We have a storm coming in today so I spent the day yesterday cleaning my gutters which were chocked full of debris. They also a significant amount of roof material in my gutters (my understanding is I have asphalt shingles). I have not cleaned my gutters since owning the house (2 years) and my understanding is that the previous owner had not cleaned it in years either.

It is clear to me my roof is worn, but to what extent is it worn? Is this an indicator of immediate repair necessary?


Fiberglass edges

Fiberglass edges

enter image description here

Aggregate material in gutters

Aggregate material

  • 5
    Start building a "re-roof fund" but don't be overly concerned about it for this year or the next few years. I'd say you probably have 5 years, but that's a minor quibble. In any case, if you start saving for it now, it will hurt less when you get to doing it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 17:32
  • 1
    Keep an eye on them. Depending on the resin type (epoxy vs polyester vs polyurethane), some are vulnerable to UV light and that will crack and destroy the resin. Paint can protect this... but why would someone want to paint a roof (white)? Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 23:44
  • ? Other than a very minimal amount to hold the fiber in the mat together before it is coated, the primary binder of fiberglass in shingles is asphalt. Here you have some shedding of the granules (which block sunlight) leading to degradation of the asphalt (at the edges only so far, and primarly the upper layer as noted in Isherwood's answer) revealing some of the fiberglass. There is not a rigid fiberglass-reinforced-plastic (FRP) layer with epoxy, polyester, or polyurethane as the plastic to "crack" here. See: americanroofingandrenovation.com/learning-center/…
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


That's mostly cosmetic, especially since it's almost entirely on the top layer of a two-layer laminated shingle. It is unlikely to result in leaks. That said, they're probably going to continue to deteriorate at a higher rate in the coming years. You're seeing degradation of the asphalt, so the protective granules are being released. Once you get more significant cracking they'll fail. I'd plan for replacement in the next 2-3 years.

Protip: The cheap plastic mesh gutter guards that slide under your shingles are fantastic if you don't have coniferous trees (pine needles). I have mature oaks overarching my home, and they keep the gutters clean. I do have to clear them on the surface with a leaf blower after flowering season and after leaf fall if it's wet, but they keep the gutters themselves from getting clogged. Skip the expensive options and slip them on. enter image description here

  • 2
    I didn't know they were 2 layers. That's great info. And thank you for the tip about the gutter guards. Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 16:22
  • 2
    Yep, this type of shingle is known as "laminate" or "architectural". They all have at least two layers. 40- and 50-year versions have three or four.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 16:23

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