We love our great state of Wyoming, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, wide open spaces, wildlife, few people. But as with many things, we have to accept a bit of the "sour" with the "sweet."
Wyoming's weather might be considered in the "sour" category at times. Two of our casual, off the cuff comments; "We have two seasons in Wyoming, summer and winter, we just don't know what two days summer is going to be." And "Wait five minutes, it will change."
We are having summer now and along with it, what seems to be the norm anymore, some pretty interesting weather happenings. Ninety + degree temps, late afternoon rain, wind, occasional tornado, and HAIL! Recently WYDOT was plowing 3 to 4 inches of hail off the highways around the Cheyenne area. Looked like snow in July. Until yesterday afternoon the hail had been missing my house. Fortunately the hail stones were small and lasted only about 10 minutes.
When the sun made a brief return, I noticed a lot of granules from the shingles lying on the patio. Not a good omen. An omen that inspired a climb up the ladder onto the roof.
There wasn't any serious damage to the shingles, but there were some areas that the granule embedded in the shingles to increase the durability was considerably thinner than adjacent areas. A bit concerning since the shingles are only 6 years old and are supposed to be a 40 year shingle. Looked like the shingles had been on the roof for 10 years or more.
This is a new shingle for comparison.
Doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence in the shingles surviving 40 years. Weather, particularly extreme weather changes, such as -30 degree to +100 degree temperature variation, hail, strong winds, snow, ice (Wyoming weather) all affect the life expectancy of all roofing materials. Does this mean you don't invest in the high quality shingles? No, not at all. The lower (cheaper) quality shingles may not endure the effects of weather as well as the higher quality. Replacement of shingles may be necessary in 10 to 15 years instead of 20 to 30 years.
It is always a good practice to inspect your roof in the fall and spring and after any severe weather events. Look for granules on the ground or patio, missing or loose shingles, cracked or torn shingles, indications of premature wear. Make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. Avoiding or prolonging roof repairs can lead to water damage to roof structure, insulation, ceilings, walls, mold and fungal growth.
None of us are particularly fond of going up on the roof. If you can't or don't like being on the roof, use binoculars from ground level, you can see a lot this way. Or hire a roofing contractor or home inspector to walk the roof. It will be money well spent that can prevent or catch roofing defects that will lead to more serious problems.