January 1995 Edition

How Can You Tell When Roofing Shingles Need Replacing?

Our roof shingles are looking very old and we would like to know just how to tell when we need to replace them?
All asphalt shingles have a common enemy - the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) ray and heat from the sun break down asphalt shingles, causing them to turn brittle, shrink, crack, curl, cup and loose their protective coating of mineral granules.
One of the first signs of aging is finding loose colored mineral granules under the leaves when you clean the gutters out. Next you might see some of the shingles begin to cup or curl. Usually, when you see cupping or curling, the sun has done its damage.
An asphalt shingle is nothing more than a mat of fiber that is soaked in hot asphalt and allowed to cool. Asphalt sheds water very well but it’s biggest enemy is the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays will break down the asphalt causing the shingles to loose their flexibility and allow them to become very brittle. The newer fiberglass mats add strength and durability. 
The manufacturers design the shingles to resist wear in two ways. First, they cover the shingles with mineral granules to protect the shingle from the harmful UV rays of the sun. These are also what gives the shingles their color. Walking on the roof during the hot summer will result in rubbing off some of these granules, so stay off your roof as much as possible. Second, the manufacturers increase the amount of asphalt in some grades of shingles. The thicker shingles will last longer and are usually rated as 25 to 40 year shingles as compared to the standard 20 year shingle. By the way, the 20 year shingles have an average life of 15 years in the Atlanta area. The life of the shingle depends on how much sun will hit the roof. If your roof is partially shaded, it will last longer than a roof in the full sun all day. The roof that faces north might last twice as long as the roof that faces south, because it catches less direct sunlight.
There’s very little you can do to extend the life of your roof shingles with the exception of  proper attic ventilation. Some of the attics here in Atlanta can reach temperatures above the 160 degree range in the hot summer. This heat will aid in the break down of the asphalt by softening the shingles and drying them out. It is very important to reduce the heat buildup as much as possible. The attic vents located in the eave overhang allows the cooler air to enter the attic, flow along the underside of the hot plywood roof decking and then exit as hot air thru the upper vents. Proper ventilation can reduce your attic temperature as much as 20 degrees. Power roof ventilators and ridge vents are a good way to help the air flow.
Most roofs begin to leak at the flashings around the chimney, dormers, valleys and vent pipes. It is important to inspect all flashing every year to see if maintenance is needed. If the flashing has been repaired the cheap way, with roofing cement, this will only last a year or two before it will begin to leak again. The proper way to repair leaking flashing is with new flashing. If you notice leaks around the flashing in the attic, have an experienced roofer repair the problem because it is too difficult for most do-it-yourselfers.


Photo courtesy of The Family Handyman magazine.
It is very hard to tell when a roof will begin to leak. It is much like a worn tire on your car. How much longer can you use it before it will give you trouble? To be on the safe side, replace the roof before it leaks. If the shingles have cupping, curling, cracks, missing granules or broken shingles, this is a good indication that the shingles are nearing the end of their useful life.

Distribute “Home Tips” To Your Friends And Clients.

We’ve started a new program for 1995. Many of the Realtors have expressed a desire to distribute Home Tips to their clients and we now have them ready for you. On the back of each issue we have added a “Distributed Complements Of” area for you to add in your name, company, address, photo, etc.


We will send you an original copy for you to take to your printer  to have your message added. The cost is a modest $10.00 per month per Realtor to cover postage and handling. If you are interested, please send your name, address and check to Christian Building Inspectors, 1003 Star Court, Norcross, Georgia 30093. The originals will be mailed within three working days. There are no restrictions on the areas covered by each Realtor. If you have any questions, please give us a call.  

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote of the Month

“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment, and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.”

- Harold V. Melchert

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Ester Ahn

Metro Brokers Real Estate

Tucker, Georgia

**** Thank You****

Warranty Recall Chek