When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, few roofing materials match the popularity and versatility of asphalt shingles. These widely used roofing components offer a blend of affordability, durability, and aesthetics that make them a popular choice for homeowners across the globe. But, like all roofing materials, they come at a cost.
If you are going to make a large financial investment in your home, it is important that you know how far that money will stretch. Understanding the lifespan of asphalt shingles can help you determine whether it is the right roof style for you.
In this blog post, we’ll explore:
- The lifespan of asphalt shingles
- Their pros and cons
- Maintenance tips to extend their longevity
- Warning signs of a failing roof
- Cost considerations
Keep reading to learn if you should replace asphalt shingles on your roof!
The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles have become a staple in the roofing industry due to their numerous advantages. However, if you are considering replacing your roof, you should take all of the factors into consideration. Here are some of the common pros and cons of asphalt shingle roofs.
- Affordability: Asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective roofing materials available, making them an attractive choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
- Aesthetic Variety: These shingles come in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture.
- Ease of Installation: Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, which can reduce labor costs and installation time.
- Durability: High-quality asphalt shingles can offer impressive durability, with warranties often ranging from 20 to 30 years or more.
- Weather Resistance: Asphalt shingles are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including rain, wind, and even hail, to a certain extent.
- Lifespan: While asphalt shingles can offer decent longevity, they have a shorter lifespan compared to some other roofing materials like metal or clay tiles.
- Vulnerability to Extreme Weather: Despite being weather-resistant, severe weather conditions can still cause damage to asphalt shingles, particularly in regions prone to heavy storms or extreme temperature fluctuations.
- Maintenance Requirements: Asphalt shingles require periodic maintenance to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.
How Long Does an Asphalt Roof Last?
In some ways, determining the life expectancy of a roof is tricky. Many factors can affect how long your roof lasts, including:
- How well you maintain it
- The climate and weather conditions
- The type of asphalt roof you purchase
In general, though, most asphalt roofs last an average of 15-20 years before needing to be replaced.
5 Maintenance Tips to Extend Lifespan
Proper maintenance plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof. Here are some tips to help you keep your roof in excellent condition:
1) Regular Inspections 🔎
Perform visual inspections at least twice a year, looking for signs of damage or wear, such as missing, cracked, or curled shingles.
2) Gutter Maintenance 🍂
Keep your gutters clean and clear to prevent water from backing up and damaging your shingles.
3) Trim Overhanging Branches ✂️
Trim tree branches that hang over your roof to prevent debris accumulation and potential damage during storms.
4) Prompt Repairs 👩🔧
Address any issues promptly. Replace damaged or missing shingles to prevent water infiltration and subsequent rot or mold growth.
5) Cleaning 🧹
If you notice algae or moss growth, gently clean your roof using a solution of water and mild detergent. Avoid high-pressure washing, as it can damage shingles.
6) Ventilation 🌬️
Ensure proper attic ventilation to regulate temperature and moisture levels, preventing premature shingle deterioration.
Signs Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Might Be Failing
Recognizing the signs of a failing asphalt shingle roof is crucial to prevent extensive damage. If you notice any of these indicators, it may be time to consider repairs or replacement:
- Curling or Buckling Shingles: Shingles that are curling or buckling at the edges are susceptible to water infiltration and can be easily torn off by wind.
- Missing Shingles: Missing shingles expose the underlying roof structure to the elements, increasing the risk of leaks and water damage.
- Granule Loss: The accumulation of granules in gutters or downspouts is a sign of shingle deterioration, which can shorten their lifespan.
- Water Stains or Leaks: Water stains on your ceiling or walls, or noticeable leaks during rain, indicate compromised roofing integrity.
- Algae or Moss Growth: While these growths might not immediately damage shingles, they can retain moisture and accelerate deterioration over time.
The Cost of an Asphalt Shingle Roof
The cost of installing an asphalt shingle roof can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your roof, the quality of shingles you choose, your location, and labor costs. On average, asphalt shingle roofs are more affordable compared to other roofing materials, making them an appealing option for homeowners.
Here’s a general breakdown of cost considerations:
- Materials: The cost of asphalt shingles can range from $70 to $150 per square (100 square feet). High-quality or specialty shingles may be more expensive.
- Labor: Installation costs vary, but a ballpark figure might be around $2 to $5 per square foot for labor, which includes removing the old roof, preparing the surface, and installing the new shingles.
- Additional Materials: You’ll also need underlayment, flashing, vents, and other accessories, which can add to the overall cost.
- Warranty: Higher-end shingles often come with longer warranties, which can affect the overall cost.
It’s important to note that while asphalt shingles offer an attractive upfront cost, their shorter lifespan compared to some other materials might lead to more frequent replacements over time. When considering the cost, factor in the long-term expenses associated with maintenance and potential replacements.
Get an Expert Opinion
The best way to determine whether or not your asphalt roof is ready for a roof replacement or not is to talk to a reputable roofing contractor. At Monarch Roofing, we know how to spot the subtle signs of an aging roof so that you can keep your home safe for years to come. Ready to update your shingles? Contact us today to set up your appointment.