Behind The Scenes Of Your Shingle Roof Lifespan
Something confusing for many homeowners is the lifespan of their shingle roof. While shingles have an expected life expectancy, it’s not going to be the case with every roof. Many things can factor into how long your roof will last or how often you’ll need to have it replaced. These include the quality of install, quality of materials used, what weather your roof has faced, and whether the roof has been regularly maintained.
Today, we take a look at the average lifespan of a shingle roof, what factors can contribute to less longevity, and what you can do to make your roof last longer.
The Average Lifespan of a Shingle Roof
Asphalt shingles are the most affordable and most popular roofing material today. Made from a variety of materials, shingles provide a durable layer of protection from wind, rain, and UV rays. There are hundreds of shingle varieties available on the market, but many have an average lifespan of around 20 years.
Factors Which Could Shorten the Longevity of Your Shingle Roof
There are many factors which can accelerate your roof’s weathering process. You can control some, but others are out of your control.
While your shingle roof is constantly battling with weather elements, a storm can cause extensive damage or totally ruin your roof. When hail hits your shingles, it can knock off the protective granules.
Strong winds can take out one or several weak shingles, exposing the substrate and creating ideal conditions for the next storm to terrorize the roof. In some cases, you may not notice the damage and this will slowly allow moisture to rot the roof’s structure and find its way into your home.
No matter the quality of your shingles, a shoddy job will reduce the overall lifespan of your roof. You may think you’re getting a good deal by hiring a cheap contractor, but if the roofing materials are installed incorrectly, there will be high risks of leaks, early deterioration, and other problems. This will subsequently reduce your roof’s lifespan and lead to premature replacement.
Lack of Proper Ventilation
Your home’s ventilation systems can affect the way shingles wear. On a warm summer day, temperatures in the attic can soar to 160 degrees or more if your attic isn’t properly ventilated. In the winter, warm air from the interior of your home will build up underneath the roof.
Excessive heat in your attic can start to “fry” your shingles and cause the wood framing and decking to warp, weakening the structure of your roof. What’s more, an improperly ventilated attic will result in moisture-build up, which can rot the structural support and the underside of the shingles themselves. If this problem isn’t spotted in time, you could end up replacing your roof sooner than you expected.
Forgoing Ongoing Maintenance
A minor roof issue can quickly escalate into a major problem. If you forgo regular roof maintenance like clearing off roof debris, cleaning your gutters, having repairs done, or getting a roof inspection after a storm, you’ll not be able to catch problems early.
A little negligence may lead to the need for expensive repairs and re-installations. You could also void any roof warranty or negate the chance to file an insurance claim.
Debris from trees can cause weak points on your roof, absorb moisture, clog gutters, and encourage decay, moss, and mold growth. Large branches may fall during a storm and damage your roof.
Apart from storm damage, severe temperature fluctuations play a critical role in the longevity of your shingle roof. Extreme heat can shorten your roof’s lifespan because shingles tend to absorb and retain thermal heat. Extreme cold can cause shingles to buckle and crack.
It’s worth mentioning the color will also affect your roof’s life expectancy. Darker shingles will attract and retain more heat, causing them to buckle, come loose, or crumble.
Ways to Make Your Shingle Roof Last Longer
Ventilate the Attic
Ventilation is your roof’s breathing system. It allows warm, humid air to escape and cool air to enter. Proper attic ventilation will keep your shingles at an ideal temperature, prevent moisture problems, and help your roof reach its maximum lifespan.
Insulate to Keep Heat Out
As mentioned above, shingles tend to absorb heat and if there isn’t adequate insulation in the attic, your roof and interior spaces will heat up. It’s important to have the right insulation installed to avoid blocking vents and ensure it gives the maximum amount of energy efficiency.
Hire a Skilled, Experienced Roofer
Proper installation goes a long way when it comes to roofing. Instead of hiring cheap or inexperienced roofers, you want to choose a local contractor who uses high-quality materials, pays attention to detail, and ensures their work is up to code. If a problem develops, the contractor will be willing to come back and make it right.
Invest in Preventive Maintenance
Even if your roof looks fine, don’t neglect it. Your shingle roof should be inspected and cleaned regularly, especially after periods of harsh weather. In an inspection, a professional roofer will look for any signs of damage which need repaired.
Taking care of repairs immediately after they’re discovered and when they are still small and easier to handle can prevent larger, more expensive damage. With regular inspections you can expect your roof to serve you for many years.
If you need any help with your shingle roof in Norfolk, VA, rely on the expertise of Steven’s Roofing. We provide a variety of residential roofing services, including inspection, installation, repair, replacement, and cleaning. When you work with us, you get expert workmanship, quality roofing products, and true customer service. Contact us and let’s talk about extending the life of your roof.