The responsibility of decisions such as roof replacements comes with the territory of being a facility manager. Knowing what to do with one of the most important features, your roof, is key to prolonging the life of the entire building. Most asphalt shingle roof systems last between 20-25 years, but depending on the brand and quality of work, they may need to be replaced sooner. A facility manager needs to be aware of how many years their roof has left on the warranty pertinent to their building’s roofing system in order to plan and budget accordingly.
1. Age of the Existing Roof
Do you know how old the existing roof is?
It’s vital to know when your existing warranty runs out, whether it covers 10 or 25 years. As the warranty comes to an end, it’s time to start researching roofing contractors and planning a project budget. The older a roof is, the more important it is to keep up regular maintenance so you can be aware of missing shingles or potential leaks.
2. Condition of the Existing Shingles
A very easy-to-spot sign lies in the condition of the shingles. Any buckling or curling can tell you that the shingles are nearing the end of their life expectancy.
Curling shingles can usually be spotted by a quick visual test: stand directly below the roofline and look for shingles that are not laying flat against the roof. Some slopes of your roof may receive direct sunlight, causing the shingles to age quicker. These can curl and lose granules. Asphalt shingles are made to contour to the exact shape of your roof, being rather flexible at first, but they harden with age and sunlight. This causes the edges to curl and eventually break off, which can leave your building unprotected. If any edges are curling, even slightly, it is an indication that your roof is showing its age.
Buckling shingles can also be found with a visual test. These shingles appear to be pushed up in the middle from the inside of the building. This can occur when moisture is caught in the roof decking or felt underlayment, which is most commonly caused by a lack of proper attic ventilation. Especially in the summertime, over the years, hot air and condensation can force the shingles out of their proper place on a roof.
3. Daylight Peeping Through
While performing a roof maintenance check, it’s important to check the attic underneath. As a roof reaches the end of its warranty, the aged shingles can leave your roof vulnerable to water. When checking the attic, besides air vents and windows, there should be no daylight coming through. If light can get in, so can water. These little spots can pinpoint problem areas that need to be tarped over and repaired. If there is any moisture in the attic, the insulation may also need to be replaced.
5. Loose Gravel or Shingle Granules
Loose gravel in your gutters is a definite sign of an aging roof. Asphalt shingles are coated with a protective gravel layer. Over the years, the elements wear this coating off. The gravel ends up in the building’s gutters and splash-guards. You can spot the wear on your roof: look for inconsistent or darker colored shingles, and for loose gravel in the gutters.
If your roof is displaying any of these signs of wear, it may be time for a full roof replacement. Contact us at APC Roofing Experts for a free 17-point inspection.