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Atlanta Roofing: Article About Lifespan Of Asphalt Shingles

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Asphalt shingles have been popular for decades. Homeowners like the colors, the low cost and the ease of maintenance. Their popularity has endured and the majority of residences today are roofed with asphalt shingles. However, the benefits are offset by the fact that they must be replaced more often than other types of roofing materials. Frequent inspections, basic maintenance and repairs of minor problems can significantly extend the lifespan of asphalt shingles. Atlanta roofing experts can help homeowners conduct comprehensive inspections and evaluate the need for repairs.

A simple thing like cleaning the gutters regularly can prolong the life of a roof. Water can migrate upward when gutters are severely clogged. The moisture can get into the roof sheathing and cause rot. Water can also back up and damage the roof as a result of ice dams. Ice dams are barriers formed from snow that has melted and refrozen instead of draining off the roof. They stop further drainage of water from melting snow, which accumulates behind them.

Allowing leaves to pile up on a roof can also create damage from moisture. The leaves trap water, which causes them to decompose, trapping even more water. The moisture and rotting debris eventually leads to premature deterioration of asphalt shingles. Nearby trees should be trimmed so that leaves don't fall on the roof and none of the branches touch the shingles.

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Windblown branches can wear holes in shingles. The branches also make it easy for rodents and other pests to access the roof and cause all kinds of damage.

Moss is another frequent culprit in certain areas of the country. Like leaves, it can trap water, leading to rot. Moss must be removed with products made specifically for roofs to prevent further damage. If moss growth is a recurring problem, it may be necessary to install zinc strips to stop it.

Flashing is the metal pieces around chimneys, vents and other openings in the roof. It needs to be inspected regularly and any breaks repaired before water seeps in. The fasteners holding flashing in place should also be inspected to make sure they haven't been worked loose.

Asphalt shingles have a surface coating of mineral granules. One of the first signs of deterioration is the wearing away of those granules. Although the loss of the granules doesn't necessarily lead to roof leaks, it does expose the asphalt to the weather, which shortens its life. The shingles can become brittle and break. Once that starts to happen the roof must be replaced.

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