Asphalt Shingle Roof Lifespan: How Long Will It Last?




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Asphalt shingle roofs are highly popular, with a reasonable lifespan of about 15 to 30years. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the life expectancy of these roofing materials, the factors affecting asphalt shingle roof lifespan, and how to know when it’s time to fix or replace your roof.

If you’d also like to know more about roofing materials and roof replacement, you can contact us for a detailed explanation.

What’s the Lifespan of Asphalt Shingle Roofs?

Asphalt shingles usually last between 15 and 30 years, but the exact number varies based on the type of asphalt roof. Here’s a breakdown of the kinds of asphalt shingle roofs and how long they’re expected to last:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: 3-tab shingles are the cheapest and simplest to install, making them ideal for homeowners working on a tight budget. And while they’re also durable, with a life expectancy of 15-30 years, they don’t last as long as their counterparts.
  • Dimensional Shingles: Otherwise called architectural shingles, dimensional shingles are made of fiberglass and asphalt, creating a three-dimensional appearance and feel. They cost a bit more than 3-tab shingles and usually last between 20 and 30 years. 
  • Luxury Shingles: They’re also called premium shingles and, as you might have guessed, are the most expensive of the bunch. Luxury shingles are expected to last about 25-40 years.

Asphalt roofs are highly popular, but before deciding if they’re the right option for your home, it’s better to compare their longevity with other roofing materials. In that case, here are some available roof materials and their lifespan:

  • Wood Shingles: About 30 years or more, depending on the type of wood
  • Metal Roofs: About 30-50 years
  • Slate Tile Roofs: 75-100years
  • Clay Tile Roofs: 50 years

Overall, no matter what kind of roofing material you settle for, you can get the most out of it with adequate maintenance and care.

Factors that Determine the Asphalt Shingle Roof Lifespan

Asphalt Shingle Roof Lifespan - old asphalt roof shingles on house roof

Besides the type of asphalt roof you have installed in your home, other factors determine the lifespan of this roofing material.

Weather Conditions

We know that weather conditions are beyond your control, but they’ll affect your roof’s lifespan. The more severe the weather is in your area, the faster your roof will undergo weather-related degradation.

Similarly, if your area experiences a lot of rain and tiny hail, your roof will gradually experience granular loss. This occurs when asphalt shingles shed tiny particles. Shingles get their texture and color from these particles, so when they shed, they can look worn and dull.

If you fall into any of these categories, it’s important to have your roof checked regularly. In the case of storm damage, you may need a complete roof replacement. However, consult an expert before settling for an asphalt roof replacement.

Attic Ventilation

The state of your attic goes a long way in determining your roof life. Attic vents encourage good air circulation, eliminate moisture and heat, and help your roof maintain a stable temperature all year round.

This means that poor ventilation will lead to a build-up of moisture and heat and impact your asphalt roof negatively. For instance, moisture build-up can lead to roof leaks and moss growth. Plus, the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover roof damage caused by an unventilated attic.

Roofing Contractor

Besides investing in roofing materials, you should also ensure that you have them properly installed. It doesn’t matter whether you need a simple roof repair or a complete roof replacement; working with a reputable roofing contractor will go a long way in determining how long your roof serves you. 

High-quality roofing contractors have the experience to execute their tasks perfectly. Plus, you can be sure they’ll use nothing less than top-notch roofing materials covered by workmanship and manufacturer warranties.

Roof Maintenance

When was the last time you inspected your roof? Leaving your roof unattended can cause debris to accumulate and encourage moss growth as well. In the end, your shingle roof will be unable to withstand extreme weather conditions and get damaged as well.

To avoid this, you should have your roof checked and serviced at least once a year. This will help you detect and handle roofing issues before things get too complicated.

Similarly, you should check the downspouts, gutter lines, and valleys to prevent roof leaks and other roof issues.

When Should You Fix or Replace Your Asphalt Shingles?

Workman using pneumatic nail gun install tile on roof of new house under construction

At some point, you’ll need to fix or replace your asphalt roof. But how do you know when it’s time to do either? Here are a few pointers:

Storm Damage

Although every roof undergoes weather-related wear and tear, storm damage is more severe and may force you to get a new roof altogether. For instance, if high winds cause a tree to fall on your roof, you need a replacement.

Other signs that your roof is damaged and needs fixing include:

  • Missing shingles, which can allow debris or water to penetrate the roof deck
  • Lifted shingles, which make your house even more exposed to other weather conditions like rain, wind, and snow
  • Cracked shingles, which can lead to leaks

If Your Asphalt Roof is Old

No matter how much you maintain your roof, it still has a lifespan and would need replacing at some point. However, instead of waiting for your roof to live out its days and fail, it’s always better to replace it a few years before.

For example, you don’t have to wait until your asphalt roof hits its 25- or 30-year limit before changing it. You can change the roof when it’s 20 years old. This will help to avoid potential issues.

The Roof Develops Issues Too Soon

Sometimes, roofing materials don’t last as long as they should and end up needing replacement way too early. This is usually because of poor attic ventilation and improper installation.

When this happens, you’ll have to fix or replace the roof based on the extent of the roof’s damage or problem.

In this case, note that improper installation and poor ventilation will render the manufacturer’s warranty null and void. This means you can only take advantage of the workmanship warranty to handle roofs that fall into this category.

To Wrap Up

Asphalt shingle roofs can last as they should, but it all starts with proper installation. With over 30 years of experience, Heritage Exteriors, has all the expertise and experience you need for a new roof or replacement. You can reach out to us for more information. We’d be more than happy to answer all your questions.