How Long Should an Asphalt Shingle Roof Last?

Aerial view of shingle roof

How long do shingle roofs last? If you’re asking yourself this question, chances are you suspect that something is wrong with your current roof and you might need a new one very soon. It’s perfectly understandable that you don’t want to invest in a new roof before it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s good that you’re at least thinking about and planning ahead for the time when your roof reaches the end of its life expectancy.

As you enter into this important research phase, here’s a quick breakdown of things you should keep in mind about shingle roofs:

  • Asphalt shingles are one of the most economical roofing materials, and they will require replacement sooner than other options.

  • The lifespan of asphalt shingles can depend on the weather conditions in your area.

  • Asphalt shingle lifespan can also depend on the quality of materials and installation.

Let’s break these down and look at them in greater detail.

The Lifespan of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

The humble asphalt shingle is the most popular residential roofing material in the country due to its affordability, ease of installation, and large array of color choices. They are very lightweight while still providing good durability and are cheaper to install, maintain, and repair than other types of roofing systems.

That being said, however, there are some drawbacks to asphalt shingles, especially among the less expensive varieties. Shingle roofs may be vulnerable to wind and hail damage, and because they are more prone to damage, they may not last as long. On average, a shingle roof may last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Compare this to metal roofing, which lasts between 40 and 80 years on average, and slate, concrete, and clay tile roofing, which can last 60 to 100 years or more.

How Weather Can Affect Your Shingle Roof

Although shingles are durable and do provide good protection from the elements, they are not impervious to damage. If you live in an area with extreme sun and heat, all of that constant UV ray exposure can cause your shingles to frequently expand and contract, leading to brittleness and cracking over time. If you’re in an area that receives frequent rain, you may be more likely to experience problems with leaks, moisture damage, or mildew growth. If your area is prone to strong windstorms or hailstorms, you’ll need to keep an eye on your roof and watch for any missing shingles or hail-damaged shingles. Neglecting to address these issues promptly can increase the chance of larger problems or potential roof failure.

Of course, there’s no way to control the weather, and no matter where you live in the US your roof isn’t going to escape the damaging effects of the elements. After all, that’s what your roof is for—to protect you and your home from sun, wind, rain, and snow. Our advice is to not spend time worrying about your roof; rather, just make sure you keep an eye on it, and don't delay in calling a roofer if you ever notice signs of a problem.

Choose a Qualified Roofer for Asphalt Shingle Installation

As a vigilant homeowner, you know that any home project that is going to be a sizable investment (like replacing a roof) needs to be completed by licensed and insured professionals—period. There’s really no compromising when it comes to your home, because any mistakes could end up costing you big. This brings us to our third point about the lifespan of asphalt shingles: the quality of the installation matters. If asphalt shingles are installed improperly by an unlicensed contractor who may not really know what they’re doing, you could be setting yourself up for a huge headache. Your shingles will not last long, and you could put your home at risk of serious structural damage that will be expensive to remedy.

By choosing a licensed roofer, especially one that is certified to work with a quality roofing system or brand, you can have peace of mind knowing that they will use good quality materials and install them the right way to avoid premature roof problems. A good roofer will also back their work with a warranty, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Elite Roofing is the Louisville area’s premier roofing contractor. If you have any questions about asphalt shingle roofs, we invite you to give us a call today at (502) 443-9232.