Roof maintenance and repairs are crucial and unavoidable aspects of homeownership. Getting a durable, sturdy, and reliable roof to protect your family and possessions can be daunting. Depending on the material, roofing materials can last from 10 to 60 years.

The asphalt shingle roof system consists of shingles (organic or fiberglass), nail strips, and asphalt felt paper. Flashing material and ridge caps protects joints from water infiltration. Asphalt shingle roofs come in three types: 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury shingles:

1. Three-Tab Shingles

Three-tab asphalt roofing gets its name from the three-dimensional shape of the shingle. Each tab measures about 11 inches wide and 36 inches long to provide extra coverage. It incorporates multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass. Each shingle strip has three tabs installed to lay flat on the roof. Three-tab shingles often come with a 25-year warranty from the manufacturer, covering a significant portion of their lifespan.

2. Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional or architectural shingles feature a geometric pattern that resembles a wood shake roof. They are lightweight and come in different colors to match your desired aesthetic. Dimensional asphalt shingles provide a textured appearance. These features give your roof a distinctive look and typically have a 30-year from the manufacturer.

3. Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles, also known as premium or designer shingles, are larger than ordinary asphalt shingles. They resemble slate, and they are a pricier option. They offer superior durability and aesthetic appeal. They also come in different colors and designs. Luxury shingles have a thicker base layer than the other two types and have fiberglass reinforcement. A 40-year warranty from the manufacturer is common with luxury shingles.

Asphalt Roofing Lifespan

Homeowners can expect an estimated 22 years of life from three-tab shingles, 28 years from dimensional shingles, and 35 years from luxury asphalt roofing. Common factors that affect your asphalt roof lifespan include:

1. Weather Conditions

Asphalt roofs are subject to wear and tear, and weather conditions impact the roof’s lifespan. Hot climates with intense sunlight deteriorate shingles faster and reduce their life expectancy. Extreme cold causes cracking in the asphalt material. High winds tear shingles off a roof, leading to expensive repairs or replacements. To protect an asphalt roof from the elements, homeowners should invest in wind-resistant shingles and an effective attic ventilation system.

2. Roof Maintenance

Annual roof maintenance is another way to get the most life out of your asphalt roof. Regular roof inspections detect any problems with your structure and repair visible damage to prevent it from escalating. Some maintenance tasks include cleaning out gutters, trimming back trees, replacing worn seals around vents, and checking for missing or damaged shingles. A roof inspector also repairs flashing around chimneys, skylights, and areas where water may enter the home. Keeping these areas sealed reduces the chances of leaks and water damage inside your home.

3. Installation Procedure

Asphalt roof installation requires a qualified roofing contractor. Proper installation following statutory building codes gets you the most life out of your roof. Choose a reputable and experienced roofing contractor. Asphalt shingles are delicate and need careful handling to avoid ruining their quality or breakage during installation. Novice installation will cost you unnecessary repairs and replacements.

Stages of an Asphalt Roof Lifespan

Asphalt shingle flaps undergo three stages of life:

1. Incipient Stage

This stage is when the asphalt shingles are fresh from the manufacturer. Taking them out of their packaging starts their aging process immediately. Air, heat, and pressure exposure accelerate the process before further wear upon installation. Asphalt shingles experience chemical changes due to their components, but these changes are invisible during the roof’s early years.

2. Accelerated Stage

After roof installation, your asphalt roof serves you for years before signs of wear and tear become noticeable. Your roof enters the accelerated stage when you see random gaps or cracks, granules wearing off, and degrading flaps. This stage is ideal for a roof inspection and maintenance to extend the lifespan.

3. Decelerating Stage

Asphalt shingles return to their raw form or components during this stage. They have a low resistance to the elements and can no longer serve you reliably. At this stage, the roof has performed its stipulated lifespan and is due for a replacement.

Contact Us

Asphalt shingles are a cost-effective roofing option. They have pleasing aesthetics and are suitable for pitched and flat roofs. At Hammer Down Exteriors, we provide quality asphalt roofing installation, repairs, and replacements. We also install gutters, siding, and windows, and we offer storm restoration services. If you are a West Lafayette, IN resident, contact Hammer Down Exteriors today to assess the lifespan of your roof!

Brent Hulsey

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