I don't know how long ago this roof was shingled, but we've noticed that the asphalt shingles, in two patches, have begun to curl and lose their grit.

Even after a late summer of fierce rain, at least for now, there is no evidence of water infiltration within the home (no mould, staining, drooping drywall, bubbling paint, etc).

How long can we wait until replacing the roof? Given the budget, should it be done urgently?

If it is necessary, but we can't get it done before the snow falls (which will be soon) are there any stop-gap measures we could try?

First view of part of troubled roof shingles with gutter

Second view of part of troubled roof shingles with gutter.

  • 3
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - Benjamin Franklin. Get it fixed, before it snows.
    – Tester101
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 19:05
  • Tester101, the heart of my question is really whether this is a problem at all or merely cosmetic. The consensus is clearly that it's a problem, and I'm all for prevention!
    – msanford
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 20:43
  • 2
    That just flat out needs to be reroofed soon. Organic shingles that have about 5 years left, you'll on removal, find that they're very brittle and a leak waiting to happen. Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


Replace it now. Like TODAY. That's BAD.

With that kind of bad shingle wear, your shingles are likely to create ice dams which will cause water to back up and leak through the roof, causing interior damage, compounding the cost.

enter image description here

In the summer, the roof won't hold the water because it can't freeze, so the curls will only grab a very little water before it drips free.

In the winter, however, a little retained water will freeze, expand, and capture more water, which will freeze, and so forth.

  • 2
    And don't forget about the danger from wind: some of those shingles will get ripped off in a decent windstorm, and then you'll have all sorts of leaks to deal with. And chances are, insurance won't cover the resulting water damage due to "negligence".
    – chris
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 19:15
  • 1
    As for stop gap measures - you could get a huge tarp and drape it over your roof for the winter... Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 19:23
  • Chris, I was considering that as a possible repercussion as well.
    – msanford
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 20:41
  • Actually, now that I look at the image further, I wonder why the ice damming would specifically be a bigger problem for me, rather than a general problem with all shingled roofs?
    – msanford
    Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 20:46
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    Because your damaged and curled shingles will CATCH and hold more water than shingles in good repair, which retain very little. Every curled up edge is a place where water will gather, and ever pitted tile is just waiting to catch a tiny little lake and cause it to freeze up. Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 11:37

Don't worry about how long, that roof is very long past expired. If you can, get the shingles stripped and a new roof, ASAP, do so.

Patches will offer little in the way of prevention against precipitation mishap. Your best "friend" will likely be a very persistent cold season...at least until thaw. That is, if your attic is well insulated and well vented to keep it cold in there (and not melting snow on top). Well organized roofers can do a reroof even with nitetime precipitation, if not too heavy. So get crackin'

  • In very cold climes you need to stipulate fiberglass shingles (sometime they come mixed...but not total asphalt). Also, you need laminated shingles to prevent wind blow off, and curling. Tab shingles are so passe; and so unattractive by comparison. The extra cost more than pays for itself--you will see.
    – Lex
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 0:29

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