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Feb 17, 2014
Is it time to replace my roof?
I've heard I should have the roof replaced every ~20 years MAX. I just purchased a home and found that the current roof has been on for approx 25 years. My brother's girlfriend's father is a contractor who says it is fine, but I'm not so sure. Can I roll with it, or should I have a new one put on?

You may be asking yourself, “What can I expect my roof to look like as this aging
process takes place?” One or more of the following conditions may occur over time:
Curling: As the asphalt hardens over time, the granules which were once securely
embedded begin to break away. Occasionally you may have seen the colored
granules in your gutters. Also, as this hardening advances, the asphalt layers begin
to shrink. Of course, all of this is occurring at a microscopic level and is not
something which will be noticeable on a daily basis. As the asphalt layer shrinks,
it is being countered by the shingle reinforcement, which resists shrinking. We
now have a situation in which the top and bottom coatings are shrinking and the
reinforcement is remaining stable. As a result, the edges of the shingle may begin
to curl over time. In addition, organic shingles may exhibit signs of curling which
might be considered excessive, however, this is not a manufacturing defect and
would be considered part of the normal weathering process of organic shingles.
Surface Cracking: Another manifestation of the normal aging process may
be the development of surface cracks. For example, as the flexibilizing oils of the
asphalt are depleted due to heat, the shingle becomes more brittle, to the point
where surface cracking may appear. The stresses created by thermal shock and
the movement of the roof deck also increase the likelihood of surface cracking.
Blisters: During the course of natural weathering, small bubble-like raised
areas known as blisters may appear on the surface of the shingles. The blisters
may be small and pea-sized or as large as a quarter. The blisters may be open,
exposing the asphalt, or closed. Blisters frequently result when minimum ventilation
requirements are not met.
Staining: Finally, over a period of time, shingles may develop dark brown or
black streaks that are sometimes mistaken for soot, dirt, moss or tree droppings.
In actuality, this discoloration may be caused by algae growth. Although most
roofing systems are susceptible to algae discoloration, it is most readily visible
on white or light-colored shingles.

Mar 5, 2014
Every roof system is different and the length of time that the shingles last depends upon many factors such as ventilation, roof pitch, direct sunlight vs. shade etc.  In Maryland, a 20 year shingle typically lasts 15-17 years due to the extreme heat and extreme cold climate changes.  I would say that if the original shingles on the home were rated for 20 years, chances are it's ready for replacement.  When homeowners push the limits of the roof....they normally end up spending way more money for the replacement due to the plywood damage which results from waiting too long.
Eric, Arocon Roofing & Construction
Mar 5, 2014


Impossible to say without inspecting the roof but some will live quite a long time based on exposure, correctness of installation, ventilation, etc.

There is quite a bit of variance and human contribution when it comes to getting the most out of the roof as well so when you do replace it, be sure to deal with someone that knows their craft and will educate you on the decisions and material selections that will work most effective for your home.

WoW Home Solutions

Apr 1, 2014

Make sure when you have a new roof installed that you check for the proper licenses, insurance & accreditations.  Get recent and old references.  Ask if they are going to use Gutter apron at the eaves and drip edge on the gable.  What type of ridge vent will they use?  Will it have a baffle in it to prevent wind driven snow from entering your attic?  Will they use ring-shanked nails for the ridge vent so the ridge vent nails won't back out over time?  Make sure you understand warranties and the fine print of these, especially the pro-rated portion.  Make sure to address both intake & exhaust ventilation, as well as attic ventilation as all of these properly working will dramatically extend the life of your roof and save on energy costs. A great way to educate yourself is to do searches on YouTube or you can visit our website for helpful ideas and questions.  Check out our Pinterest page for other great pictures and ideas.

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