How long will my shingle roof last?

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

To be completely honest, there’s no exact right answer to the present question and there are lots of variables which will factor into how long a  typical roof should and can  last. 

The type of shingle that you choose will play a major part within the life of your roof so always choose a contractor like Colony Roofers that will  supply you with a good quality shingle selection. .

If you’ve got a 3 tab shingle, the manufacturer states it’ll last 25 years, however thanks to the points i’ll list below, you can realistically and safely expect that they’ll last on the average 15-20 years with proper maintenance. A  30 year architectural shingle will reasonably last  25 years with proper maintenance. 

Materials and workmanship will play an oversized role in your roof’s lifespan. Obviously the cheaper materials that you could choose to install,  just don’t last as long as the slightly pricier and more durable roofing products. Do your research and remember that more often than not you will get what you pay for. 

Some of the more popular shingle manufacturers you’ll research are Certainteed, GAF, Owens Corning & Tamko; you can also reach out to your local shingle suppliers for added manufacturers and types that are available in your area.

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Workmanship is perhaps a no brainer, but let’s bring it up anyway. First, it is critically important to search out a contractor that’s licensed and insured for doing roof installations and roof repair.  The contractor that you choose should be experienced and should be  knowledgeable of local building codes and common roof replacement practices. It goes without saying that you simply can have the best, most expensive roofing products on the market, but if you hire anyone that doesn’t know what they’re doing, the roof will fail and fail miserably.

Trees, branches, vines and enormous bushes

While these natural flora may be beautiful, they can also be destructive to your roof and significantly decrease the number of years your roof is capable of lasting. 

Trees that are allowed to grow too near your home can not  only cause foundation and septic issues, they will also grow into the gutters and stop proper water drainage from the roof and damage your soffit. Branches, no matter how small they appear,  that are allowed to grow uninhibited into the roof can cause damage to the roof decking and shingles. Over time, this damage could even be enough to sustain water intrusion into the soffits or even inside the home..

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Please remember to monitor and maintain all branches, vines and bushes and keep them  trimmed away from the roof slopes, roof edges and from the overhang areas. During strong winds and severe storms,  overhanging branches can bend, break and fall onto the roof  causing varying degrees of damage; from missing shingles to broken plywood decking and might even cause varying sized holes within the roof decking that may result in significant water damage inside your home.

Weather

Extreme heat during the day causes asphalt shingles to become hot and pliable, which results in higher than normal granular loss. Then in the evenings as the temperatures drop, allows the shingles to cool back into a harder state, thus allowing them to become vulnerable to becoming more brittle and suffer breakage more easily over time. 

Consistent heat and ultraviolet rays also will cause roofing materials to deteriorate more quickly over time.

Cold temperatures impact the lifecycle of asphalt shingles by making them hard and brittle, which in-turn makes them more susceptible to breakage during the winter months.

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Also, during the winter months there are some other things to bear in mind of;

Freezing water

Water that freezes on your roof can prevent proper drainage and cause leaking. 

Snow

It is important to schedule to have your roof inspected before the winter months to make sure that your flat roof surfaces are in good working condition and problem free.. 

Also remember that if you choose to undertake the task of removing snow yourself,  be aware that  the materials you employ may damage your roof that was not pre-existing.

Storms/Wind

During severe climates, wind can cause shingles tabs to lift, curl and break. Should this happen, it may cause the adhesive backing on the shingle to loosen, thus causing shingles to come completely off your roof. While this would require a strong wind force, it does happen frequently, especially to shingles that are already compromised by some of the other factors that we previously mentioned in this article.

Hail while rare, does happen and can hit with a force strong enough to remove the granules that make up a protective layer on your shingle. If this happens it will undermine the integrity, fracture or break completely through a shingle and leave your home unprotected against leaking. These factors will depend upon the scale, velocity and density of the hail storm.

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