Why is my roof failing?

Why is my roof failing?

You probably are wondering why the roof you put on 11 years ago is failing. You thought you bought the best. The sales person told you to buy the 40 year heavy architectural shingle and you will never worry about your roof again.

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Bob Villa has been warning consumers for years about bogus asphalt warranties. “While asphalt shingles come with warranties ranging from 20 to as long as 45 years, roofers and builders remain skeptical of those warranties. Since warranties are a marketing device, they are not a reliable predictor of lifespan. In the past decade, there have been many complaints of asphalt shingle failure long before warranties expired”.

Manufactures have also been telling homeowners that today’s shingles will not perform like shingles of old. “Due to the severity of the roof environment, even a one year old roof may look different from a roof that was just installed. While you may have first noticed the cracks or blistering from the ladder as you were cleaning the gutters, please be mindful that these normal weathering characteristics may not be visible when you view your roof from your front lawn or driveway.” – COPYRIGHT 1999 CERTAINTEED CORP. – THE LIFECYCLE OF YOUR ROOF

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To understand what happened we need to look at some background information on shingles. Two types of asphalt shingles are used: organic and fiberglass or glass fiber. Organic shingles are generally paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, then a top coating of adhesive asphalt is applied and ceramic granules are then embedded. A newer design of fiberglass asphalt shingle, called laminated or architectural, uses two distinct layers which are bonded together with asphalt sealant. Laminate shingles are heavier and more expensive but are not more durable than traditional 3-tab shingle designs. Laminated shingles will give you a more varied, contoured visual effect to your roof.

Asphalt shingles are dried out by heat and ultraviolet sun rays. Eventually the loss of the heavy oils causes the fibers to shrink, exposing the nail heads under the shingle flaps. The shrinkage also breaks up the surface coating of sand adhered to the surface of the paper, and eventually causes the paper to begin to tear itself apart. Once the nail heads are exposed, water running down the roof can seep into the building around the nail shank, resulting in rotting of roof building materials and causing moisture damage to ceilings and paint inside.

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The asphalt industry has long known of the problems of today’s modern asphalt shingles. The solution is simple. Make a shingle like they did 40 years ago. However, in order to do that, the oil content of a shingle would need to be dramatically increased making the product cost prohibitive. Dwain Bouton President of Certified Roofing Consultants explains  “The pressures placed on large, public companies to maintain profitability brought forward good old American ingenuity, reduce fiberglass mat weight (fibers were expensive) and increase filler content (asphalt was also expensive )”.

While the asphalt industry has its problems, and consumers are becoming more educated, the Metal Roof industry continues to grow market share. This growth has been fueled only in part by the shortcomings of asphalt roofs but also by the beauty and maintenance free aspects homeowners get by installing a Metal Roof.

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As a leader in the metal roofing industry, American Metal Roofs (AMR) strongly recommends  considering a metal roofing solution as  long term investment in your home. AMR provides free estimates on a metal roof homes throughout Michigan and Wisconsin.

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