Reinforced fiberglass asphalt roof shingles are the most common roof material used today on pitched roofs by builders. They come in every shade and color with a life expectancy ranging from 15 to 40 years. The following is a brief overview of the types of roof systems:
- Most shingled roofs will last 15 to 30 years depending upon original quality, extremes of weather and regular cleaning/maintenance. Shingles on steeply-sloped roofs tend to last longer than shingles on less-steep roofs, and roof slopes facing south tend to deteriorate faster due to the exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun;
- Proper ventilation of the attic area will help extend the life of the roof. Poorly ventilated roofs will overheat the shingles during the summer months from underneath, leading to shingle cupping, brittleness and premature aging. Loss of mineral granules from the shingle is due to a possible ventilation problem. Granule build-up in gutters is an indicator of this defect. In winter, poorly ventilated roofs can also accumulate levels of moisture condensation that destroys supporting rafters and roofing materials;
- Balancing the temperatures between the outside and the inside is critical for the proper performance of the roof structure and system. Ensure free-flowing ventilation above the insulation. Never cover attic vents in either winter or summer. Proper ventilation is achieved when rising warm air is allowed to pass through attic vents to the outside. Proper air current/flow is achieved in the attic by taking the air through the lower vents (soffits) and exiting through the upper vents in the attic. The most common form of attic vent blockage is at the lower end of the vent where insulation material may be pushed up against the roof. Pre-formed corrugated polystyrene or cardboard panels are often used to ensure proper ventilation at the soffit areas;
- Roof repairs are normal over the course of the roof life. Isolated leakage does not necessarily call for replacing the entire roof at one time. Cosmetics aside, frequently the integrity of a roof can be restored with only partial replacement of shingles;
- Debris buildup should not be allowed to accumulate. Regular removal is essential to ensure proper water run-off and prevent premature aging;
- Loose or cracked shingles, especially on steep roofs or during hotter periods, may be a major concern. Improper nailing or use of staples as fasteners may result in larger repair or replacement.