One of the most common questions we get when we meet with a homeowner is “How long should my roof last?” Most homeowners expect their roofs to last at least 20 or 25 years — after all, that is what the warranty states! The truth is the life expectancy of an asphalt roof is greatly influenced by many factors including the quality of the shingles, the installation process, the weather, and the maintenance plan.
We know roof replacements are a pretty big investment and want to make sure our homeowners know how to make their existing asphalt roof last as long as possible and when to plan for a replacement.
Let’s break down the factors that affect the life span of an asphalt roof and share our top tips to maximize its longevity!
Factors that Affect the Life Span of an Asphalt Roof
Asphalt shingle roofs are highly cost effective and widely used in our region. They offer solid protection against weather conditions such as harsh winds, rain, heat, or snow. However, not all asphalt shingle roofs last forever. In fact, many don’t make it to the manufacturer’s warranty!
Factors like improper installation techniques and environmental damage can cause them to fail prematurely. While it’s impossible to guarantee that your roof will last forever, understanding the life span of an asphalt roof and what factors affect it can help you maximize its durability over time.
Here are the main factors that determine the life span of your asphalt roof:
The quality and grade of your shingles can play a vital role in the longevity of your roof. Cheaper shingles may have a shorter life span and may need replacing sooner than more durable types of asphalt shingles. Additionally, roofs installed after 2001 typically have a shorter lifespan due to changes in how shingles are made. Shingles produced after 2001 are thinner and less durable than those produced prior to 2001.
We use the Atlas Signature Select roofing system for most of our client’s roofing projects. These shingles offer good durability at an affordable price!
Proper installation is key to ensuring your roof lasts as long as possible. Improper installation can lead to leaks, premature damage, and an overall shortened lifespan. Most times when a roof fails, it’s because of poor workmanship. Some roofing contractors offer lower prices but skip important steps like using a water and ice barrier.
A sloppy installation means a shorter roof lifespan!
Weather and Location
Ah, the weather! While weather and location are out of your control, it certainly affects how long your roof will last. Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, hail, and snow can cause damage to your roof over time. Homes located in areas with high humidity and long hot summers may experience more rapid deterioration as well.
Is your home facing directly south? Your roof may not last as long as you’d like. Homes that have a southern exposure, especially ones with little or no shade, tend to age quickly. This is because southern-facing homes are exposed to more sun and heat. This exposure will age and dry out your shingles much sooner than roofs with shade.
A roof that is not maintained properly can have its lifespan greatly reduced. Regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs can help extend the life of your roof. By catching problems early, you can prevent larger issues from occurring.
Proper attic ventilation is crucial to the lifespan of an asphalt roof. It allows hot and humid air to escape the attic, preventing moisture buildup that can cause damage to the roof and shingles.
Tips to Maximize the Life Expectancy of Your Asphalt Roof
You know that old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” The same concept applies to your roof! When you take care of your roof, it will take better care of you and last longer.
Preventative and routine maintenance is the BEST way to extend the life of your asphalt roof. Here are our top tips to make your roof last as long as possible:
Have Roof Professionally Inspected Around Year 10
A professional inspection can help to catch potential problems before they become major issues. By having an inspection around year 10, you can make any necessary repairs and extend the life of your roof.
Clogged gutters can lead to water damage to your roof and home. Regular cleaning can help to prevent that damage and extend the life of your roof.
Overhanging branches can cause scratches and damage to your roof during heavy winds. Make sure to trim any nearby trees and branches regularly.
Check for Leaks in Attic and Ceiling
Occasionally, the signs of an aging roof may be located in your home. Perform a visual inspection of your attic and ceilings at least once a year to check for leaks and other issues. A damp attic or stained ceilings are key indicators of damaged roofs.
If you’ve found any issues, address them as soon as possible to avoid further damage and help your roof last as long as possible.
Invest in Roof Maxx
Want to get the most life out of your roof? Consider a Roof Maxx treatment. Roof Maxx is a roof rejuvenation method that uses a 100% natural bio-oil to restore the flexibility and durability of your shingles. Each application extends the life of your roof by 5 years, guaranteed.
Curious if your roof qualifies for Roof Maxx? Give us a call! Not all roofs qualify – some are too young and some may be past their lifespan. We can help you determine if Roof Maxx is a good option to help extend the life of your current asphalt roof.
Think You Need a New Roof? Think Again.
While asphalt roofing may not last forever, proper maintenance and care will ensure that your roof lasts for many years. Let us help your roof get to 20 years or even 30 years with a Roof Maxx treatment.
If a roofing contractor told you your roof needs to be replaced, contact us for another look at your roofing system. Most roofs we evaluate do not require a new roof. Instead, they just need minor repairs and a Roof Maxx treatment. Reach out today either with a text or a call at 717.487.8752 to schedule a free roof assessment.