Re-Roofing Your Home? Consider This!

Roof shingles in Calgary can be a huge concern as we get so much turbulent weather. Including frequent hail storms in the summer. After the last shingle goes onto a property owners’ roof, they think that it’s one thing they don’t have to worry about checking for a long time.

Generally, that is true. However, it’s based on the assumption that good quality shingles were applied, and proper installation was completed. You might think that if things go wrong, the warranty will cover replacing the roof shingles. Maybe, but many things can void the warranty contract.

Warranty Contract Conditions

Shingle manufacturers offer warranties on materials used for manufacturing roofing products. If the installer did not handle, use the correct installation processes, or store the shingles properly, the manufacturer might void the warranty. Manufacturers may fail to honour the warranty if there are underlying roof defects or if the attic ventilation is not right. There are many reasons for roof damage not being honoured by your insurance, and you can read more about it here.

It is a good idea to check your policy for what it covers precisely and ask contractors about their labour guarantees before you hire them. Inspect your shingles before installation. If you think there is a warranty problem after they are on the roof, take lots of pictures! This is good so you have a record to use in discussions about a warranty claim.

roof shingles damage

Weather can take a toll on shingles too, and the manufacturer will not cover damage from hail or storms. Torn or missing shingles and excessive wear of the gravel cover due to hail or heavy rain are signs of weather-related damage. Check your homeowners insurance because it may cover the cost of the shingle replacement. In such a weather turbulent area like Calgary, knowing weather related damage to your roof shingles’ is covered by your warranty can be a huge reassurance.

In the past, manufacturers have made defective roofing products. The IKO shingle manufacturer had a class-action suit filed against them for faulty shingles. It is crucial to inspect your shingles for possible manufacturing defects before they go onto your roof.

Lifetime Warranty On Roof Shingles?

Roof materials, when correctly installed, do have reasonably long lifelines. If the warranties state it is for a ‘Lifetime,’ it is not referring to the lifetime of the shingle. It applies to the roof lifetime where the owner lives. Some special clauses will allow the warranty to pass to a new owner but clarify this with the manufacturing company. If so, it may become an additional selling factor when you’re selling your home.

Here are the suggested timespans for different kinds of roofing materials:

  • Asphalt Shingles – 20 To 25 Years
  • Slate, Clay Tiles, Cement Blend – 30 To 60 Years.
  • Galvanized Metal – 30-40 Years
  • Wooden Shake – 30-40 Years
  • Flat Tar And Gravel – Up To 30 Years
  • Lifetime Dimensional – Warranty For 50 Years

How long roofing material lasts depends on the quality of the shingle, the type, thickness, and whether it was installed correctly (e.g. cut out three tabs, laminated, overlap).

Roof Inspections

You should inspect your roof at least twice a year, and after significant weather events to spot signs of wear. Start in the attic and look for sunlight filtering into the attic. Sunbeams seen on the inside of your attic indicates the shingle has lifted or is damaged. Look for any water spots that indicate leakage. If there are spots on the inside, the damaged area of the roof will be in the same area outside. In the winter, icicles on the edge of the roof may mean insulation, ventilation, or flashing is missing or there could be gutter material problems.

What Causes Wear & Tear?

Factors that cause wear and tear are:

  • Weather – Has There Been Hail, Heavy Rain, Strong Heat & Sunlight, Or Wind Storms?
  • Installation – Were The Shingles Stored & Applied Correctly? If The Shingles Are Left Out, They Can Absorb Water & React To Hot Or Cold Temperatures.
  • Have The Installers Bent Or Ripped The Shingle, Or Applied Them To A Roof Incorrectly?
  • Odd Roof Formation – Sometimes Elaborate Building Design Can Be Hard To Work Into A Shingle Pattern. Shingles Might Lift, Or The Surfaces Wear Due To Poor Drainage Patterns.
  • Poor Ventilation – Roof Damage Can Occur When There Is No Ventilation In The Attic. Extended Heat Or Ice Formation Can Affect The Life Of Roofing Materials.
weathered shingles

Check all the metal roof flashings for bends or lift. Repairing bends and lifts requires caulking the edges with sealant. Bare spots on asphalt shingles and grit in the gutters or on the ground indicate areas that will wear faster than the other tiles on the roof. Edges of asphalt shingles that curl mean they are not protecting the roof effectively. Wooden shakes may split, show blackened surfaces, fall out or have moss growth. Clay tile, slate and cement composite tiles should be inspected for chips and broken tiles.

Look for lifting, corrosion or rust on a tin roof. Gouges and popped fasteners will allow water to seep underneath. Straightening the tin panels and caulking the gouges and panel fasteners will fix this. If the colour has faded, repainting may be necessary. Flat tar and gravel roofs can have cracked seams and damaged liner materials. Check for water pooling and bare gravel spots that indicate repairs or replacement is necessary.

To Re-Roof Or Not To Re-Roof … That Is The Question!

Deciding whether your roof needs a full replacement can depend on the extent of the roof damage. If there is damage over half of the roof, you should consider new roofing. If the damage is just in a few spots, a professional roofing contractor may re-do only the affected area. Fixing small problems is much easier than replacing the entire roof if you leave it too long. If your inspections show the shingles have unexplained blistering or cracking before the warranties are up, contact the manufacturer. They may cover some of the re-roofing costs.

Labour is usually about 3/4 of the cost in a roofing contract, and shingle material costs about 1/4. Some people may be able to tackle the job themselves if they have the necessary skillset. However, a professional roofing company will have the required equipment and experience to get the job done! Getting the materials up on the roof is a hefty job to take on, and it’s usually quicker, safer and easier to hire the job out. The overall cost will also impact your decision to replace the roof shingles. Talk to several companies, compare prices, and check their references before you agree to a written contract.

man fixing shingles

Sometimes manufacturers of roofing materials will discontinue certain products. If you have a small repair job, speak with a professional roofing contractor to select compatible substitutes for the repair. Roofing companies also have maintenance packages where they visit your home yearly, inspect and point out any problems that may be developing.

These roofing professionals are in the business and have a practiced eye to spot problems before they become big-ticket items. Professional roofing specialists can give you an idea as to the extent of the damage and what repairs will cost. They are knowledgeable about roof repair products and will help you with any questions you have about roofing. Finding an experienced Calgary roofing company shouldn’t be difficult! With regular inspection and maintenance, you can make your roof and shingles last for their full lifetime.

If you have any questions about your roof or shingles, give us a call. Our experienced staff at National Star Roofing can answer any of your questions and handle any roofing related problem. We are Calgary based experts in all roof shingles and roofing needs!