By: Darlene Reid

Check out the "Shingles" In Your Area This Valentine's Day

Tags: Shingles, Edmonton Real Estate, Home Improvement, Renovations, Terwillegar Towne, Valentine's Day

On Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for your shingle friends.

They are our first line of defense against the elements and they literally keep the water off our backs; the humble shingle is a critical component of your home’s building envelope.  Considering how important they are and how costly the damage can be if they fail, it is a good idea to check on them throughout the year.  In fact, you may want to put a reminder in your calendar and make a date with those shingles.  

Shingles vary in quality and typically last anywhere from 20 – 40 years.  However, even an expensive 30 or 40 year shingle may wear a lot faster depending on their exposure, the severity of the weather and the quality of the installation.  As many homes in the Terwillegar area are nearing 20 years of age, it’s a good time for a refresher on some of the things to look for:

Lifting.  The most obvious problem is when shingles start to curl.  Not in the “grab a broom and hurry hard” kind of way either.  When the edges or the middle of the shingles start to lift, then that’s a sign of weathering to the point where leaks may be imminent.
Gaps or Cracking.  These are often the result of wind damage, so always remember to take a look after a period of strong winds.  If only a few shingles are missing or cracked, then they can be replaced (although colour-matching may be difficult).  If it is spread over a large area, you may need a new roof.

Granules in the Gutter.Asphalt shingles will have little granules covering them – these are to help keep the sun off the asphalt and help it last longer.  It is common to find them in the gutter on a new roof, but if your roof is more than several years old and you see a bunch of granules in the gutter then it could mean they will start to deteriorate far more quickly in the sun. 

Sunlight in the attic.  This is pretty obvious, but it’s worth poking your head up into the attic to see if sunlight is coming through anywhere.  If sun can get in, then so can rain and snow.  Also check for water stains and monitor them after rainfalls; if the stains grow or change, it could indicate an ongoing leak.   
And always remember to take precautions – the last thing you want is for your date to end in an accident.  Most problem signs are visible from the ground but if you want a closer look, make sure you know how to safely use a ladder.  If there are problem signs, contact a couple of roofing companies for closer inspections and cost estimates.

Lastly, even if you are thinking of selling your home you should know that a worn-out roof can have a huge impact on a potential buyer’s first impression of your home.  For many buyers, a poor-quality roof suggests “fixer upper” and that will taint their impression of the whole home.   On the plus side, getting a decent new roof does not have to be too expensive, and it is one of the key improvements you can do where you can get your money back.

Regardless of whether you love your home or really want out, pick a sunny day and check out the hot shingles in your area.