The shingles on your roof are not the first component that will need maintained or replaced.
Pipe boots, flashing, and other accessories often need sealed or replaced in the 10-15 year old range.
Shingles will last between 15 and 18 years for the “three tab” type and 23 to 27 years for dimensional type.
As always– safety first!
If you are not comfortable on a ladder or walking on your roof, call a professional.
For those of you that are comfortable on a roof, here are some items you can check and maintain yourself:
Pipe Boots – Many times this is the first part of the roof that leaks. The rubber gasket that is stretched around the vent pipes on the roof will begin to split and allow water to penetrate the roof. This can be resealed with a strong caulking (we recommend OSI- Quad or a similar urethane based sealant), or the gasket can be replaced. Many hardware stores carry the gasket for $2-4 and it can slide right over the pipe to cover the damaged gasket. This simple fix could save you a $150+ service call from a roofer!
Flashing – Check all the metals on the roof. Dryer and bathroom vent boots can crack or separate and begin to leak. Many roofers do not replace these items when re-roofing, so your roof may be new but they metal flashing’s could be 30-40 years old. Flashing along the roof joint to the siding may not be visible, but check all areas that are accessible and ensure nothing is separating or rusting. Also check the flue pipes to make sure there has not been any damage or shifting. Look for a storm collar that sheds the water off of the round flue pipe. Sometimes the joint from the storm collar to the pipe will need to be sealed with a sealant that can handle heat.
Moss or algae – most new shingles are impregnated with an algae resistant chemical to help prevent growth on the shingles. Some manufacturers label the shingle package with “AR” to note this. Even so, areas of the roof that do not get direct sun or older shingles can develop algae growth. As the algae wears off or is pulled off, granules from the shingles are pulled off which reduces the life of the shingle. Chemicals are available at hardware stores that can kill the algae without damaging the shingles.
The shingles should not be sprayed with high pressure as this could damage the shingles.
Nail pops – Nails can push up on the shingles as the roof heats and cools through the seasons, sometimes lifting the shingle or creating a hole. Remove the nail and if possible set a new nail next to the old one (under the shingle above), then seal any holes with urethane caulking. Roofers also occasionally make mistakes (shocking – we know) and set the nails too low on the shingle to where the nail head is exposed. If the nail is secure simply seal the nail head with caulking.
Again, safety is the most important part of your maintenance routine.
If you are in any way uncomfortable, please call a professional!
See our FAQ section on “How to Inspect Your Roof” for additional information.
If anything looks unusual even to the untrained eye, it probably needs attention.
Contact a roofer from our FAQ “Contractors” page for help.