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Plano Roofing: Article About Premature Asphalt Roof Failure

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Many asphalt roofs have warranties of 20 years, and some may last decades longer than the warranty if they are properly maintained. Other roofs begin to wear out and fail in as few as 12 years. Homeowners are often left frustrated and confused when their roofs fail prematurely. A Plano roofing contractor can help a homeowner understand and prevent roof failure and handle repairs when it does occur.

A primary cause of premature failure in shingles is low quality material used in manufacturing. Less expensive shingles are often thinner and loaded with additives that lessen the bonding capacity of the asphalt. They may also be made of a lower grade asphalt. This weakens the shingle, making it less able to withstand severe weather.

Temperature and weather also have major roles to play in a shingle's longevity. Asphalt breaks down naturally when exposed to ultraviolet light, so roofs in sunny climates with lots of exposure may fail faster. Improper roof ventilation can overheat the shingles and cause movement in the roof deck that stretches or strains the shingles. Asphalt roofs tend to be even more susceptible to attic overheating problems because the asphalt absorbs a great deal of heat from the sun.

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Extreme temperature fluctuations can also wear the shingle prematurely. This happens most often in the summer when a shower suddenly drenches the roof on a hot day. The cool water can cause a change of 100 degrees or more in temperature within seconds. The same can happen if the shingles are sprayed or watered down.

A roof that is not kept properly cleaned will fail much faster. Asphalt shingles are essentially organic and provide an excellent home for moss, algae and lichen. The plant growth feeds on and breaks down the shingles if it is not cleaned off. Growth on the roof can be a severe problem in wet climates or on roofs that are well shaded.

Premature failure can be prevented by ensuring that quality shingles are installed and taking some simple steps to preserve them. The roof slope can be increased to allow for faster drainage. The roof should also be cleaned about every six months and inspected after a major storm or severe weather event. Clogged or under performing attic ventilation can be fixed by adding vents and ensuring that insulation is not covering them. Attic fans may also help cool attics in especially hot climates. A contractor will be able to provide specific improvements to a client after an inspection.

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