Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roof covering materials in North America today. This is largely due to the fact that asphalt shingles are relatively affordable for many homeowners and fairly simple to install for contractors. Throughout their lifespan, asphalt shingles are affected by weathering — or the change of appearance because of long exposure to the air and other elements.
A roof install company discusses the lifecycle of asphalt shingles.
Shingles start to age the minute they are packaged. This stage of the deterioration process is extremely slow in the beginning and is mostly driven by oxidation. Depending on the conditions of storage and transportation, the chemical change within the asphalt can also be affected by heat and pressure.
Once the asphalt shingles are installed and exposed to weather, the deterioration process speeds up drastically. According to a roof and siding contractor, this rapid aging occurs until the brand new asphalt layer becomes tougher and substantially resilient. In this period, minor loss of excess granules adhered during the manufacturing phase is experienced.
Slow, Prolonged Aging
Asphalt shingles enter a long period of aging once the curing process of minor granule loss has concluded. The deterioration starts very slowly and is hardly noticeable. This stage includes the appearance of micro-cracks in the asphalt, diminishing volatiles and the loss of a few more granules.
There are several factors that can affect the rate at which aging increases. These include shingle quality, roof orientation and slope. Random cracks on the asphalt can expose your roof structure to more harmful UV radiation. In cold climates, ice buildup also plays a key role in asphalt shingle damage.
Over time, shingles become more and more brittle. You can slow down the aging process of asphalt shingles by placing a roll of thin copper on cap shingles, across the ridge of your roof and its hip. In addition, though UV rays deteriorate asphalt, leaks from UV-related damage are rare because professionally installed shingles are at least two layers thick.
If you are planning to give your property an upgrade, turn to M&A Exterior Home Improvement for a smooth and stress-free experience. Our team offers exterior maintenance services — such as roof repair and gutter cleaning — to clients in and around Williamsburg, VA. Call us at (757) 779-5244 or fill out this contact form to set an appointment.