Inspecting An Asphalt-Shingle Roof

In order to get the most from your asphalt shingles, you need to make repairs to your roof any time you discover damage. While the average layman might not know what damage to a shingle roof looks like, you can easily learn to make your own inspections. The trick is to know what sort of damage different weather events are likely to cause to your roof. 


The bottom edge of asphalt shingles typically hang free and can catch wind. While this should not be a problem in most storms, if a gale-force windstorm rolls through your area, you should take the time to inspect your roof. A strong wind can tear a shingle along its seams or rip shingles completely off your roof. Missing shingles should be easy enough to recognize, but you may have to climb onto your roof and look closely to find tears. In either case, you need to replace wind-damaged shingles. 


The type of damage caused by hail will depend on how large the hailstones that fall on your roof are. Small stones can scrape off the protective granules that protect shingles from the sun. Check for granules in your gutters and downspouts after a storm. Larger hailstones can puncture a shingle. Look for bulls-eye-shaped damage. If you find a shingle with missing granules or cracks, it needs to be replaced. 

UV Rays

The UV rays of the sun can bake out any residual liquid left in the tar that is the key component in asphalt shingles. Once these liquids are gone, shingles can start to shrink, and as they do, they will curl. If there are still a lot of granules left on top of your shingles, you can use a torch to make your shingles pliable, straighten them, then stick them down with a dab of roofing cement. On the other hand, if there are not a lot of granules left on curled shingles, you should replace them. 

If you don't conduct timely repairs, leaks can form in your roof. If you have a small leak, you might not realize that you have a problem until you check your attic and find water-damaged, mold-covered roof supports. In any case, a leak—big or small—can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Thus, the key to protecting your roof and your home is learning to inspect your roof at least once a year, especially if you have had any extreme weather in your area. If you find any major issues with your roof, call a roof repair company right away.