Winter can cause unseen damage to your roof.

Feb 11, 2011

3Winter and early spring are particularly tough on roofs. Temperatures swing from below to above freezing causing shingles to expand and contract. This movement puts high stress on both the fasteners and the adhesive strips of the shingles. The adhesive strip is put on by the manufacturer and is applied across the middle of the shingle. As the next shingle is laid, it comes in contact with the adhesive strip and glues the two shingles together. When properly installed, the shingles adhere to one another like one big blanket of roofing.

The problems occur when the shingles start to age. As shingles reach 15 to 18 years they began to “dry out”, meaning they become brittle and lose their flexibility. When this occurs, expansion and contraction cause the adhesive strip to fail, meaning the shingles are no longer glued to one another. As you can imagine, when the adhesive strip fails, the shingles become very susceptible to wind damage. You may have gone into the winter with a functioning roof only to find shingles blowing off in the spring winds.

What to Look For

The early sign of this failure is shingle lift. The shingles on your roof no longer look like they are laying flat. This is not always visible or easily seen; a pair of binoculars are helpful.

Also, look for missing shingles.  As you start your spring clean up outside, look for missing shingles.  Many homeowners discover pieces of their shingles in the yard or landscaping in the spring.

What to do

First, try to calculate the age of the roof. If it a traditional tab shingle roof, you should begin to inspect the shingles each spring starting around year 15. Traditional shingle roofs start becoming brittle around 15 to 18 years. The more durable, dimensional style shingles tend to last longer. We usually see failure in the dimensional shingles in the 18 to 22 year time frame.

Second, if you are comfortable getting on your roof, inspect your shingles. If the adhesive strip has failed, you will be able to lift the top shingle away from the underneath shingle.

Lastly, get a professional inspection. Contact a qualified roofing contractor and get an inspection. Although there is usually a small fee involved, a good inspection can save you hundreds on inside damage caused by a leaky roof. It is a great investment in your home.

Now through the end of March 2011 we are waiving the inspection fee.  

It can take a small leak 3-4 weeks to work through your plywood, drip down and through 10 inches of insulation and saturate your ceiling enough to cause a stain. Damage can be occurring in your attic with mold and rot long before you ever see a stain on the ceiling. Don’t put it off.

We will come out and inspect your roof for FREE and provide you with an estimate if necessary. There is no charge for an inspection or estimate.

Visit us at and set up your free inspection or estimate today.

You can also email us: