Congratulations! You are a homeowner!
For many people, owning a home is a culmination of years of dreaming and hard work. It can feel like an end goal, but really it is just the beginning.
New homeowners quickly learn that homes come with a lot of responsibilities and maintenance. And while we aren’t the right people to help you keep your shrubs trimmed or drains unclogged, we do know a thing or two about roof maintenance!
When you bought your home, you likely had an inspector come out and look at the state of your existing roof. But after the deed is signed, you may find yourself with lots of questions, including:
- How long do asphalt shingles last?
- What is the best way to care for your shingles?
- How do you know when an asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced?
We’re here to help you answer all of those questions and more! Keep reading to become an expert on asphalt roofs!
Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material on the market. But do they live up to the hype? It depends on what you are looking for. If you are wondering if an asphalt roof is right for you, check out our list of pros and cons!
- Affordability – Most homeowners choose asphalt shingle roofs because they are very affordable. Indeed, they are the least expensive option of all of the roofing materials, costing only about $4-$7 per square foot.
- Easy Installation – Asphalt shingles are great for the handy DIYer, as they are easy to install. This also makes them easy to replace if a shingle or two gets damaged in the future.
- Low Maintenance – Unlike other roof styles, such as wood shingles, an asphalt roof is very easy to maintain.
- Versatile – These days, you can purchase asphalt shingles in almost any shade in the rainbow. This makes it easy to create the exterior look that your want.
- Durability – While you can opt for more durable versions, such as impact-resistant shingles, an asphalt shingle roof won’t provide the durability that you will find with a metal or slate roof. Shingles are particularly susceptible to damage from falling branches or hail and can be blown off by strong winds.
- Longevity – Asphalt shingle roofs may be affordable, but they also have the shortest lifespan of any roofing material.
How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?
You already know that asphalt shingles have a short lifespan. So how long can you realistically expect your asphalt roof to last?
Asphalt shingles last, on average, for 15-20 years. However, a variety of factors can contribute to the longevity of your roof, including:
- The amount of maintenance you perform
- How quickly you schedule your roof repairs
- The climate you live in
- Extreme weather situations, such as storms
Concerned about the longevity of your shingles? It is important to know that not all shingles are created equal. While the cheapest option is a classic 3-tab shingle, you may find that architectural shingles are a better fit for you. These high-end asphalt shingles have multiple layers that better protect against roof damage. Additionally, they create better curb appeal with a dimensional look that helps your roof stand out.
Signs Your Shingles Need to Be Replaced
No one likes to think about a roof replacement, but it is one of those things that comes with the territory when you are a homeowner. If your shingle roof is between 15-20 years old, it is quite likely that you are going to have to replace your asphalt shingles. Here are some of the signs to watch out for in order to tell whether it is time to replace asphalt shingles on your roof.
- Missing Shingles – While the occasional missing shingle is nothing to worry about if you are frequently finding blown-off shingles in your yard, it may be time for a replacement.
- Curling or Cracked Shingles – Shingles that are curling and cracked may have lost the oils that keep them supple and flexible. If your shingles are showing signs of damage like this, it is time to contact a reputable roofing contractor.
- Granule Loss – Are you finding a black, gravel-like substance on your driveway and in your gutter? Those are your roof granules. As your roof ages, you may find that it naturally starts to shed more and more granules, particularly after a storm. This can lead to your roof being more susceptible to UV damage and breakage.
Asphalt Shingle Maintenance
When it comes to extending the life of your roof, maintenance is key! Maintenance will help keep your new roof functioning properly and an old roof last longer.
Lucky for you, maintaining an asphalt roofing system isn’t particularly difficult! The important part is to keep it free of debris. This includes any fallen leaves or twigs that may be resting on your roof or in your gutters. This can prevent your roof from properly shedding water and lead to serious water damage.
We also recommend regularly trimming any trees that may sit above your roof line. Fallen branches can cause intensive damage to your roofing system, even requiring a full roof replacement on occasion.
Scheduling regular roof inspections with your local roofing contractor will help you to stay aware of any problem areas of your roof and find solutions that work for you and your budget.
Talk With a Professional Roofer
Ready to create a resilient roof that stands the test of time? First American Roofing is ready to help. Our team of experts knows all of the tips and tricks to keep your asphalt shingle roof looking and functioning at its best. With superior roof repair and replacement services, we can help you to create a roof that you can trust all year long. Contact us today to receive your free estimate!