How Long Does An Asphalt Roof Last?


How long does an asphalt roof last? Well there are several factors that come into play when trying to figure out how long your roof will last. The lifespan of the asphalt roof depends on the climate of an area, the way the original installation was handled, and whether ongoing care and maintenance have been part of a regular routine. More importantly, the lifespan of a asphalt shingle roof is greatly affected by the overall materials used. 


Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

The average lifespan for shingles is normally around 20 years. The longevity of asphalt shingles almost totally depends on where they have been installed and if they have been installed properly. Shingles found in cooler places in the United States last longer than those in warmer climates.


Extreme temperature can affect the lifespan of asphalt shingles and many other roofing materials. Shingles that go through various temperature changes within a small amount of time are not able to expand and contract as they should when the temperature changes are more mild, such as over 90 degrees during the day and considerably lower temperatures of below 40 at night.  Shingles cannot adapt to such extreme changes in the temperature and can cause cracks and other damages to shingles that have been exposed to temperature extremes and water can get into those areas and create further damage.

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Factors That Affect The Life Expectancy Of Your Asphalt Roof


There are several damages that can occur to decrease the life expectancy of your asphalt shingles, some of these are because of a constant flow of water accumulating, your roof is subjected to algae and fungus growth partially due to the freezing and thawing from the winter months. Other damage is with expansion of water in cracks due to freezing, the larger the openings will become and the more damage that will occur. Yet even further damage to shingles can happen with insufficient or poor attic ventilation. Proper ventilation will increase the life of shingles and other parts of a roof.

These are various possible damages that can occur with asphalt shingles and other parts of a roof are reasons why roofing contractors recommend sloped or pitched roofs as they remove water better and are less cause of concern with accumulated water. 

Below is a list of conditions that affects a roofs lifespan:

  • Color of roof:  A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan
  • Roof slope:  Higher pitch roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of roof: A roof slope facing south will get more sunlight, and have a shorter life.
  • Layered roof: A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Installation: Improper installation shortens roof life.
  • Attic ventilation: A poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near roof: Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof shortens its life.

Maintenance and Warranties

An important thing that can extend the life of asphalt shingles is maintenance. Ensure to look for any curling or other issues that can occur with roofing shingles. When it comes to warranties, they can be of help with manufacturing defects but always ask for a copy of a material warranty and read through the particulars for coverage, costs, installation requirements and other particulars before making any final decisions. Most warranty programs through a shingle manufacturer range from 20 to 40 years and beyond.