Have you looked at your roof lately? Roofs are easy for homeowners to forget, because they can go for years without being noticed. In fact, many homeowners don’t notice that anything is wrong with their roofs–until something happens, and parts of the roof end up on your front lawn. Most insurance companies ask you to do a visual inspection of your roof each year, just to make sure there aren’t major problems you need to have repaired. One of the problems you might find through a visual inspection of your roof is lifted shingles. If you aren’t sure what lifted shingles are, here is some information about them and how to fix the problems caused by them.

What Is an Asphalt Shingle?

The majority of roofs in the United States are made with asphalt shingles. Nearly 80% of all roofs are made from asphalt shingles. An asphalt shingle is usually made with a fiberglass mat. Both the top and bottom of the fiberglass mat is coated with asphalt. The very bottom of the shingle then is coated with backing material, while the top of the shingle has asphalt granules. Asphalt shingle roofs are cost efficient to install, and they are very low maintenance. These shingles comes in a variety of colors. In general, asphalt shingle roofs can last between 20 and 30 years, depending on where you live.

When Do Shingles Lift?

Over time, even the most expertly-installed shingles will begin to break down over time. This is especially true if you live in an area prone to thunderstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes–which expertly describes Texas weather to a tee. There isn’t a year in the Lone Star State where every house in Texas is unaffected by weather. A great time of year to inspect your roof is after a bout of severe weather. If you go outside after a storm, take a good look at your roof. Do you see a layer of wood or material under some of your shingles? You may have a lifted shingle.

With lifted shingles, the edges of your asphalt shingles can lift or curl, revealing the underlayment of your roof deck, which is the surface your shingles adhere to. You might also notice that you have shingles that are missing, cracked or torn. All of these shingles that aren’t straight, flat and natural looking could spell trouble for your roof.

Why Are Lifted Shingles a Problem?

Your roof has a layer of shingles that sit on a roof deck that is made of plywood. Over time, if shingles lift, then rainwater and debris can seep into the wood. Eventually, this will cause leaks and rotting, which can damage the roof deck, as well as the rafters, flashing, and other areas of the roof. If leaky roofs aren’t fixed, they can cause horrific damage to your home, such as buckled walls, leaking around windows, and damp, moldy carpet. In other words, the sooner you spot lifted shingles, the better it is for your home.

What Can I Do About Lifted Shingles? Can They Be Fixed?

You can’t repair lifted shingles. Once the shingle is not laying flat against the roof decking, it must be replaced, rather than repaired. In general, if you only have a few lifted shingles, and no other roof damage, you can have the lifted shingles replaced with new ones.

However, if you notice that your lifted shingles are all in one area, if there are a lot of lifted shingles, or if you notice the granules on your shingles are missing, it may be time to replace your roof. The only way you will know for sure if you need a complete roof replacement is a roof inspection.

In a roof inspection, a roofing company will go up on the roof to inspect all of the parts of your roof. Some companies only do visual in-person inspections, while other companies use drones to inspect the roof. No matter which method the roofing company uses, they will be able to tell you whether you can have a few shingles replaced, or whether you will need a complete roof replacement.

How Are Shingles Replaced?

To replace an asphalt shingle, you’ll need to follow these simple steps. First, you need to find out what type of asphalt shingles you have, so that you can get the same kind of shingle. Second, you will need to break the sealant on the shingle you want to replace using a pry bar. If the shingle is already lifting, the sealant may already be broken, so it should be easier to remove it. One tip, it is easier to remove a shingle from the roof in cooler weather rather than warmer weather, but the shingles are more brittle the colder it is.

Once you have the sealant broken, you’ll need to remove the nails that nailed the shingle down to the roof deck. You can remove the nails with a pry bar. Then you can remove the shingle from the roof deck. Place the new shingle in the same position as the old shingle was in, and nail it to the roof deck with roofing nails. You will then have to apply sealant to finish the job.

What If I Don’t Want to Replace the Shingles?

If you don’t think you can replace the shingles or shingle repair isn’t your thing, you don’t have to replace the lifted shingles yourself. Instead, you can hire a roofing company. Sustainable Enterprises is a full-service company that can conduct your roof inspection and repair lifted shingles as well. Why not reach out today to set up an appointment?

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