Homeowners have several options for roofing their homes, and asphalt shingle roofs remain one of the most popular choices because of their durability and value. Considering how expensive a roof replacement is, you must select quality roofing materials and care for your roof to maximize its lifespan.
Today, we’ll cover all your asphalt roofing questions, like knowing when your roof has reached the end of its lifespan, factors that affect a roof’s lifespan, and how long an asphalt roof lasts.
Typical Lifespan of an Asphalt Shingle Roof
Asphalt shingles are an excellent roofing material because they offer a blend of value, durability, and a variety of other benefits. The question of how long does an asphalt roof last will have varied answers depending on the style and quality of the roofing material used. Most asphalt roofing has a typical lifespan of 25-30 years.
Asphalt shingles are available in 3-tab, dimension, and luxury varieties. Depending on your preferred style and budget, you may find that one type of shingle is the best fit for you. Let’s take a look below:
- 3-tab: 3-tab shingles get their name from the three tabs on each shingle. These shingles lay flat on the roof and typically carry a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years. Of the three shingle types, 3-tab shingles are the plainest looking and most affordable.
- Dimensional: Dimensional shingles have a three-dimensional appearance that replicates the look of a cedar shake roof. Dimensional shingles are about 15-20% more expensive than 3-tab shingles, and they typically carry a warranty of 30 years.
- Luxury: Luxury shingles are the most beautiful-looking asphalt roof materials, costing about double the price of a dimensional shingle. Luxury shingles carry a warranty of 30 years, with the opportunity to extend the warranty in certain situations to 50 years.
Regardless of the warranty length, most asphalt shingles fall short of their warranty period because of environmental factors, storm damage, and natural wear. Most shingles deliver between 80-90% of their warranted lifespan. You can expect to get about 20-22 years out of a 3-tab shingle room and about 25-28 years from a dimensional or luxury roof.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Asphalt Shingle Roofing
When it comes to the question of how long does an asphalt roof last, several factors can influence how long your new roof will last.
Improper attic ventilation is one of the leading causes of roof degradation, and if your attic isn’t ventilated properly, you could be taking years off the lifespan of your roof.
Without proper ventilation, your attic will be freezing in the winter, which can cause roofing material to crack. During the warmer months, the attic becomes extremely hot and will burn up your roofing system over time.
Not only will poor ventilation cut down the life of your roof, but it will also void the roof’s warranty, so you have no recourse to recoup money on a roof replacement.
Where your house is located is also a contributing factor to your roof’s lifespan. Homes that receive significant direct sunlight will have a shorter roof lifespan than those with shaded roofs. If you’re in an area with extreme weather, you can expect these events to lower the lifespan of your roof. Extreme weather includes, but is not limited to:
- Severe thunderstorms
Pitch of Your Roof
Your roof’s pitch can also impact the lifespan of your asphalt shingles. Roofs with a low pitch will allow rain or snow from storms to accumulate on the roof, leading to mold, mildew, and rot. Higher-pitched roofs enable excess water to run off efficiently, contributing to a longer shingle lifespan.
Lack of Maintenance
While asphalt shingles require little maintenance compared to other roofing materials, not taking care of occasional essential maintenance can cost you several years of life for your roof shingles.
You should inspect your roof bi-annually, ensuring that debris, leaves, and ice dams are removed, and any missing or damaged shingles are replaced. Trimming any overhanging branches that could fall onto your roof and cause damage during a storm is also wise.
Pay special attention to areas where flashing is used to ensure it’s still adequately waterproof. Cracked or missing flashing and moss growth are telltale signs that your roof flashing has been compromised.
Your Roofing Contractor
The installation of the roofing system, flashing, and shingles are critical to the longevity of your roof. Even the highest quality materials will be compromised if a contractor installs them poorly or incorrectly, and you must take great care throughout the process to ensure a long-lasting roof.
How to Appraise Your Roof’s Condition
As a homeowner, there are several things you can do to evaluate the condition of your asphalt shingles.
The most obvious signs that your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan can typically be seen from the sidewalk. Look for cupped shingles, curled edges, or shingles missing a significant amount of granules. Shingles that show cracking or staining are also common indicators that you may need a roof replacement soon.
It’s common for moss to grow on asphalt shingles that don’t receive much sunlight. Moss can trap moisture inside the shingles, which can cause damage if left unchecked, and it can also be challenging to remove moss without damaging the granules on the shingles. You may consider cleaning it professionally if you have significant moss growth on your roof.
When removing the moss will damage the shingle below, you should consider replacing the affected shingles.
Keep an eye on what your neighbors are doing with their homes. Most of the houses on your block were built around the same time. If they’re beginning to replace their roofing, your roof may require replacement soon.
How Long Does an Asphalt Shingle Roof Last: When to Seek a Replacement
If an appraisal of your roof reveals that it’s time to replace your roof, you must work with a trusted roofing contractor that can deliver excellent craftsmanship and cutting-edge solutions to your roofing needs.
With nearly two decades of experience, A to Z Construction is one of Minnesota’s finest commercial and residential roofing specialists. Our dedicated team specializes in complete roofing systems, replacements, and repairs, and we can help answer the question of how long does an asphalt roof last. Contact us today!