Frequently Asked Questions

Expect a natural aging process

Just as the human body ages and changes appearance over the years, so too

will your roof. Due to the severity of the roof environment, even a one-year-old

roof may look different from a roof that was just installed. While you may have

first noticed the cracks or blistering from the ladder as you were cleaning the

gutters , please be mindful that these normal weathering characteristics may not

be visible when you view the roof from your front lawn or driveway. And if the

problem is not severe and the shingles are still providing the protection intended,

then it is not a cause for alarm.

Your roof is an important investment, since it literally protects you from the

elements. While there are no magical creams or ointments to prevent your roof

from aging, investing a small amount of time to examine your roof can reduce

your anxiety and concerns about the normal aging conditions that affect it.

Even a one-year-old roof may look different than a roof that was just installed.

Materials Concerns

Cracking through the reinforcement and bald shingles are potential concerns.

Depend ing upon the style of shingle, the normal weathering

characteristics described earlier may be a sign of more serious

problems. For example, cracks across a typical three-tab shingle

may be a sign of a weak reinforcement. This type of cracking 

threatens the waterproofing integrity of the roof and needs to be

addressed immediately .

For the applique-style shingle, on the other hand, cracks that are

restricted to the unreinforced decorative applique are the result of

normal weathering and do not compromise the long-term

performance of the roof system.

Granule loss exposing asphalt

Large areas of granule loss that expose the underlying asphalt place the shingle

at risk of premature failure because UV rays can now get to the asphalt layer.

In situations in which hail has knocked off large areas of granules, you can

expect the life of your shingles to be appreciably reduced due to the effects of

ultraviolet radiation from the sun and should be investigated by your

homeowner’s insurance carrier. Shingles with open blisters in which the

asphalt becomes visible are also at greater risk for premature failure.

Large areas of granule loss that expose the underlying asphalt place the shingle

at risk of premature failure because UV rays can now get to the asphalt layer.

In situations in which hail has knocked off large areas of granules, you can

expect the life of your shingles to be appreciably reduced due to the effects of

ultraviolet radiation from the sun and should be investigated by your

homeowner’s insurance carrier. Shingles with open blisters in which the

asphalt becomes visible are also at greater risk for premature failure.

How normal weathering affects your roof

Consider the conditions your roof must endure. First, there is the

intense heat of the sun, which scorches the surface of the roof and

raises rooftop temperatures 50 to 75°F above ambient temperature.

The sun’s rays are relentless, especially during the early afternoon

hours. In addition to heat, the sun is the source of ultraviolet

radiation, which has been shown to degrade and accelerate the

aging of the asphalt layers of the shingle. If not for the protective

layer of colored granules, roofing shingles would fail very quickly.

Other factors such as moisture, pollution and physical effects (roof

traffic, hail, snow loads,  tree limbs, etc.) all contribute to the aging

and degradation of your roofing shingles.

 

Seasonal and weather changes also play a role in the aging of

asphalt roofing shingles. For example, consider the common

situation in which the roof is bathed in the intense heat of the

summer sun.

On such a day the rooftop may reach temperature s in excess of 

160°F. Now imagine a cold front sweeping through the area, 

bringing with it the violent thunderstorms that are a common

occurrence during the sweltering days of summer. Almost

instantaneously, the rooftop temperature drops 60-100°F as

it’s pounded with a summer shower. Thermal shocks such as this

cause the roof deck beneath to expand and contract, placing a strain

on the shingles.

Year after year this process is repeated, resulting in cyclic fatigue of

the shingles. 

In addition to all of the climatic and external variables that can

impact the performance of your roof, consider the internal factors

that negatively influence the performance of roofing shingles.

Research has confirmed that an improperly ventilated air space

inhibits air movement, and under most circumstances this

increases moisture content in comparison with properly vented

attic air spaces. Heat shortens the shingles’ life and moisture causes

deck movement and/or deterioration, which ultimately affects the

performance of shingles.

As you can see, the roofing environment is a hostile one with

many factors influencing the longevity of your roofing shingles.

The natural aging process begins as soon as the shingles are

installed on your roof. Day after day, the shingles are exposed

to the elements—sun, rain, heat and cold. Your roof never has

a “good” day.

“Sun, rain, heat and cold… your roof never has a “good” day.

What Will My Shingles Look Like as They Age?

You may be asking yourself, “What can I expect my roof to look like as this

aging process takes place?” One or more of the following conditions may occur

over time:

Curling: As the asphalt hardens over time, the granules which were once

securely embedded begin to break away. Occasionally you may have seen the

colored granules in your gutters. Also, as this hardening advances, the asphalt

layers begin to shrink. Of course, all of this is occurring at a microscopic level

and is not something which will be noticeable on a daily basis. As the asphalt

layer shrinks, it is being countered by the shingle reinforcement, which resists

shrinking. We now have a situation in which the top and bottom coatings are

shrinking and the reinforcement is remaining stable. As a result, the edges of

the shingle may begin to curl over time. In addition, organic shingles may

exhibit signs of curling which might be considered excessive, however, this is

not a manufacturing defect and would be considered part of the normal

weathering process of organic shingles.

Surface Cracking: Another manifestation of the normal aging process may

be the development of surface cracks. For example, as the flexibilizing oils of

the asphalt are depleted due to heat, the shingle becomes more brittle, to the

point where surface cracking may appear. The stresses created by thermal

shock and the movement of the roof deck also increase the likelihood of surface

cracking.

Blisters: During the course of natural weathering, small bubble -like raised

areas known as blisters may appear on the surface of the shingles. The blisters

may be small and pea-sized or as large as a quarter. The blisters may be open,

exposing the asphalt, or closed. Blisters frequently result when minimum

ventilation requirements are not met.

Staining: Finally, over a period of time, shingles may develop dark brown or

black streaks that are sometimes mistaken for soot, dirt, moss or tree droppings.

In actuality, this discoloration may be caused by algae growth. Although most

roofing systems are susceptible to algae discoloration, it is most readily visible

on white or light-colored shingles.

The Life Cycle of a Roofing Shingle

When your new roof was installed, friends and neighbors may have remarked

how it enhanced the beauty of your home. However, research indicates that

aging begins soon after the shingles are installed and progresses rapidly during

the initial curing phase of its life cycle. During this stage, granule loss may

occur, small blisters may develop, or the shingles may curl slightly at their

edges. You may even notice that this curling is more pronounced during cold

weather and the shingles may lie flat as temperatures rise. The good news,

however, is that after this curing stage the shingles enter a long period of slow

aging, which lasts for the major portion of the shingle’s natural life.

During the “mid-life” period, aging continues at a much slower rate. The

cracking or granule loss still occurs but does not increase at a noticeable rate.

Only after this long period of mid-life does the aging process begin to accelerate

once again as the shingles enter their declining years. It’s during this period

that homeowners normally think about replacing their roofs.

What is Sustainable Building?

Green is the use of: 

  • Products 
  • Materials 
  • Design Considerations, and 
  • Construction Methodologies…

That make a home: 

  • Healthier 
  • Lower Maintenance 
  • Lower Operating Costs 
  • And, More Energy Efficient 

Source: From Brother’s Strong Green Remodeling Presentation 2007 NAHB Green Building Seminar.

What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. 

LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the design and construction of high performance “green” homes. A green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability provides opportunities to create value and improve quality of life for the company, people and the community. Strong environmental and social performance contribute to sustained profitable growth.

Environmental Stewardship

  • NPD/ Green Products/ GREEN Building
  • Manufacturing
  • Social

Solve Social Issues

  • Community Connection
  • LiveWell

Economic

  • NPD/ Innovation
  • Customer Profitability
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Shareholder Return

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

How is Green measured?

  • LEED Residential (USGBC)
  • LEED Commercial (USGBC)
  • NAHB GREEN Building Guideline
  • Regional Initiatives

What is a Carbon Footprint?

  • A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service.
  • Almost every activity in our society is responsible for the production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.
  • Carbon footprinting is used to benchmark the level of CO2 generated by a process or in the production of a product.

What is a lifecycle analysis?

A life cycle analysis is a study of the environmental impact of a given product or service throughout its lifespan.

What is BEES?

  • The BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) tool is a software program developed by the U.S. federal government to aid in selecting environmentally friendly and cost-effective building products.
  • BEES uses data from Life Cycle Analyses of many building products to provide comparisons between products, allowing the user to choose the best product according to their preferences.
  • BEES provides information on product performance in a variety of categories, including Global Warming, Human Health, Fossil Fuel Depletion, Ecological Toxicity, Indoor Air Quality, and others.