The two most labor-intensive elements of construction are roofing and foundation, but they are also the two most important. Even just one leak in a roof can cause severe structural damage. It's important to maintain, repair or replace your roof with the right asphalt and tar roofing materials before your whole structure is damaged.
In the case of new construction, you can be maintenance conscious before a single shingle goes up. Note the differences in the expected lifespan of various asphalt and tar roofing materials and perform a thorough, quality installation. Install any necessary flashing and buy extra supplies to keep on hand. In the case of asphalt shingles, you should always order a third to a full square extra to have on hand for future spot repairs.
Here are some criteria that signal the end of asphalt roofs:
1. Sheer age. Modern, top-of-the-line asphalt shingles will top out at around 30 years, but most go for less.
2. The bottom edge of the asphalt roof is tattered.
3. The edges of the shingles are curling up or separating from those directly below.
Replace only damaged areas when most of the roof is still goodMost roofs covered with asphalt and tar roofing materials last at least 15 to 20 years. So if it has only been 5 or 10, and only select areas are damaged, consider making spot repairs. Select quality asphalt roofing supplies that match the existing materials as closely as possible. For isolated repairs like these, there's no need to contract a roofing crew. Most one or two man contracting crews can handle the job.
Replace the whole roof when uniform wear is visibleIf the time has come to replace your roof, don't wait for leaks to occur or else structural damage will follow. The main thing you'll need to decide is if you're doing it yourself or hiring a crew. Roofing takes only a few tools and some basic skills, so you might be able to handle it if you have some construction experience. Just keep in mind that roofing is exceedingly hard work and requires a lot of man-hours, especially if tear-off is required. For most people, hiring a contractor is the way to go. Get more than one quote and be extra careful of bids markedly lower than others.
Maintain flat tar roofs to make them lastYou can prolong the life of a flat tar roof covered with roofing tar or rolls of asphalt roofing material by regularly checking the drains for backup. Unchecked, leaves and other debris can plug drains and cause small ponds to form on your roof. Periodically, get on your flat roof and check for damaged areas. Be especially attentive to seals around exhaust vent pipes and other objects.
- Architectural shingles look beautiful and require less intensive patterning than 3-tab or asphalt diamond shingles.
- If you have drop ceilings, attend quickly to stains on the top floor. Check both inside and out for leaks.
- Always have sufficient tarps on hand and secure them tightly whenever a job in progress is left unattended. Just 10 minutes of rain can destroy every bit of drywall in a structure.