What To Do If Your Asphalt Shingles Start To Fail Within A Few Years (Before Submitting A Warranty Claim)

While asphalt shingles may not be the longest lasting roofing material on the market, they are supposed to last several decades at a minimum. If you start seeing the edges curl and the protective granules are ending up in your gutter after just a few years, you have a serious problem. Before you start talking to someone from the manufacturer about a warranty claim, there are several steps you need to take first.

Document, Document, Document

As with any issue that may have legal ramifications, your best chance to gain a favorable outcome is to document everything about your situation. This means pictures and samples—use shingles that have actually come off rather than making the existing issue worse and trying to find the original roofing contract and receipt. You should also get as close as you can to see if the damage is localized to certain areas. Never walk on a roof in this condition-- you will only further damage the fragile shingles, but you can carefully walk on good parts or stay on the ladder to take pictures of various areas.

If you weren't living in the home the last time it was reshingled, it may also be worth seeing if the contractor who worked on it last would be willing to talk to you. They may have documentation and contracts that the previous owner did not pass on to you. More importantly, they can probably tell you what actual work was done the last time they worked on that roof. Sometimes owners will only do sections of the roof at a time, and in this case, it would make sense that the areas that weren't replaced are starting to fail.

Have an Inspector Take a Look At the Building

Shingles don't only fail because they were badly made. Certain issues with the building itself can cause shingles to fail prematurely. It can be difficult to determine if your issue is caused by a manufacturing defect, or if your home is the real culprit. If you didn't have an inspection done before you put on your new roof, now is the time to get one. The inspector will look at both the pattern of failure on the roof and the structures inside your home supporting it.

Moisture is one of the biggest enemies of asphalt shingles, and anything that keeps your roof in contact with water is cause for premature failure. This can be as simple as a large tree shading the roof which simply needs to be pruned back, or as complicated as reworking the attic structure so that the underside of the roof has plenty of ventilation. While it does hurt your wallet, if the failure is caused by one of these issues, you will likely be on the hook for the complete roof repair and the work needed to prevent the issue from reoccurring.

Consider a Different Type of Roofing Material

There is a distinct possibility that asphalt shingles are simply not the best choice for your home, or the work it would take to make them viable would actually cost more than going with a different material. In addition, you may simply wish to avoid being in the same situation again. There are plenty of other roofing materials on the market, including slate, metal, and composite, that are more resistant to damage than asphalt shingles. Going with one of these options will cost you more up front, but the upfront cost will be returned in the form of increased longevity many times over.

Having your roof fail prematurely is a serious setback, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Through careful observation, documentation, and a little help from a roofing professional from a company like Cloise & Mike Construction Inc, you can do the best you can to minimize your losses and prevent this issue from reoccurring.