No matter what roof system you have, it will eventually get old and deteriorate. When this happens, leaks and further damage can occur. Here at Pro Systems, Inc., we know that replacing a roof system can be very expensive and time consuming, and always strive to make sure replacing your roof is the last option.
Choosing the best roof system
There are many things to consider when choosing a new roof. Cost, function, durability, and aesthetics are all on the list to consider. Here are the most common options for new roofs in Hampton Roads, split between flat roofs and sloped roofs. Be sure to click on the roof system below to find out more about them.
Signs of An Aging Roof
But how do you know when your roof needs to be replaced? There are many signs that you can look for on both sloped and flat roof systems. Here we have broken down some of the common signs of roof aging by roof system type.
- Granule loss: As a shingle ages, the asphalt hardens and the granules begin to break away. While some granules loss is normal, excessive granules found in your gutters or out of your downspouts can mean it is time to inspect the roof. If you look at shingles, you can spot old shingles by their obvious gaps where the granules were.
- Curling: Another sign of shingle age is curling of the corners. You can typically see this from the ground.
- Cracking: Over time, shingles become brittle and do not stay stuck to each other as well. When weather and age loosen the shingles from each other, they can move during wind storms, and even break shingles off. If you find shingles or parts of shingles on your property, this can be a sign of advanced cracking. When this happens, leaks are not far behind and you should have your roof inspected as soon as possible.
- Blisters: If you get on your roof, you may see pea to quarter sized raised bubbles on aging shingles. The blisters can be open or closed, and are caused by natural weathering and when there is inadequate roof ventilation.
- Weather considerations: Hail storms, severe thunderstorms, and hurricanes or tropical storms can cause extensive damage to roofs which can sometimes mimic aging and cause roof leaks. It is recommended to have your roof inspected twice a year, and also after any severe storm. Strong storms can accelerate the aging process and damage older shingles.
Flat Roof Systems
- No matter the roof system, if laps are separated, wrinkled, or have openings, the roof is either already leaking or will soon.
- Holes and punctures caused by foot traffic, falling debris, service repairmen, etc, are not always cause for a roof replacement. If the roof is still functioning and in its service life, then many times the holes can be repaired and the leaks stopped.
- Roof membranes, such as EPDM, TPO, and PVC, can shrink. Over time, this can cause bridging and possible failures at walls, curbs, roof penetrations, drains, and terminations.
- Splitting, cracking, or crazing can occur along rows of fasteners and field seams.
- Plasticizers are added to PVC roof membranes to add flexibility, but can evaporate or migrate out of the membrane over time, causing it to become brittle and crack.
- If you walk on the roof and it feels soft in spots, this can be caused by moisture problems or damage to the insulation or deck. While this does not necessarily mean your roof needs to be replaced, it does most likely mean you have a leak that needs to repaired quick.
- Standing and ponding water can cause accelerated aging for nearly all types of roof systems, and can be a result of inadequate drainage and slope.
- Built up roofs can show bare spots on gravel roofs and open flashing laps.
- Blisters can occur from a gas, typically water vapor, being trapped under the roof membrane and expanding from the heat of the sun.
- Fasteners in mechanically attached systems can back out through the roof membrane, causing leaks.
- End and side laps can cause leaks from aged caulk or sealant.
- Buildings expand and contract, as well as settle over time, which cause fastener holes to become enlarged and damaged fastener seals and may cause leaks.
- Sometimes roof coatings are used on metal roofs to extend the roof life or stop leaks. If your roof has been coated, and there is substantial cracks and crazing, it may be time to have your roof inspected.
- splitting when the corners of the split are rounded and the interior is dull orange or grayish is from aging; if the split has sharp corners and the interior is light orange, this may be caused from an impact, such as a branch or hail
- curling or cupping shakes are signs of natural weathering and aging; if you can see the deck because of extreme curling or cupping, you may have or are about develop leaks and should contact us or another roofing company to inspect quickly
- wood expands and contracts, which can cause hairline cracks; over time these cracks become larger and may start to leak
- the bottom edge of wood shakes can start to decay from algae, lichen, or moss and if not treated properly, can cause the shakes to rot
- slate tiles have a much longer life than many other roof systems, but even this roof systems ages; if you see that tiles frequently slide out, this could mean the fasteners are failing
- flaking, or major delaminating, is a sign your slate roof may need to be replaced soon
- powder on the underside of the slate tiles, seen through the attic, is another sure sign of aging tiles
- tapping on the tiles with your knuckles can also help tell if your slate roof needs to be replaced; knocking on several tiles across the roof, aged tiles while sound dull, while good ones will sound clear and solid