Our roof does so much to protect our home. Durable, attractive shingles provide that all-important outer layer for curb appeal and weatherproofing. But it can be hard to tell what’s going on up there without professional help. That’s one reason regular roof maintenance is a winning choice and can help you save money long-term. Here are a few tips for identifying worn or damaged shingles and some strategies to consider when replacing them.
Time to Replace My Shingles? What Should I Look For?
Your roof will usually tell you when to replace those shingles. Some signs are easy to spot from the ground, while others may require a professional inspection. Look out for:
- Cracking, blistering, or curling shingles that look like they’re peeling back from the surface of your roof.
- Discolored or dirty-looking shingles can indicate algae, mold, or mildew.
- Granule shedding. Tiny ceramic granules provide color and durability to our shingles. However, those granules “shed” because of weather conditions and aging. You may also notice granules in your gutters as they wash away.
- Missing shingles, especially after a rain or wind storm.
- Signs of aging in roofs more than 20-25 years old. Shingles become fragile and brittle when they reach the end of their lifespan.
- Sagging roofs and water damage can indicate that your shingles no longer keep water away from your sheathing and framing. If you have more extensive water damage, your repair will go beyond simply replacing the shingles.
How Do My Shingles Get Damaged?
We often see evidence of damaged shingles after a significant rain or wind storm–we may even find them in the yard. But there are numerous causes of damage to shingles, including:
- Storm damage from wind, heavy rain or hail.
- Snow and ice. In winter, the freeze-and-thaw cycle can take a toll on your shingles.
- Sun damage as hot days and cooler nights cause shingles to expand and contract, leading to cracks. Sun damage can also cause discoloration and granule degradation.
- Aging and wear and tear as shingles become brittle or cracked over the years.
- A lousy installation job can lead to headaches down the road. Some common mistakes include laying new shingles on top of existing shingles and neglecting to install a high-quality underlayment.
- How Can I Prevent Damaged Shingles?
With weather events and the aging process, there’s not always a lot you can do. However, you can take steps to protect your shingles, including:
- Don’t delay minor roof repairs. Keeping up with small problems can avoid bigger issues down the road.
- Talk with your roofing contractor about routine maintenance, including cleaning shingles and gutters.
- Get your roof inspected following a weather event, even if there’s no visible damage from the ground.
- Have your aging roof inspected around the 20-year mark.
- Make sure your attic is insulated and well-ventilated to prevent ice dams and reduce heat damage.
- When you replace your roof, use a professional contractor to ensure proper installation.
Will My Insurance Cover New Shingles?
While many insurance companies won’t cover shingle replacement for an aging roof, you can often get coverage for wind, rain, and other weather damage. Knowing how to file your claim and providing the necessary documentation are critical to a successful claim. Working with an expert contractor can often result in a new roof that your insurance pays to replace. At DryHome Roofing & Siding, our team has extensive experience working with insurance companies and walking clients through the claims process. We’ll send an expert technician to inspect and document your damage. We’ll also have a technician meet with your insurance adjuster to ensure they catch and understand every detail. If you suspect shingle damage, contact DryHomes for an inspection and estimate. If you decide to file a claim, we’ll guide you every step of the way.