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6 Telltale Signs of an Aging Roof

An aging roof will often experience small setbacks, like a cracked shingle here and there after a particularly cold, windy afternoon. You may not easily notice signs of damage from your driveway or front lawn, but it does not mean that your roof is not in need of repair or replacement. An old roof with no frequent exterior issues can lull a homeowner into a false sense of peace. That is why it is crucial to have a professional roofer perform roof maintenance on a regular basis so the roof over your head can last for decades without any significant problem. 

Aging Roof

Make sure not to wait until the roof is sagging and leaking in several areas before paying attention to smaller signs of aging. Here are the things you should watch out for:

1. Curling Shingles

Shingle curling happens on organic-mat or fiberglass-mat asphalt shingles. Curling is generally found at the corners of a shingle tab and is often recognized as a telltale sign of normal wear and tear in old, inefficient roofs. This is because long exposure to elements like hail and extreme heat can cause inferior shingles to expand or contract in a rapid fashion until layers that compose the shingles start to peel away from each other. If this is the case, it is definitely better to replace your old, worn shingles with new ones. If the replacement is required due to a bad storm, note that some insurance providers only offer limited coverage if your roof is past a specific age. In fact, your insurance provider can increase your premium or drop your coverage if your roof is too old.

However, if curling occurs on a newly-installed roof, then it may be an indication of an underlying moisture problem or roof ventilation issue. There are also times when shingle curling is the result of poor installation. Make sure to immediately contact a roof installation company to determine the main culprit of shingle curling so you can address it properly.

2. Dark-Colored Stains

Do you see dark, black-colored stains on the surface of your roof? At first glance, odd-looking patches on different roofing systems may appear similar, but the root cause actually varies depending on the roofing material. For example, if you have a porous roofing material, like concrete or brick tile, dark spots will likely be caused by moss or algae growing over time. Moss and algae are commonly found in damp areas, and since porous surfaces allow rainwater to flow through them more readily, these substances can thrive easier. Even though these dark stains do not pose any significant threat, they can make your exterior home less appealing and clean-looking.

Meanwhile, dark-colored spots on metal roofs bring bad news as they usually indicate a more serious problem related to aging: rusting. Rust has a detrimental effect on metal objects. It eats away at the roofing material, compromising the structural integrity of a metal roof. A roof weakened by rust can incapacitate the entire residential home. It does not take a lot to bring a rusty roof down, so it is crucial to replace badly corroded metal sheets as soon as possible. You can opt for a residential roofing replacement if it is not anymore economic to repair the existing metal roof.

3. Cracked Sealant or Caulk

In general, caulk describes any waterproof material that fills and seals joints between building materials. It is applied to seams or open areas where water can potentially seep through. A sealant functions similarly but can hold up better in spaces that are prone to frequent expansion and contraction since it is less rigid than caulk. 

However, after several years of exposure to harsh weather elements such as torrential downpour and heavy piles of snow, the sealant eventually gets brittle, making it more susceptible to cracking. A cracked sealant is compromised and practically ineffective in keeping moisture out. It is possible to encounter costly wood framing repairs if water leaks down into your ceiling joists and walls. To repair leaks, simply apply a new, fresh coat of sealant or caulk with a putty knife.

4. Damaged Underlayment

Sometimes, roof shingles may appear to be in tip-top shape from the outside, but the gradual process of aging may have caused substantial damage underneath the surface. Even an experienced roofer cannot accurately detect damage to your underlayment until the shingles have been removed to expose it.

There are many things that can affect the functionality of your roofing underlayment. For instance, asphalt felt can quickly deteriorate under extreme ultraviolet light exposure. Another problem with asphalt underlayment is that it contains volatile organic compounds that initially improve the toughness of the material. These compounds degrade over time and it happens at a much faster speed when you live in a hot, humid climate. Moisture can also ruin a plywood underlayment. A consistently damp wood with a moisture content of at least 20% will quickly initiate rotting and mold growth.

Make sure to schedule an annual or semi-annual inspection with a roofing contractor in order to identify problems before they become more expensive to fix. 

5. Blistering Paint

Blistering is defined as the formation of bubbles in the exterior paint. It is the result of localised loss of adhesion and the ensuing lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface. In roofing, blisters form when space is created between the roofing material and the protective layer of coating painted over it. 

Paint blisters are often caused by the application of a thick roof coating over a hot surface. Applying a second coat before the first coat dries up is also a no-go. Moisture trapped in the roofing ply, insulation, or wood decking drifts through small passages in the ply layers and can cause blistering. It is important to monitor blisters on the roof’s surface since popped blisters expose the material underneath which will certainly accelerate wear and tear. Make sure to work with an expert roof installation contractor to avoid dealing with problems such as blistering paint.

6. High Electric Bills

Your roof is an essential factor in the overall insulation of your home. As your roof ages and experiences deterioration, its insulating ability also grows weaker. A reduced insulation in your home can prevent indoor temperatures from remaining stable and cause ice buildup around the home. Draughts are also one of the biggest issues older homes face when trying to improve thermal performance. If you check your insulation and notice that it is damp, then it is clearly time to replace it.

Moreover, a poorly insulated roof can make your heating and cooling devices work twice as hard as before in order to push out the same amount of energy that can meet your comfort needs. This causes your electricity bills to spike. If you are getting suspiciously higher energy bills even though you are sure that the rest of your home is in good condition, then it may be time to call a local roofer.

Contact Precision Remodeling Solutions for Your Roofing Needs

Precision Remodeling Solutions is a leading source of home improvement solutions in Pennsylvania. Our team of professionals will happily guide you through the entire residential roofing replacement process, from material selection to the site cleanup. We are also the company to trust when it comes to quality bath and kitchen remodeling, basement remodeling and room additions. 
To request a free estimate, call at (215) 360-5857 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to transforming your dream home into a reality.

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