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If you are a homeowner, you already know that a home requires a lot of maintenance. The one aspect of any home that can be costly to replace is the roof. For this reason, it is crucial that you provide a little bit of preventative maintenance to prevent a huge disaster from striking. Things like rusted flashing, cracked or broken shingles, and popped up nails are all signs that you need to do something. Some of the common problems that you see with roofs and shingles include the following:
  • Blisters � These are bubbles can appear on asphalt after installation

  • Discoloration � Often caused by algae and fungal growth
Composition shingles are the most popular type of roofing and the least expensive. You will find that composition shingles come in a variety of weight and fabric, which is used to create the center. If you are looking for durability, you want shingles that have a center made from fiberglass instead of felt. This type of shingle is rated Class against fire while the felt center is the lower Class C.

Wood shingles are also used but they are not as popular. In fact, some places will not allow the use of wood shingles because of fire. Typically, this type of shingle is made from wood, usually red cedar. The shingles are small, thin, and lightweight and sawn on either side. The wood shingles are expensive and if you do use them, be sure you choose ones that have been specially treated for fire. The ratings for wood shingles range from one to three with one being the best.

Another type of shingle is wood-fiber. They do not cost as much as the wood type and instead of being made from cedar, they are made from compressed hardboard. Regardless, they are installed the same as wood shingles but because they are designed with special alignment marks, they go up much quicker.

When it comes to shingle roofs, it could take years for a leak or some other type of problem to show. Therefore, you should check the roof a minimum of once a year to check for rusted flashing, split or broken shingles, popped up nails, brittle mastic, and so on. Be sure you pay careful attention to the areas around chimneys, valleys, hips, ridges, and all the flashing. If you find that granules have accumulated in the gutter, then your roof�s coating is coming off.

To repair your shingles, you want to work on a warm, dry day so the shingles will be more pliable and easier to repair. Any shingles that are curled, cracked, or broken should be replaced.

If you have small cracks or holes in asphalt shingles, these can be repaired using roofing cement. For splits in wood shingles, you will need to drill a pilot hole on either side of the split. Next, nail it down and then seal the crack with roofing cement. For larger holes, you want to drive an aluminum sheet under the damaged shingle, making sure it extends beyond the area with the leak. Finally, if the shingles are decayed, they will need to be completely replaced. Just be sure you take all the required steps for safety and if you have any concerns about fixing your own roof, you might consider hiring a professional.
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