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Need a new roof? Thinking about tackling your roof replacement yourself? Think again! There are major reasons–from safety to roof performance–to leave installing new shingles to the pros.

Roof shingles are just one of those things that eventually need to be replaced. Even with today’s highly engineered roofing materials, you’ll find the average life span of an asphalt roof is typically only about 35 years. When the time comes to replace your roof, many avid do-it-yourselfers tend to take the “how hard can it be” approach and tackle their own roof replacement. But if you’re considering that route, make sure you think it all the way through before grabbing the nail gun–roofing installation/replacement gone wrong can have some serious repercussions for your health and the safety of your home.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that between 2008 and 2009 (the last year for which statistics are available), some 890,000 people went to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. The simple truth is that getting up on the roof to replace your shingles is dangerous. Especially if you have a multi-story home or a steep roof, you’re putting yourself at risk for a major fall if you try to handle your own roof installation. Professional roofing contractors are both trained and experienced, and they have the know-how to handle the heights safely. If you’re still not worried about the safety risks, remember, that you’ll be doing a lot more than just walking around on the roof: tearing off the old shingles, rolling out new felt, handling the new shingles and nail gun, etc., are all hard jobs that can easily throw your balance off. And just a momentary shift in balance can mean you’re headed to the ER with a broken leg or worse!

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Beyond the safety aspects, it’s also important to keep quality in mind. Your roof is what protects your whole house from the adverse effects of water damage caused by precipitation, so it’s particularly critical that this project be done right. Roofing installation has many steps, from putting down the felt underlayment to actually nailing down the shingles themselves. Add in ridge vents and installing flashing around chimneys and vent stacks, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. Each step has to be done correctly and at the right point in the process or you risk making a mistake that could lead to water penetrating your home.

With do-it-yourself projects like painting or gardening, typically the worst side effect of a mistake or incorrect approach is aesthetic (dripped paint or dead bushes, for example). However, when roof installation isn’t done right, it can mean water leaking into your home. And with water comes possible structural concerns as well as mold and its related health issues.

So it’s just not worth it. Instead of trying to be a weekend warrior with your roof, call in the pros instead. You’ll reap the benefit of safety for your home as well as yourself by letting professional roofers handle the project. Roofing contractors have the training and tools to get the job done right, so don’t hesitate to call them in for your roof replacement today.

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What is a Roof Recycling Program?

Depending on the climate where the house is located, an asphalt shingle roof lasts anywhere from twenty to thirty years. Due to the long lifespan of the roof, many homeowners do not think about replacing it before the shingles significantly deteriorate. If a home has a shingle roof that displays any of the signs below, consult with a provider of roofing maintenance to determine whether the home needs roof replacement.

Loss of Shingle Granules

Loss of shingle granules is one of the first signs that shingles will need to be replaced soon. Initially, the loss of granules can be detected by inspecting the inside of the gutter. Because the granules are dense, they often sit in the trough as water runs over them. As the loss of granules progresses, shingles reveal their asphalt composition and darken. If the roof on a home has gradually darkened, the loss of shingle granules may be the cause.

Blistering

In hot climates, shingle roof systems commonly develop small blisters that can fill with water. Although water filled blisters are more common on flat commercial roofs, they can occur on shingle ones as well. Over time, blisters that contain water may release moisture into the deck, and cause it to sag. Although severely blistered shingles may succeed at deflecting water for a few more months, having a provider of roof maintenance perform a roof replacement will prevent the roof deck from needing to be replaced, which is a significant expense considering the level of materials and labor that are involved.

Buckling

Shingles may buckle for several reasons, including moss growing under the outer edge of the shingle, storm damage, and damage to the roof deck. Regardless of the cause of the buckling, it should be inspected as soon as possible to prevent significant leaks form developing. Buckled shingles have actually been displaced from their normal position, which allows water to flow underneath them and causes leaks that are visible on the inside of the ceiling.

Curling

Curling, which typically occurs from long-term weather exposure, signifies the last phase of a shingle's life. The curling begins at the front edge of the shingle, and may reach a point where the shingle appears almost cylindrical when it is viewed from the side. Some homeowners make the mistake of trying to nail curled shingles back in place. If the shingles do not crack from being plied back into place, the nails that hold them will cause small leaks. If enough nails are used, the entire deck could become saturated.

Conclusion

No homeowner likes to think about roof replacement, but after twenty to thirty years, most asphalt shingle roofs need to be replaced. If the shingles on a roof display a loss of granules, blistering, buckling, or curling, they are nearing - or have reached - the end of their lifespan. To prevent a home from experiencing water damage that is expensive to repair, have its roof inspected by a provider of roofing maintenance today.

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