently been hit and damaged by hail or wind storms?  Do you need a professional to repair your roof?  Or even if you just don’t want to climb up on your roof yourself, call ZEO Roofing at 224-400-9500 for a free roofing inspection*.

Read more about our Emergency Roof Repair service.

* Our Free, no obligation roofing inspection is a one time per address offer.


Should I Repair, Replace My Asphalt Shingle Roof? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi There Zeo Roofing,
    Thanks for the above, I hired a contractor to make repairs and paint my front porch, roof soffits and replace a section of the roof with asphalt shingles. He charged me $4000 and did such a bad job I had to have him return and try to remediate the poor workmanship. It even looked worse after this. I waned to know what would be the best way to proceed in a legal suit against him – regular court, small claims court, dispute resolution (mediation), some other means, or just forget it? BTW – I live in upstate New York.
    Catch you again soon!

    • Devries –

      That depends on many factors and since we are not attorneys, we suggest you consult with your attorney for best advice. Personally speaking, if you are that unhappy I would not let it rest, especially considering your investment.

      ZEO Roofing.

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