When Should I Change My Asphalt Roof?

The most obvious time to change your roofing material is when it begins to leak…but, that’s not always true. I use this 4 stage method when performing a roof inspection.

Remember that the roof’s life span can be shortened by a number of factors, including (but certainly not limited to) poor attic ventilation, hail damage and poorly manufactured roofing material.

4 Stage Inspections

  • Stage 1 :: Surface granules begin to wear away, leaving discolored, blotchy patches that are easy to see on a light-colored roof…check downspout outlets where piles of granules collect. Granule loss exposes the asphalt to direct sunlight making the tab sections brittle and more likely to break off. This is usually a good time to re-roof by simply covering the existing roof with a new layer. NOTE: Take care not to cover the roof with more than 2 layers. Some local codes do not allow 2 layers, check with your local code official(s).
  • Stage 2 :: Bare spots increase in number and enlarge in size, and a few of the most exposed tabs may start to curl (you can see this happening on the edge of the tab)…you’ll need to re-roof sooner than later.
  • Stage 3 :: The brittle tabs curl more and crack, and you’ll find chunks of shingles on the ground and in gutters…water can leak in through exposed nail heads at this stage. You can still re-roof (just barely) but only after replacing the broken and brittle tabs.
  • Stage 4 :: More tabs have broken off and most of the shingles are curled and brittle, repair gives way to replacement. You have to start from scratch, strip the roof to the decking, come in with new felt and shingles.

I Want to Check Average Pricing 

Measure your “under roof area” (the square footage should include all porches and your garage) and multiply by 1.3 (use a slightly higher number for steeper roofs, over 8/12 pitch), and add 10% for waste. Divide that number by 100 for the number of squares. Then multiply that number by 140 to 160 for a tear off and replace. (lower number for a simple nail over). It won’t be exact, but you won’t miss it far. Example: 2500 sq ft x 1.3 = 3250 + 325 = 3575/100 = 35.75 Square of Roofing. Round to 36 square and multiply by your labor and material cost.

Contact me for more construction consulting advise and tips. The above tips are used to inspect standard 20 year, 3 tab asphalt shingles. Care should be taken before climbing on any roof surface. Contact a professional.

Home Inspector – Home Builder and Building Consultant/Coach

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