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Asphalt roofs are one of the most common types of roofs used for both residential and commercial buildings, largely due to their affordable price and their relatively high durability and long life span. However, like all roofing materials, extended exposure to the elements can cause asphalt roofs to begin to degrade over time. This can greatly increase the risk of leaks and water damage within your home, which can be expensive and complex to have repaired. Fortunately, several signs will indicate to you early on when your asphalt roof has reached the end of its life span, allowing you to contact a roofing professional to have the roof replaced before it causes damage within your home. Here are a few of them.

Misshapen Shingles

One of the earliest, and also the easiest to spot, signs that your asphalt roof has become seriously worn is the sight of your shingles buckling, warping or otherwise separating from each other and the roof. If allowed to continue, shingles that have become bent out of shape can actually fall off or break apart, exposing the underside of your roof and greatly increasing the chance that a leak will develop in your home.

Single shingles that have become bent out of shape can simply be replaced; however, if large sections of your roof are made out of shingles that are no longer in good condition, you should consider contacting us at Total Home Exteriors to have your roof replaced.


Another clear indication that your roof may need to be replaced is if it is sagging or no longer flat in a specific section. This problem happens because of water damage to the roof's supports, which cause the wood to rot and warp underneath. It can happen without you noticing any sort of leaking or water damage within your home, especially if only a small amount of water is able to get under your shingles at a time. Over an extended period, unresolved water damage can cause significant structural damage to your roof.

Debris in the Gutters

If you notice small black grains while you are cleaning out the gutters, you may want to actually get up on your roof to examine the shingles. These black grains erode from your shingles, which is a normal part of aging and wear.

Over time, bald spots will develop on your shingles, which is where the wear has become the most significant. Large amounts of grains running off your shingles and into your gutters points to significant wear and means that it’s likely your shingles are almost worn away completely.

Dark Stains

If you notice that your asphalt shingles have sections that are significantly darker than the other sections of your roof, you likely have algae or moss growth on your roof. You may want to actually get up on your roof to confirm that there is plant growth on your shingles, and it's not just the lighting.

Moss and algae growth on your roof is a concern for a number of reasons beyond decreased aesthetic appeal. Plant growth that is allowed to sit on your asphalt will slowly begin to break down the structure of your shingles, resulting in a greater amount of those black grains that are discussed above.

Further, moss and algae can hold on to water that runs over your roof, which means that your roof will be exposed to greater amounts of moisture over time. This combination of increased wear and moisture on your roof makes leaks much more likely. Small amounts of moss and algae can be cleaned off, but widespread growth and significant damage to your shingles will necessitate a roof replacement. 

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