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how long do asphalt shingles last: residential house roof

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last? (On Average)

A strong roof can keep your home safe and secure, especially when it’s made of asphalt shingles. A reliable asphalt roof protects your family, home, and belongings.

Are you planning to change or renovate your asphalt roof? Do you need the best type of shingle? But before you decide, you need to know how long an asphalt roof will last. 

The answer could be subjective, as the lifespan of any roofing material depends on various factors. However, we will try our best to help you understand the average lifespan of asphalt shingles.

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

On average, asphalt shingles typically last between 20 to 30 years. However, this can vary depending on climate, installation quality, and maintenance. Asphalt shingles can enjoy a longer lifespan in milder climates with less extreme weather conditions. In contrast, the lifespan may be shorter in regions with harsh weather patterns like heavy rain, snow, tornados, or strong winds. 

If you have a regular maintenance schedule, including periodic inspections and repairs, it can help you extend the longevity of asphalt shingles and ensure they provide optimal protection for your home over the years.

The Lifespan of Different Asphalt Shingle Types

As discussed, not all asphalt shingles have the same average lifespan. Different asphalt roofs last for various amounts of time. Each type of asphalt roof has certain features that affect how long it will stay. Here, we mentioned three major types and their average lifespan:

  • Three-tab asphalt shingles: These can typically last around 20 to 25 years.
  • Architectural or dimensional asphalt shingles: Thicker and more durable, lasting 25 to 30 years.
  • Premium asphalt shingles: These are made of fiberglass or with added features like enhanced wind resistance or solar reflectivity. They can last 30 years or more.

Top 9 Factors That Impact How Long An Asphalt Roof Lasts

Lifespan can vary based on composition, quality, installation method, and climate. However, all asphalt shingle types require regular maintenance and prompt repairs to maximize lifespan.

  1. Quality of Materials 

The quality of the asphalt shingles is a significant factor in determining their lifespan. Higher-quality shingles proved to be more durable and better able to withstand the elements over time. Cheaper or lower-quality shingles may degrade more quickly and have a shorter lifespan.

  1. Climate and Weather Conditions

Your area’s climate and weather patterns can significantly impact the longevity of an asphalt roof. Extreme temperatures, high winds, heavy rain, snow, and hail can all contribute to wear and tear on shingles and potentially shorten their lifespan. Shingles in regions with harsher climates may need more frequent maintenance and replacement.

  1. Installation Technique and Quality 

Proper installation can make or break your roofing structure. A sound installation ensures the longevity of an asphalt roof. Any shingle type must be installed according to manufacturer guidelines and industry best practices. 

It will ensure they last for years and protect your house. Poor installation can lead to premature failure, leaks, and other issues that shorten the roof’s lifespan.

  1. Ventilation and Attic Conditions 

Adequate ventilation in the attic helps regulate temperature and humidity levels. It can impact the lifespan of an asphalt roof. Poor ventilation can lead to heat buildup in the attic, which can accelerate the degradation of shingles. Additionally, excess moisture in the attic can cause mold, rot, and other damage that affects the roof’s integrity.

  1. Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular maintenance is quite essential for prolonging the lifespan of an asphalt roof. This includes inspecting the roof periodically for damage, cleaning gutters and debris, repairing any leaks or damaged shingles promptly, and ensuring proper attic ventilation. 

If you neglect any of these maintenance activities, it can affect the lifespan of shingles. You may notice that minor issues turn into major problems and negatively affect the roof’s lifespan.

  1. Exposure to Sunlight 

UV (Ultraviolet) radiation can cause asphalt shingles to deteriorate over time. Shingles that are exposed to prolonged sunlight, especially in hot climates, may experience faster degradation of their protective coatings and asphalt layers. 

This can lead to cracking, curling, fading, and reducing the roof’s lifespan. Using UV-resistant shingles or applying protective coatings can help mitigate this issue.

  1. Tree Coverage and Debris

The overhanging trees and debris near the roof can affect its lifespan. Branches rubbing against shingles can cause abrasion and damage. Falling leaves and debris can accumulate moisture, leading to deterioration. Debris buildup in gutters can also block water flow, causing water to pool and potentially seep under shingles. All these factors negatively affect the roofing material.

  1. Foot Traffic and Maintenance Activities 

Excessive foot traffic on the roof can damage shingles. Whether it is caused by maintenance workers or homeowners while accessing the roof for repairs, it also affects the other roofing components. 

Walking on the roof can loosen granules, dislodge shingles, and create weak spots prone to leaks. Therefore, you must minimize foot traffic on the roof and use proper safety precautions when accessing it for maintenance tasks.

  1. Age of the Roof 

The age of an asphalt roof can impact its remaining lifespan. As shingles age, they naturally undergo wear and tear from exposure to the elements, temperature fluctuations, and other environmental factors. Over time, the asphalt can become brittle, develop roof blistering and shingles may lose their protective granules, leading to decreased durability and lifespan. 

As a roof approaches the end of its expected lifespan, homeowners should consider scheduling a professional inspection to assess its condition and determine whether replacement is necessary.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the lifespan of asphalt shingles and the factors influencing it can help homeowners in the long run. With asphalt shingles typically lasting between 20 to 30 years, factors such as climate, installation quality, and maintenance play significant roles in determining longevity. 

At Steadfast Roofing, we provide comprehensive information on maintaining asphalt shingle roofs to ensure optimal protection for your home. We help you safeguard your homes for years to come. So, if you want the best roof replacements and repair service, contact us today!

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