Over time, it’s natural for a roof to show signs of aging and wear and tear. However, distinguishing between the two is essential for effective maintenance and repair. This guide from traditional and solar roofing contractor expert LePage and Sons Roofing LLC discusses the differences between aging and wear and tear on your roof.
More About Roof Aging
Aging is a natural process that all roofs undergo as they get older. UV radiation, temperature fluctuations and weather conditions can all take a toll on roofing materials, leading to gradual deterioration and causing a reduction in the roof’s ability to repel water.
The most common signs of natural aging that require frequent emergency roof repair services include:
- Shingles curling or lifting. This is a sign that the shingles are losing their adhesive and are starting to separate from the roof deck.
- Shingles fading. This is caused by UV radiation from the sun, which can bleach out the color of the shingles over time.
- Moss or algae growth. This can occur on roofs that are shaded or have poor ventilation. Moss and algae can damage the shingles and make them more susceptible to leaks.
Different roofing materials have varying lifespans and aging characteristics. For example, asphalt shingles typically last 20-30 years, but their lifespan can be shorter in areas with harsh weather conditions. Metal roofs can last 50 years or more, even in extreme weather conditions. They are also more resistant to fire and hail damage than asphalt shingles and live for decades until they need a roof replacement.
Roof Wear and Tear
Wear and tear refers to the damage caused by external factors, such as severe weather, fallen debris or foot traffic on the roof. It can result in sudden and noticeable damage to the roof’s structure and materials. Wear and tear is preventable to some extent through proper maintenance and timely repairs. Addressing wear and tear on time can help prevent it from worsening and causing more significant issues.
Causes of Wear and Tear
External factors can all contribute to the wear and tear of your roof. Hail damage can cause shingles to crack, break or even be dislodged. High winds can lift or tear shingles. Winds can also damage flashing. Falling debris, such as branches or leaves, can damage shingles and flashing. Foot traffic can damage shingles and flashing, especially on flat roofs. This can lead to leaks and other problems.
Poor installation can also lead to premature wear and tear on your roof. Improper sealing can lead to leaks around vents, chimneys and other roof penetrations. Insufficient fasteners allow shingles and flashing to be dislodged by wind or hail. Subpar workmanship can lead to a variety of problems, such as unevenly installed shingles or flashing that is not properly secured.
How to Determine Aging vs. Wear and Tear
Detecting roof damage and distinguishing between aging and wear and tear is crucial for the maintenance and longevity of your roofing system. Here are five ways to help you determine the difference:
- Shingle Condition. Inspect the condition of your roofing shingles. Aging shingles typically exhibit signs of granule loss, curling and cracking. These are indicative of natural wear and tear over time. However, if your roof displays these signs prematurely, it may be a sign of wear and tear due to factors like severe weather, improper installation or a low-quality shingle material.
- Visible Leaks. Water leaks are a clear indication of roof damage. If you notice water stains on your ceilings or walls, it’s essential to identify the source of the leak. Roof leaks that occur primarily in one area are more likely related to wear and tear, while leaks that appear across the roof’s surface might indicate aging and general deterioration.
- Attic. Examine your attic for signs of roof damage. Light penetrating through the roof deck, water stains on the underside of the deck or a damp attic environment are indicators of potential roof issues. These problems could be related to aging, indicating the need for roof replacement, or they might be due to wear and tear issues that can be repaired.
- Flashing. Inspect the flashing around roof penetrations like vents and chimneys. If you notice damaged or deteriorated flashing, it’s likely a wear and tear issue that can be addressed without a full roof replacement. However, if these components are in good condition and you’re still experiencing leaks, aging may be the primary factor.
- Roof Age. Knowing the age of your roof is crucial in determining whether damage is due to aging or wear and tear. If your roof is nearing the end of this range, aging is more likely the cause of any issues. If your roof is relatively new and you’re experiencing problems, wear and tear is a more probable culprit.
Effects of Delaying Roof Replacement
Roof aging and wear and tear, while distinct occurrences, often overlap, leading homeowners to misinterpret one as the other. Wear and tear, for instance, might get passed off as part of the roof’s aging process until severe issues arise. This misconception can delay much-needed maintenance and emergency roof repair services, thus causing further damage.
Another point of consideration is insurance coverage. Typically, insurance policies lean away from covering wear and tear damage, presuming it to be the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the roofing’s health. However, if your roof gets damaged due to unforeseen circumstances or accidents, the chances are the policy might cover these costs.
Hence, regular professional roof assessments are invaluable. They not only help identify potential areas of concern but also enable the initiation of timely repairs or interventions before the situation gets worse.
Count on Our Team of Roofers!
When it comes to safeguarding your roof, you can count on a trusted solar roofing contractor, LePage and Sons Roofing LLC. With our expertise, we can help protect your property and save you from unnecessary costs and stress. Call (508) 295-6483 or fill out our contact form and take a step towards a sturdier, more reliable roof over your head.