I have some shingles (not sure what type) on the house I just bought. The
shingles are about 13 years old. Some of them are starting to curl up a bit.
I'm wondering, how to you know exactly when you should be replacing the
Thanks for any info!
In addition to what Larry and doug said, it may be that you have a 15 year
shingle on your roof and they are approaching their max life. Start
planning now using what the other guys have saide with with regard to
ventilation and color. Color has been sown to be one of the biggest factors
in reflecting/ absorbing heat toward the interior. Also, if you find that
you have adequate soffit and ridge ventilation you might also consider a
powered ventilating fan in the roof. It made an amazing difference in my
It's probably a good idea to start researching contractors way ahead of
time. Ask friends or co-workers if they've used someone they were pleased
with. The last thing you want to do is be rushed into a decision when your
roof is leaking. Look for the signs that contractors put in the yard when
they work on homes, and maybe ask the customers about the work when it's
finished. Check names with the BBB.
Some less obvious things to check with customers, or ask contractors: Did
they take whatever measures possible to protect shrubs from falling debris?
Are they equipped to cover partially finished areas of the roof in case of
rain? How do they handle the removal of nails on the ground? (After my roof
was done, I found exactly one nail. The contractor dragged a large magnet
all over the place). Do they carefully inspect roof edges and make
recommendations to improve drainage relative to the gutters? If ice damming
is a potential issue where you live, and you get even a little ice buildup
in your gutters during the winter, you MUST focus on that when talking to
contractors. Sometimes it's not possible to improve the situation, but they
can avoid making it worse. If they've never seen your gutters in the winter,
you need to tell them of problems in specific spots.
I'm surprised the inspector didn't discuss this with you before you bought
the house? Did he get up on the roof to check it?
One sign of need for replacement is brittleness. You'll begin to see
crumbling during high winds. Shingles should be flexible when they're in
What Doug said, plus this: when shingles curl prematurely it is
usually a sign of poor ventilation under the sheathing. There needs
to be airflow from the soffits to the peak of the roof between the
sheathing and the insulation. If this doesn't occur, then you will
constantly be replacing shingles. Fixing the problem can range from
very easy to extremely difficult and expensive depending upon the type
If you can't fix the ventilation problem, probably the next best thing
is to use very light colored roofing - preferably white as it won't
absorb as much of the sun's rays raising the temperature of the
Shingles should be replaced 1 week before the roof would start to leak.
Curling edges is a sign that it is starting to wear. Brittleness is another
factor. If you can get on the room and try to bend one of those corners you
will be able to tell.
Depending on the grade, climate, attic ventilation, 13 years is not all that
old. Most builders grade shingles will last 15 to 20 years. I replaced
mine and 23 years and had lo leaks. YMMV quite a bit, of course.
One more thing to keep in mind. it is usually permissible to have two
layers of shingles on a roof. If the edges are curling though, you want
them removed before putting on the new roof or you will have problems.
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