For the most part, asphalt roofing shingles tend to last around 20 years or so.
So most people in the tristate area are surprised to learn that the sealant used with the shingles has a much shorter lifespan. It’s only good for about ten years.
Because the shingles themselves are so durable, it’s very common for homeowners not to realize that they need their roof re-sealed. A lot of homes out there have shingles that are just fine, but sealant that’s definitely seen better days.
What Is Sealant, Anyway?
The sealant used with asphalt shingles is made from a clear, acrylic resin. Its role is to lock the granules on the shingles in place, filling gaps and allowing water to flow smoothly over them instead of pooling inside those small spaces between particles.
The coating, which dries in the span of a few hours, creates what’s essentially one smooth and solid sheet covering the shingles.
While the sealant is quite resistant to liquid water intrusion, it’s also porous enough to allow gases — specifically, oxygen and water vapor — to evaporate through it. This actually enhances the roof’s ability to shed water efficiently and prevent water intrusion underneath.
Although the shingles themselves are generally rated as waterproof, extended water contact can leach certain important oils out of the asphalt that they’re made from. This effect is particular common in roofs that have a relatively low slope.
Acrylic resin isn’t the only kind of sealant, but it’s one of the most common. There are also sealing products made from silicone instead.
You’ll notice that there are a range of products on the market, some of which confer extra benefits like deflecting heat, which can lower your annual cooling costs. Other sealants are designed to be especially fire resistant, resistant to corrosion, and otherwise more durable.
The right kind of sealant can depend on your particular roof, and on the shingles that it’s made from. Sealing a sloped roof tends to be more costly overall than sealing a flat roof, since the process is more complex, and the work itself presents more of a hazard for workers.
Sealants also function as a quick mechanical fix for minor shingle leaks.
Applying sealant is a common way to patch up a small leak in a shingle, or between shingles. So if that kind of repair was carried out more than ten years ago, the leak could manifest itself again as the sealant begins to wear down from time and exposure to the elements.
Some of the specific risks to shingle sealants include gusts of high winds during storms, expansion and contraction due to rapid changes in temperature, and the shape and configuration of the roof itself.
Over about a decade of time, these environmental and structural factors will wear down the sealant coating. So, you may need to have the roof resealed to protect against leaks and water intrusion.
If you suspect you might be due for resealing, call us any time at MasterBuilt.
Old, worn-out roof sealant is a common cause of water intrusion. Over time, even small leaks can damage wood and other structural elements beneath the shingle roof, allowing mold growth that further weakens the structure.
At MasterBuilt Construction, we can apply new sealant to your shingle roof in the Ironton, Catlettsburg Tristate area and Louisville ensuring that it remains waterproof and impervious to leaks. We’re always happy to come by for an inspection or consultation to help you prevent property damage by being proactive.