How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Why are there sometimes damaged shingles around an area of roof shingle repair or the tie-in of a new roof?
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Asphalt shingles are not waterproof. If it was possible for water to stand still on a shingle roof, it would quickly seep under the laps of the shingles. But shingles are "water resistant" because they overlap and are only used on sloped roofs; so water rolls down the roof after it hits the surface, and does not get a chance to move upward into the laps under ordinary circumstances. Each row of shingles laps so far down over the one below it that the entire roof effectively has two layers of shingle material everywhere.
But the overlapping makes repairing an area of shingles more complicated, because a roofer has to weave any new replacement shingles into the pattern of the existing ones. Shingles have to be removed around the area, and others gently lifted and pulled back at the adhesive tabs, then resecured manually with adhesive. Even a minor repair, like the replacement of flashing around a skylight shown below, involves more shingle replacement than you would expect.
Damage to the existing shingles that remain can happen, especially if it is an older roof and they have become brittle. Shown below is an example at the intersection at the valley of the roof of an addition to a house where the old and new roofs meet. Although the addition was done only three years after the original construction, the contractor was not careful with the shingles lifted—and probably should have replaced more shingles around the valley flashing area (along bottom of photo) than was done. The result was cracks and other shingle damage that becomes more apparent over time.
Here’s another example of an even sloppier repair around a dryer vent.
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