Your asphalt shingle roof will last about 20 years and, no, there is nothing you can do to help extend its life. Once installed, it is at the mercy of the elements. Heavy snow loads, torrential rain storms, ice build up, harsh summer sun, and even salt spray can cause the shingles to wear out sooner, rather than later. There are several ways, however, to determine if it is nearing the end of its useful life:

Outside

From the ground, you can look up at the roof line. If the shingles are flat and snug against the roof, your roof is healthy. If, however, the edges of the shingles curl up, it is an indication that your roof is aging. When shingles are installed they are soft and pliable, but as they start to age, they become brittle. The corners curl up and eventually break off. leaving your home vulnerable. In fact, you may even be able to look in the foundation plantings for bits and pieces of broken shingles, which is another telltale sign of age. 

Inside

Although not commonly known, you can also inspect your roof from the inside of the attic. You are looking for signs of water damage. Damp insulation, dark stains on the wood, and even mold are all indications that your roof is no longer effectively protecting your home from water. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency even warns that mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours after water infiltration. Getting the source of the water fixed quickly is imperative. 

Up on the Roof

The easiest way to inspect your roof, of course, is to actually climb up there and take a look. As you walk around looking for missing shingles and damaged flashing, you should pay attention to how your roof feels underfoot. It should be firm and solid. A roof that feel squishy, bouncy, or soft is a huge warning sign that water has gotten beneath the shingles and waterproof roofing felt to the roof's plywood sheathing. Once the plywood comes into contact with water, it becomes soft and ineffective at protecting your home. This could happen due to improper installation, but it is more likely due to aging, worn out shingles. 

Keeping a watchful eye on the health of your shingles can help you determine when the proper time to call a roofing professional for a closer look. Acting sooner rather than later can save you money. To learn more, contact a company like Drey Roofing with any questions you have.

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