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Auburn Roofing: Article About Aging Asphalt Shingles

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The most common roofing type in the United States is asphalt. Builders typically choose this because it's easy to work with and inexpensive. Despite the fact that this is one of the most commonly used roofing materials, a majority of homeowners don't know how to spot signs that asphalt shingles are aging and the causes of this aging process. Once asphalt shingles have run their course, they need to be replaced by Auburn roofing experts to ensure that the next roof gives them the watertight seal they expect from a properly installed roof.

There are three major signs that a roof needs repair or replacing. Since it can be dangerous for homeowners to climb onto the roof to check for these signs, it's always recommended that they call a professional roofer to perform an inspection. During the inspection, the first sign that the roofer will check for is surface cracks. The cracks form as heat and other elements leach oil from the asphalt, causing the shingles to be less flexible and split as they expand and contract with changes in temperature. This is a common problem that forms as asphalt roofs deteriorate, giving moisture easy access to the roofing deck.

Another common problem, which can be seen from the ground, is called curling. This occurs as the surface granules erode and the asphalt hardens. As the asphalt becomes harder, the edges of the shingles start to contract.

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This process happens at a microscopic level, so most people don't even notice that this is an issue until it becomes a bigger problem. As stress on the the asphalt shingles intensifies, the ends of the shingles start to curl upward. One key sign that curling is taking place is finding granules in the gutters or in the downspout. It should be noted that organic shingles frequently appear to have excessive curling around the edges. This is part of the normal weathering process for organic shingles, not a defect. Professionally trained roofers can tell the difference.

The last common problem, which can typically be spotted from the ground, is surface stains. The stains often appear as black or brown marks that run down the shingles. Most homeowners assume that these stains are moss, soil or soot, but they usually represent algae growth. While these stains are most notable on light-colored shingles, they can appear on any type of asphalt. When algae starts to form, it's a sign that the roof is not drying completely, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and other organisms. Metal strips known as flashing are often installed around the peak of a roof. Metal coated in zinc has natural proprieties that deter the growth of algae.

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