What Ruins Asphalt Shingles?

February 15, 2024

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for homeowners due to their affordability, durability, and aesthetic appeal. However, like all roofing materials, they are not immune to damage. Understanding what can ruin asphalt shingles is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your roof and prolonging its lifespan. Tri-County Roofing has seen a variety of factors that can lead to the deterioration of asphalt shingles, and we’re here to share our insights to help you protect your investment.

Weather Extremes

Weather is perhaps the most significant factor that can affect the condition of your asphalt shingle roof. Here’s how various weather conditions can impact your shingles:

Sunlight and Heat: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and high temperatures can cause shingles to warp, crack, and lose their granules, reducing their effectiveness and lifespan.
Rain and Humidity: Moisture is a relentless enemy of asphalt shingles. Over time, water can seep under the shingles, causing them to rot, mold, or lift. High humidity can also accelerate wear and tear.
Wind: Strong winds can lift or even tear off shingles from the roof, leaving your home vulnerable to water damage.
Hail: Hailstorms can bruise or crack shingles, compromising their integrity and leading to leaks.

Poor Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation is essential to regulate temperature and moisture levels in the attic. Without adequate ventilation, heat and humidity can build up, causing the shingles to prematurely age or rot. This can also lead to the formation of ice dams in colder climates, where melting snow refreezes at the roof’s edge, causing water to back up under the shingles and potentially lead to leaks.

Improper Installation

The longevity of an asphalt shingle roof greatly depends on the quality of its installation. Mistakes made during the installation process, such as improper nailing or shingle alignment, can lead to a host of problems, including leaks, increased vulnerability to wind uplift, and a general decrease in the roof’s lifespan. Always ensure that your roofing contractor is reputable and experienced in installing asphalt shingle roofs.

Lack of Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your asphalt shingle roof. Neglecting to clean gutters, remove debris, or address minor repairs can lead to more significant issues over time. For instance, clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your roof, leading to leaks and water damage. Similarly, leaving branches, leaves, and other debris on your roof can trap moisture and lead to algae and moss growth, which can deteriorate shingles.

Algae and Moss Growth

Algae and moss thrive in moist, shaded areas and can be particularly damaging to asphalt shingles. Algae can leave unsightly black streaks on your roof, while moss can cause shingles to lift, allowing water to penetrate underneath. Both can shorten the lifespan of your roof and impact its appearance.

Walking on the Roof

Frequent foot traffic can also damage asphalt shingles. Walking on your roof can dislodge granules and crack or break shingles, especially in hot weather when they are more pliable or in cold weather when they are brittle.

Prevention and Maintenance: Key Strategies

The good news is that many of the issues that ruin asphalt shingles can be prevented with proper maintenance and timely repairs. Here are some strategies to keep your roof in top condition:

  • Regular Inspections: Have your roof inspected by a professional at least once a year to identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure your attic is well-ventilated to regulate temperature and moisture levels.
  • Timely Repairs: Address any damage or wear and tear as soon as it’s noticed to prevent further deterioration.
  • Clean Gutters and Roof: Keep your gutters clean and your roof free of debris to prevent water accumulation and damage.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Foot Traffic: Minimize walking on your roof to prevent damage to the shingles.

Tri-County Roofing is committed to helping our clients maintain the health and longevity of their roofs. Whether you need a roof inspection, repair or have questions about caring for your asphalt shingle roof, we’re here to help. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing high-quality roofing solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Protecting your roof starts with understanding what can damage it and taking proactive steps to mitigate these risks.

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