By Kevin Synan

Roofing is an area most homeowners are not quite familiar with. Knowing whether it is time to repair or replace can be quite daunting. And while many homeowners typically get a roof replacement once during their lifetime, the question still remains– How do you know when your shingles have reached the end of their life?

Firstly, you can identify if your roof needs replaced just by looking from the ground. On a clear sunny day, if you look at your roof and it appears to be shiny around the edges of your shingles, that is an indication that your shingles are coming to the end of their life. That shiny reflecting material is the fiberglass mat of the shingle. The fiberglass mat is the “heart” of a shingle and once that begins to show, it’s a cue that it may be time to start looking at a replacement. If you’re able to clearly see quite a bit of the fiberglass mat from the ground, we would recommend replacing your roof.

Secondly, if you don’t see the fiberglass from the ground but you know that you have an older roof (and you are brave enough to pull out the ladder), you can inspect your shingles from a bird’s eye view. The first thing to look for when inspecting your shingles is that shiny fiberglass mat. You will typically see threads of fiberglass coming out on the edges of your shingles. If you see a consistent amount of shingles with the fiberglass exposed, we recommend getting your roof replaced before you run into bigger issues.

Another sign is looking for any horizontal cracking in the shingle. Horizontal cracking is an indication that your roofing system is improperly ventilated. About 90% of roofing systems in the United States are improperly ventilated, which causes shingles to fail prematurely. Hot, stagnant air sits in your attic space and heats the shingles from the underside. This is what causes the shingles to crack, and when the shingles crack, that fiberglass mat becomes exposed.

Lastly, if your shingles appear to have missing granules and all you see is a black material, that is a final sign that your roof is near the end of its life. The black material underneath those granules is asphalt. Asphalt is the material that protects that fiberglass mat. Without this protection, the shingle starts to disintegrate, unearthing potential forthcoming problems.

At Holzer Resnick, we are honest and upfront with our homeowners. If you ever have any hesitations about the life expectancy of your roof, give us a call. We can save you the headache and check your roof for you, letting you know how many years you have left so you can start saving for that future replacement, which is transferrable to the next homeowner– Peace of mind for you and your future.