As a homeowner, it’s important to take care of your roof. After all, your roof protects you, your family and your valuables. If you have an asphalt roof, should you also invest in shingle roof sealer?
Whether you’ve just has your asphalt roof installed, or you’ve had it for a while, you may well have heard of shingle roof sealer. This sounds like a great deal, as it ensures that your roof is sealed from the elements. Will it really do as it’s promised, or are you better off not having it installed? Here’s what you need to know.
What Shingle Roof Sealer Claims To Do
There are actually two types of roof sealer that you can have applied to your roof. The first one is designed to keep the elements out of your roof. It’s designed to sit on top of your shingles and protect them, and so lengthen their lifespan. They mostly are meant to keep water out of your roof, although many manufacturers say that the sealant will stop shingles from being ripped off in high winds, too.
This sealant is sprayed or rolled onto a clean roof. When it goes on it’s a white color, but it will dry to a clear color instead. You should be able to see the original shingles under the sealant once it has been applied.
The other kind of sealant is one that’s designed for warmer climates. Unlike the first type, this sealant comes in a white color. They’re designed to reflect heat back into the atmosphere, rather than allowing dark colored shingles to absorb the heat and bring it into your home.
Why These Sealants Are Popular
It’s not hard to see why people are looking to get these sealants applied to their roofs. Having a new roof installed is costly, and you don’t want to do it unless you have to. An asphalt shingle roof is on the cheaper end of roofing, but it still will set you back a few thousand dollars of least. Of course you want to protect it and make it last longer.
One of the most common ways that roofs are damaged are by rainfall and water damage. If water gets under the shingles, it will cause all kinds of issues. These can include wood rot and mold. If it’s untreated for long enough, then you may have to replace the entire roof to rectify the problem. Having an option to stop the water getting in is very tempting.
The claim that the sealant stops shingles coming off is tempting to home owners too. How many times have you had to get back onto your roof to replace them after a storm?
The other main claim is that a white coating will reflect heat from your home. In the summer, it’s a constant battle to keep the house cool. What would be better than being able to keep those cooling costs down with that coating?
Do The Sealers Work?
With all these claims about what a sealant can do, it’s no wonder they’re becoming so popular. Let’s take a look at what they can actually do, before you go ahead and have one applied to your roof.
Let’s talk about the sealants first. The main claim is that they’ll prolong the life of your roof. That’s a bold claim, but roofers tend to say that they aren’t going to give you much longer on them. If your roof is getting older, but you want to keep it going an extra year or two, then a shingle roof sealer may work as a fill in measure. However, it’s not going to last 10+ years as you’ll see advertised. It’ll work in a pinch, but if you’re at the point of trying to prolong the life of an old roof, you’re better off replacing it.
When a sealant is applied, it’s recommended that the roof is pressure washed first to get it clean. The problem is that pressure washing can actually damage shingled roofs, so that’s something you want to avoid. On the subject of water, the sealant is meant to protect it from water but it can actually stop the roof drying out. That traps water inside, leading to the aforementioned problems.
Do Reflective Coatings Work?
Then there’s the reflective coatings. There is research to suggest that lighter colored roofs will reflect heat back into the atmosphere, making your home cooler. The problem is, a shingle roof sealer isn’t the way to go about making your home more energy efficient.
When you apply the coating, it’s hard to get it to coat the shingles evenly thanks to the texture of them. The result may not look as attractive as you hoped, and it won’t cool your home evenly. You’ll also see the coating may cause shingles to curl up at the edges. That’s going to allow water in and cause more problems down the line.
How To Protect Your Roof
So are sealants the best way to protect your roof? They certainly aren’t as good as they look. Shingle roof sealer may help you get a couple of more years out of an old roof, but that’s about it. You’ll be better off spending the money on the new roof, rather than paying to seal a roof you’ll replace soon anyway.
There are better ways to protect your roof than seal it. This begins when you replace your roof. Pick a good quality roofing material, and have expert roofers install it for you. Many will offer you a warranty for a certain amount of time, so you can get help if anything needs to be mended.
If you’re looking to keep your home cooler, pick a lighter colored shingle to help with this.
If you see any shingles have come loose, replace them quickly to ensure that your roof is protected. Do regular inspections to ensure your roof is in good condition. Clearing the gutters and mending broken flashing goes a long way in the long run.
A shingle roof sealer look like a good idea on paper, but they’re not as good as they look. If you want to protect your roof, talk to a roofer to see what they can do for you and your home.