A home’s roof provides protection from the elements and helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. The type of roofing material best suited for an application depends on many factors. However, asphalt roofing shingles have long been the material of choice for homes and businesses across the country. It’s not hard to understand why, since they’re well-known for being low-cost, versatile and easy to install. Not only that, but they come in a variety of attractive colors and shapes that will enhance any home. They also provide an exceptional level of protection from the elements.
Here are some of the top benefits of asphalt roofs:
• Affordability – Asphalt roofing is very cost-effective for homeowners, and provides exceptional value for the money. In fact, around 70% of all of the homes in the United States have asphalt shingles. This is because they are relatively inexpensive and easier to install than other materials. Asphalt roofing is also less costly to repair than other roof types. That’s good news for homeowners who are budget conscious.
• Long Life – Long winters, summer storms and windy conditions take their toll on a roof. It has to stand up to all those elements without failing for as long as possible. The good news is that when properly installed, an asphalt roof can last 30 years or more. For the average homeowner, that means only having to replace the roof once in their lifetime.
• Attractive Options – Asphalt shingles come in a large variety of colors, making it easy to find one that complements the color scheme of any home. Not only that, but they can mimic slate, cedar and wood roofing materials to match the architectural style of a unique build or home. Because there are so many choices, a roof can be completely different from anything the neighbors have.
• Sustainable – For the environmentally concerned homeowner who’s worried about decreasing their impact on the Earth, asphalt shingles are an excellent option. They are increasingly recycled instead of being sent to a landfill. They can be used to patch and build roads, driveways, and a variety of other products. That means fewer natural resources are used and less waste overall.
Can A Roof Be Repaired or Should It Be Replaced?
If a roof is showing signs of age or damage, it may not be time to replace it. The truth is, sometimes a replacement isn’t necessary, and a few repairs will take care of the problem. Here are a few things to look for to help determine whether a new roof is necessary or not. However, it’s always best to contact a local roofing company to get a professional opinion.
• Roof Age – Most roofing experts recommend that if a roof is more than 20 years old, it probably needs to be replaced. While the typical roof will last up to 30 years, that depends upon the quality of materials used and the quality of the installation. Homeowners that aren’t sure when the last time it was replaced, or the level of expertise the installer had, should call in an expert to evaluate it.
• Number of Layers – Sometimes, a roof has a single layer of shingles, and it’s possible to use that as the base for a second layer, although most professional roofers do not advise that. The only way to know for sure is to peel back some of the shingles to reveal an underlying layer. This should not be done by a person with no experience, as it is dangerous working at heights, and can damage the roof.
• Buckled or Curled Shingles – Over time, asphalt shingles begin to curl, buckle and the granules start to fall off. Take a look at the roof, especially the sloped areas when the sun is shining directly upon them. Any shingles that exhibit signs of age and wear will generally need to be replaced. For most people, it’s best to leave this job to someone with the proper safety equipment and experience.
• Missing Shingles – Missing shingles, especially in the valleys of the roof is a sure sign that the roof needs to be inspected. In some cases, the single shingles can replaced, depending upon what the cause of damage is. Other times, it’s an indication that the roof is past its prime and needs to be replaced. It’s difficult to determine the best course of action from the ground, and a roof inspection by a professional is in order.
• Light Shining Through – It’s important to inspect the attic, specifically the ceiling area. Light filtering in through the roof means that the roof has been compromised and needs to be replaced. Remember that if light is making its way in, moisture will too. Don’t put off repairing this type of problem; get someone in to take care of the issue as soon as possible to avoid damage to the home’s structure.
Overall, asphalt roof shingles are the most popular roofing material option for homeowners across the country. They are cost-effective, perform well in a variety of environments, improve the appearance of nearly any home, and they’re reasonably easy to install. Even so, it’s always best to hire a professional roofer to inspect, repair, or replace a roof. Inexperienced homeowners can easily cause damage to the roof, get injured, or worse if they attempt this dangerous job themselves.