Asphalt Shingles

If the roof covering of your house is approaching the end of its cycle there is a probability of leakage should maintenance not be performed. The likelihood of roof leakage will increase with each passing year.

There is no definite time period when roofing products totally fail. You should undertake to replace your roof covering soon or at a financially convenient time. Should you wish to defer the cost of replacement, we recommend the following roof maintenance procedures. These strategies address the areas where initial signs of leakage usually occur. By maintaining these conditions, you should be able to prolong the life of the roof surface by one or two years.

    • Caulk all roof joints and flashings
    • Damaged or worn shingles should be sealed with tar or replaced.
    • Worn valleys or ridges should be repaired with tar or suitably patched.

* The best product available to execute all the above is plastic roofing cement It is widely available in a caulking tube or in four litre tins.

The above addresses the areas where initial signs of leakage usually occur. By improving these conditions you should be able to prolong the life of the roof surface by 1 or 2 years. The best product available to execute the above is “plastic roofing cement.”

A purist would insist that all existing roofing materials be removed before applying a new covering. It most certainly is true that all roof coverings will perform better if installed on a flat even surface. However, economic reality may take precedence. You may install new shingles over the existing only if the aged shingles are not badly curled or clawed.

Removing the existing roofing material, commonly referred to as a “tear-off”, can almost double the cost. The general rule suggests that installing new shingles over the original layer is permissible. When removing existing roof coverings, you should anticipate having to replace some of the roof deck boards or sheathing. Most roofers, upon presentation of their estimate, will suggest that you set aside a small contingency for some roof sheathing replacement.

NOTE: Please be aware that a “tear-off” is a messy undertaking. It is a good idea not to have the house painted or perform any fine landscaping prior to the expected roof work. Be on the lookout for stray roofing nails that may be found around the yard after the work.


    • Get at least 3 quotes!
    • Select a roofing contractor who is licensed, qualified and can provide you with a list of satisfied customers.
    • Call local roofing supply companies and ask the customer service desk if they can recommend experienced, reputable roofers in your area.
    • A leisurely drive through the neighbourhood on a spring day is a sure way to discover many small roofing companies at work.

Copyright (2003) CBCG – Reprinted with permission.