Considering most homes in North America have roofs made with asphalt shingles, many people have questions regarding their repair. Asphalt shingles are the preferred material for many homes, yet require special considerations if repairing them. We'll discuss some of these considerations and signs to look for, when it comes to roofing repairs with asphalt shingles.
About Asphalt Shingles
In order to assess what kind of repair is needed, you need to know what kind of shingles you currently have. There are two basic types of asphalt shingles: Architectural or 3-Tab. Both have small granules and are covered in an asphalt material, which makes them waterproof.
Architectural asphalt shingles are single tab, which are thicker, more expensive and harder to install. The pay-off is that they last longer than 3-Tab asphalt shingles and have more aesthetic options. This type of shingle will last typically 24-30 years.
3-Tab asphalt shingles are thinner and have three tabs connected in one shingle. These are the most common asphalt shingles, and are likely the type you are dealing with. 3-Tab shingles last around 15-18 years before needing to be replaced.
You wll also need to know whether you have organic or fiberglass asphalt shingles. Fiberglass asphalt shingles overtook organic shingles in the early 80s as the preferred choice. The fiberglass material makes them fire-resistant, light weight, and absorb less water than organic asphalt shingles, which are made from cellulose, wood fiber, waste paper, and other organic material.
The granules that cover the top of your shingles are UV resistant and are sometimes mixed with copper to prevent algae growth. There are also self-sealing strips on the bottom to prevent them from being blown away with high winds.
It's important to know what type of asphalt shingle you have before thinking about their different repair factors. You can always ask your roofing company to help you understand when getting an inspection.
Signs of Asphalt Roof Damage
Sometimes a homeowner only becomes aware of roof problems after a leak or some other obvious sign. However, there can be roof damage even when there's no major leak or missing shingles. In fact, usually the most damaging and dangerous leaks are slow and difficult to notice. A homeowner can inspect their shingles from the ground and/or check their attic for water damage to look for signs of a problem.
Signs that your asphalt shingles need repair include: curling, cracking, missing pieces, flapping when the wind is blowing hard, a bump or raised shingle, or a leak. These are common signs that your home's asphalt shingles are in need of some attention.
What Causes Damage
To understand the cause of damage to asphalt shingles, you need to take many factors into consideration. These factors include, the slope of your roof, its exposure to wind, local temperature extremes and the original installation. These factors will determine how long an asphalt roof will last, and should be considered when choosing which roof to install in the first place. You should be aware of the different roofing materials and how damage differs between them. Roofing companies often run into situations where previous home owners may have erroneously chose 3-Tab when Architectural shingles are better suited to extreme conditions, such as freezing weather and hail.
Repairing Asphalt Shingles
If you've detected damage to your roof and you're now wondering how to go about fixing it, there are some important considerations to make. First of all, roofing is dangerous because of the heights, ladders, and sometimes, extreme slope of the roof. So take precaution if you choose to do your own repairs. In addition, roofing repairs are not easy for the average person to fix correctly, so be sure to have your local roofing company a phone call away if something goes wrong and you get a major leak. When it comes to fixing the roof, keep in mind that half measures should be avoided in order to prevent leaks and structural damage..
Nevertheless, if you have some construction or roofing skills and the repair is a single shingle or two, you'll need tools such as: hammer, flat pry bar, exacto knife, roofing cement, replacement shingles, and galvanized roofing nails, and sometimes, foundation nails.
When inspecting the problem area, there may be nails out of place or popping up. Hammer these down and then put roofing cement on top to seal them. Loose flapping asphalt shingles may just need to have some roofing cement applied to seal them to the others.
The basic process for replacing a 3-Tab asphalt shingle is as follows. Pry up the nails a few rows above and to the left or right, depending on the type of shingle. Then when replacing the shingle, cover the top edge with roofing cement and hammer the new nails on top of each tab and on the far side. Then, nail on the top through the shingles overlapping it. Finally, cover the nail heads and the bottom flap with roofing cement to seal them down.
There are many other in-depth tutorials you can check out to gain better understanding of the various types of roof repairs.
Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofers and homeowners, mostly because they're affordable, have longevity, are easier to install and repair. There are many different choices when it comes to asphalt shingle selection, even designs that look like wood or other materials.
When it comes to repairing your asphalt shingle roof, hiring a professional roofer to assess and estimate the repair or replacement expense, is a wise choice. The extent of the damage and the proper installation and repair, will save you money and headaches in the long run. Also, when consulting with an expert, you can gain a clearer understanding of the asphalt shingle options and other materials available.
Brax Roofing is located in Gaithersburg, MD and serves Montgomery County, Washington DC, and Northern VA. We're the premier roofing contractor to call for asphalt roofing repair or replacement. Our experience and expertise is matched only by our affordability and dedication to customer service.
We'll help you understand your options when it comes to estimating a repair or replacing a roof. Also, we can recommend other roofing options we have available. If interested in speaking to us about your roofing needs, please contact us today.