Roofing: What the Average Person Needs to Know
According to a recent study by the United States Census Bureau, over 20 million homes in the US are at least 50 years old and several million more at least 15 years old. Approximately 80% of those dwellings are roofed with asphalt-based shingles or asphalt-fiberglass based shingles that are designed to last 15 to 20 years. When you do the math, it’s easy to see why more and more homeowners are concerned about what’s on top of their home.
Unfortunately, most homeowners wait until something goes wrong before they look into what they’ll need to do to fix a problem. But before jumping to the worst conclusion and hiring a roofer or roofing contractor, consider this: it might not actually be as bad as it looks. While some roof leaks result from old worn out shingles and other larger problems, often a passing storm can buckle or warp one or two shingles. In other words, you might not need professional help because the solution might just be an easy fix of those one or two shingles. Still, make sure you know exactly what the problem is before you decide on a course of action.
The cause of a roof leak is not always easy to find. Sometimes, water can seep through cracked or worn flashing along a wall, chimney, or valley, and show up on interior walls many feet from the scene of the crime. You should also look for missing tabs or shingles and make sure to check around skylights, vents, pipes, and valleys for cracked or worn caulking. Rest assured, a tube of caulking is a lot less expensive than a new roof.
Green mould or mildew on the shaded areas of your roof can be an eyesore. It may be removed by spraying the area with a mixture of pressurized water and detergent, but beware. While the fungus itself won't damage asphalt-based shingles, the spray might dislodge a significant amount of surface granules and therefore lessen the expected lifespan of your shingles. So, be careful.
Roofing contractors will often work an entire neighborhood and attempt to convince everyone in the area that all the shingles are worn out. Some will even recommend all the old shingles need to be removed before new ones are put on. Unless the old ones are buckled, warped, or the roof already has two layers, this isn’t the case.