How Often Should You Replace Your Roof Shingles
Any damage or signs of wear call for immediate action to keep water from seeping under the shingles and rotting the wood sheathing beneath. Ignoring a problemeven what appears to be a small onewill accelerate the need to reroof and can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of a new roof.
Pro2Pro Tip: Always make roof repairs on a warm, dry afternoon the shingles will be more supple and less likely to crack. And never climb onto a roof thats wet, icy or covered with morning dew.
If your roof is more than 20 years old and most of the shingles are damaged or badly worn, its time to replace it. But if your roof is basically sound and is at a relatively shallow pitch that youre comfortable working on, you can probably handle most repairs yourself.
Here, well take you through the three most-common ones: replacing asphalt shingles gluing down a badly curled shingle and repairing shingles that have cracked.
Origins Of Roofing Tar
Tar has an interesting history. Six centuries ago, wood tar was known for its maritime uses. Specifically, it was used to preserve the wood and rigging of boats. However, in certain parts of Scandinavia, it was considered to be a cash crop to small landowners and was traded for staples.Eventually, the tar showed up in larger cities and towns and was further distributed. In the beginning, barrels of tar were exported from the area in which it was produced. There were some areas that were thought to produce inferior tar such as Russia and Finland.By the mid-1600s, NorrlSndska TjSrkompaniet, a Swedish wood tar company, was allowed the privilege of sole exportation. However, by 1900, the company had lost its reign and other countries were starting to export tar again.The maritime uses for tar started to slow down at the end of the 19th century. Also, the production of tar started to diminish in the U.S. However, there were many technological advances taking place during this era. In the 20th century, natural wood tar would be replaced with artificial sealants.
Prime The Repair Area
Once the surface of the patch area is free of all dust, debris, and moisture, apply the liquid asphalt primer to the roof surface, with either a brush or roller. There are also products available in a spray can form which work well.
Allow the primer to flash off so that there is no excess primer on the surface of the roof. A primer that is too wet will inhibit the adhesion of the patch.
Also Check: Is Roof Leaks Covered In House Insurance
How To Repair A Built
Kelly Bacon is a licensed general contractor with over 40 years of experience in construction, home building and remodeling, and commercial building. He is a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.
Perry Mastrovito/Getty Images
- Working Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Total Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Estimated Cost: $40 to $60
Many homes and commercial buildings have flat or low-pitched roof structures, and many of these feature asphalt-based roof systems installed on them. These built-up roof systems can be either smooth surfaced or have a gravel surface on them to help protect them from weathering.
As these roof systems age and begin to break down, cracks and splits may appear around the perimeter, in the flashings, and the general field of the roof. In order to maintain these roof systems and maximize the life of the roof, repair these roofs as soon as leaks occur.
General repairs to an asphalt built-up roof system can be accomplished quickly and effectively, by using the following list of materials and hand tools.
Set Up Where To Start And Finish
The important thing about tarring a roof is to not paint yourself into a corner. Planning is as important as doing the job. Always begin in a corner and set your ladder at the other end, furthest away from your start point. This is how you can cover the roof in tar while moving away from it. You will find your escape route is there for you when you finish.
Flat Roof Repairs Vs Flat Roof Replacement Options
We might be generalizing, but most contractors want you to believe that repairing a flat roof is a waste of time and money.
They will likely tell you that once you notice a leak, the damage to the roof is so significant that patching or repairing it will be a short-term fix at best and last less than one year.
And whats worse, water might still be seeping in and causing mold, rot and other major problems.
How to know when it would be smarter to put the money toward a new roof? Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your roof generally in good condition?
- Did hail cause a roof hail damage or was it caused by wind roof damage?
- Is the damaged area small and can it be easily covered?
If these conditions are met a roof repair is probably the best option.
However, there is one major condition the repair flat roof must be done properly. If youre confident in your abilities, you can DIY it but if youre not, reach out to a well-reviewed and recommended roof contractor.
Early Signs That A Flat Roof Needs To Be Repaired
Long before the dripping through the ceiling starts, dark brown patches of moisture can develop, as damp from a damaged flat roof seeps slowly through. It is at this stage that you need to get the leak fixed or at least investigated to check whether it is a small joint fix that is required or something bigger. If you are in doubt about the safety of climbing onto a flat roof and whether it can sustain your weight, please do contact a local professional roofer.
If the roof is old and in an exposed area, its timbers may have become rotten over a sustained period of time. Timber can also sag under pools of accumulated water and old chipboard decks can break up/disintegrate when damp look for concentric circle stains from dried up water in low spots on the roofing too and not just for pools of water.
TIP 2: Place a board across the flat roof to walk on and spread your weight. Do not position the board close to an edge and place markers in areas that may otherwise be in your blind-spot.
Locating the source of the leak is not as easy as looking directly above where the damp patch is on the ceiling. Water can get under the surface and run in any number of directions between layers before it leaks through the boarding and into the room below.
Rawlins stock repair products for roofs of any gradient, and for light to heavy traffic
You May Like: How To Install Rv Rubber Roof
Asphalt Flat Roof Repair
Common damage issues include blistering in the asphalt from heat conditions, cracks, wrinkles and/or splits, and sagging.
to the crack/damage works very well as an emergency solution to seal gaps. All products sold at Rawlins Paints come with instructions and usually PDFs are also available for download.
Asphalt roofs can be repaired by having a small patch of roofing felt torched on. Alternately, one of the professional liquid systems available at rawlinspaints.com can repair leaks on asphalt roofs.
Felt Flat Roof Repair
Old pour and roll felt roofing can crack, get puncture holes , or the felt could split. Edging can also lift, or old flashings against the wall could leak. The surface may also suffer from dips or hollows.
As with most temporary flat roof repair work, a paint on solution can fix leaks. A number of these products are available at Rawlins Paints.
If the old layer of felt roofing is in good enough condition, then a liquid system repair can be applied. For older felt roofing, a patch of torched on roofing with add an additional layer and fix the damage. Please ensure that the user of a torch flame to conduct repair work on felt roofing is insured to work with naked flames, and always have a readily available and easily accessible fire extinguisher to hand.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Average Cost Of Roofing Per Square
Decide How The Tar Will Be Transported
Another important step is finding a way to transport the tar. If this project is particularly large then you may need to pour the tar directly onto the roof from the pipes of a truck. However, if the project is relatively small, you can use a steel bucket to carry tar to the roof.Simply fill your bucket up to 3/4 full. This way, you can ensure that there are no spills and that it’s easy to carry up the ladder. Remember, you’re dealing with liquid so the bucket can shift. So make sure the bucket isn’t too heavy.
How To Fix Damaged Roof Shingles
We share step-by-step instructions for the three most common asphalt-shingle repairs.
Maintaining a sound roof literally tops the list of crucial home repairs: It keeps you and your family warm and dry, along with everything in your house. A new roof is a pricey proposition. These simple repairs can keep your existing roof sound for years to come.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Black Mold From Roof Shingles
How To Apply Roofing Tar
Tar is now used as a commercial and residential roof sealant. The process of applying roofing tar is pretty straight-forward. However, it’s essential that you choose the right time of applying roofing tar.Specifically, you should avoid tarring the roof when it’s raining or snowing. Also, it should be applied in temperatures of 40 to 70 degrees. If you apply the tar when it’s too hot then there’s a chance that it may drip and won’t properly seal. Here are a few key steps:
How To Repair Tar And Gravel Flat Roof Leaks
Tar and gravel roof repair is relatively easy process, but is quite messy and smelly. When leaks on the ceiling point your way to your flat roof, get out your old clothes and get busy.
A built up roof of layers of paper and tar topped with gravel can last 10-20 years on flat roofs. A flat roof still has an almost imperceptible slope to it to handle drainage of rain and snow. Leaks happen where things penetrate the roof surface, on flat areas where water ponds, and when blisters crack open.
Unfortunately, since many of these roofs are on apartment buildings or commercial buildings, someone always seems to find their way up there. Is that the door to the roof? Lets go sunbathing, or watch fireworks, or how about a moonlit party? As the roof ages, blisters can form, and foot traffic can crack them, leading to leaks.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Plywood For Roofing
Cost To Repair Flat Roof Vs Flat Roof Replacement
Understanding the costs of various types of flat roofing materials is where you should start when determining whether you repair the roof or replace it entirely.
Materials like PVC, TPO, EPDM, or similar materials can be expensive to install even without labor costs.
All the same, flat roofing repair costs can be higher than replacement costs simply because repairing the roof usually takes more time and requires more effort.
And at the end of the day, theres a good chance that hiring a flat roofing specialist is the best way to protect your investment.
Sometimes even the best professional roof repair team cant save your roof, which means its time to replace it all together.
You probably already know that if a building you own has a flat roof, water damage and leaks are your biggest enemies and all leaks must be fixed as soon as possible by an experienced professional roofer using high quality materials.
Tar And Gravel Roof Maintenance Options
High-quality flashing and compression drains can make your entire roofing installation more durable. To make your roof last longer, you can also have it strengthened or built up by layering the roof with more fiberglass or foam. This will improve its insulating properties.
You can also opt for the application of an acrylic or elastomeric coating, which will make your installation more resistant to harsh weather conditions. You can also switch to a thermoplastic membrane, which will prevent moisture from infiltrating the layers between the asphalt and the roof base.
Don’t Miss: How Much To Roof A House
Fix Plumbing Vent Boots
Plumbing vent boots can be all plastic, plastic and metal, or even two-piece metal units. Check plastic bases for cracks and metal bases for broken seams. Then examine the rubber boot surrounding the pipe. That can be rotted away or torn, allowing water to work its way into the house along the pipe. With any of these problems, you should buy a new vent boot to replace the old one. But if the nails at the base are missing or pulled free and the boot is in good shape, replace them with the rubber-washered screws used for metal roofing systems. You’ll find them at any home center with the rest of the screws. You’ll have to work neighboring shingles free on both sides. If you don’t have extra shingles, be careful when you remove shingles so they can be reused. Use a flat bar to separate the sealant between the layers. Then you’ll be able to drive the flat bar under the nail heads to pop out the nails.
There Are Few Options For Restoring An Old Gravel Roof Luckily Surecoat Is One Of Them
There are not many options for repairing flat and low-slope gravel roofs long-term. Often, a roof tear-off or SPF foam encapsulation are the only options suggested by roofing contractors. Unfortunately both these options are very expensive. Even SPF foam roofs need a waterproof coating like SureCoat to protect them from moisture and UV. The SureCoat Roof System can be used directly over a spud gravel roof as a partial or full roof reconditioning system.
The SureCoat Roof Restoration System is the longest lasting roof coating system for gravel roofs that have reached the end of their life cycle. By using the existing roof as a base, the SureCoat Roof System can add an additional 10-20 years of life back into an existing gravel roof without tear-off.
A SureCoat roof eliminates 100% of roof seams, withstands ponding water conditions and is UV stable for the entire life of the system . What other manufacturer can say that? There are no seams, no flashings and no penetrations in a SureCoat Roof System. The SureCoat Roof System is self-flashing, self-adhered and self-priming, making the installation process simple. Watch a short SureCoat roof repair video here
SureCoat is Title 24 compliant Energy Star approved and has exceedingly high testing results published with the Cool Roof Rating Counsel . The low VOC formula of SureCoat does not harm our air quality and is environmentally responsible.
Don’t Miss: How Much Should A New Roof Cost Per Square Foot
Confirming Your Roof Type
An important step in completing an effective repair to your low-sloped built-up roof system is to confirm that your roof system is, in fact, an asphalt-based roof system. The following method of repair is only applicable to roof systems that are asphalt-based. If your roof assembly is a single-ply membrane, such as EPDM or TPO, the application of asphalt repair material to the surface of the membrane can damage the membrane and lead to a much larger patch or even full replacement.
Solution For A Small Leak
Some roof leaks are tough to locate. Sometimes the water shows up at a ceiling spot distant from the leak. If your ceiling has a plastic vapor barrier between the drywall and the attic insulation, push the insulation aside and look for flow stains on the plastic. Often water runs to openings in the vapor barrier, such as at ceiling light fixtures.
If you can’t see any telltale flow marks, and since the stain is fairly small, look at the underside of the roof for ‘shiners.’ A shiner is a nail that missed the framing member, in this case when the carpenter nailed the roof sheathing to the rafters. Moisture that escapes into the cold attic from the rooms below often condenses on cold nails. Sometimes you can spot this if you climb up into your attic on a cold night. The nails will look white because they’re frosted. When the attic heats up a bit during the day, the frost melts and drips, then the nails frost up at night again and so on. The solution is to simply clip the nail with a side-cutting pliers.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is A Solar Roof
Fix Curled Roof Shingle Corners With Caulking
As asphalt shingles get older, their corners often begin to curl downward or upward. If you notice a shingle starting to curl, you can forestall the inevitable curling by gluing down the curled section.
Use a caulking gun to apply a dab of roofing sealant under the corner. Weigh it down with a brick leave the weight in place for at least 24 hours until the sealant dries. That’s all there is to it.