How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

Your roof's asphalt shingles provide valuable protection for your roof's sheathing as well as the attic underneath. Taking care of your home's shingles is a critical part of maintaining a strong, leak-free roof. Knowing how long your roof's shingles are expected to last can help you prepare for shingle replacement. 

How Long do Asphalt Roof Shingles Last?

In the right climate and with proper care, standard asphalt shingles can last for 30 years. Asphalt shingles are a very popular roofing material because they're tough, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. The life of your roof's shingles can be shortened by exposure to intense heat and UV rays, ice dams, freeze/thaw cycles, and wild temperature swings. Asphalt shingles in mild climates can last longer than shingles in states that experience long, intensely hot summers and long, cold winters.

How Can You Tell When Your Shingles Are Starting to Deteriorate?

Shingles experience a long decline over time. As a homeowner, you may be able to tell that your home's shingles are beginning to deteriorate well before an actual roof leak occurs. The first sign of wear and tear on your shingles will be a loss of granules. At first you'll see the granules appear in the gutters of your home, then you'll notice bald patches on the shingles. 

The bald patches on your shingles can leave the bare asphalt beneath exposed. Over time, your asphalt shingles will begin to curl and pull away from the sheathing, especially in areas where the asphalt is exposed. Eventually, your shingles may begin to crack and break.

If you stand back and inspect your roof at this point, you'll see an uneven coloring along the roof where the granules are completely worn away. You'll probably also notice some places where shingles are missing. After storms, you may find shingles in your yard. This is a sign that a roof leak could be right around the corner, and it's time to have a roofing contractor give you a quote for repair or replacement. 

How Can You Make Your Shingles Last Longer?

There are many ways you can extend the life of your shingles. Here are a few examples:

  • Clean your gutters biannually. 
  • Clear organic debris (leaves and sticks) from your roof.
  • Cut down branches from nearby trees that hang over your roof. 
  • Have your roof inspected periodically by a roofing contractor. 

To find out more ways that you can extend the life of your roof and protect your shingles, speak to a roofing contractor like from Lucas Roofing & Sheet Metal when he or she comes to inspect or replace your roof.