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How Long Can You Expect Your Asphalt Roof to Last?

May 15th, 2020 | 5 min. read

How Long Can You Expect Your Asphalt Roof to Last?

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When investing in a new roof, you're expecting to get as many years out of it as possible. This is especially true for an asphalt roof. 

One of the most crucial questions customers ask is how long their asphalt roof will last. While a roofing contractor can say 25 or 30 years, you're probably wondering if it'll actually last that long. 

Luckily, we're here to help you understand the lifespan of your asphalt roof. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been installing asphalt roofs in the Nashville area since 1990. We know what it takes to maximize the life of your roof with our workmanship and attention to detail. 

The truth is, you should get pretty close to the manufacturer’s lifespan of your roofing materials. But there are a number of factors that ultimately determine how much life you’ll get out of your asphalt roof. 

By the end of this article, you'll know how long your asphalt roof should last and the factors that affect its lifespan. And to help save time and make your research a little easier, grab the Asphalt Roof Replacement Cheat Sheet at the very end. 

How long will your asphalt roof last?

There are three types of asphalt shingles, 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. But for this article, we’re going to use the two most common asphalt shingles, 3-tab and dimensional, as examples.  

3-tab shingles generally come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. Dimensional shingles come with a 30-year manufacturer warranty.

Vented properly and installed correctly, you should get around 80-85% of the life span out of an asphalt roof. That means you can expect to get about 20-22 years out of your 3-tab shingle roof and 25-28 years out of your dimensional shingles. 

how long does an asphalt roof last

Remember these numbers are based on your roof being installed using correct roofing principles and having adequate attic ventilation. If it doesn’t, your roof’s life will be cut short and you’ll have to go through the roof replacement process.

To learn more about the types of asphalt shingles, check out this article on the 3 types of asphalt shingles

5 factors that affect the life of your asphalt roof

So, now that you know how long your asphalt roof should last, you’re ready to learn some factors that affect it. Below are 5 factors that help determine the life of your roof.

1. Do you have proper attic ventilation?

Adequate attic ventilation is the most important factor that plays into the life of your roof. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, then the damage from the trapped hot and cold air will drastically shorten your asphalt roof’s life. 

The trapped heat will literally burn up your roof system, leading to a full roof replacement. And because it wasn’t properly ventilated, any warranties you have from the manufacturer on your roofing materials will be voided. 

To learn more about attic ventilation, check out this article on why adequate attic ventilation is crucial to your roof

2. Did you hire a reputable roofing contractor? 

Hiring a reputable roofing contractor is crucial to your roof investment. When your roof is installed properly, you’re going to get as close to the lifespan of your roofing materials as possible. 

That makes hiring a roofing contractor that has a strong installation history that much more important. If they don’t use correct roofing techniques your roof’s life will be cut short and you’ll need a roof replacement well before it’s time. 

No matter if you need repairs or a full roof replacement, your contractor plays a huge role in the life you get out of your asphalt roof. A history of proper roof installation isn’t the only thing you need to look for when hiring a local roofing contractor.

To ensure you hire a great local contractor, check out this article on what you need to look for in a roofing contractor

3. What are the weather conditions in your area? 

Every roof goes through wear and tear from the weather throughout its life. The amount of extreme weather your area gets determines how fast the wear and tear affect your asphalt roof. 

For example, if you live in an area that gets a lot of small hail, then your shingles will have granular loss a lot quicker. You won’t be able to file an insurance claim but it’ll definitely shorten your asphalt roof’s life. 

There’s nothing you can do about the weather. But be aware the weather of your area will factor into the life of your roof. 

4. Which way does your asphalt roof face? 

You probably don’t think the direction your home faces factors into the life of your asphalt roof. But the amount of direct sunlight your roof gets affects how long it’ll last. 

If the roof faces east and west, each side gets an equal amount of direct sunlight as the sun comes up and goes over your home as the day goes on. If it faces south, then only the south side is going to receive direct sunlight on it all day and it’s also going to take all the wear and tear from the weather. 

All of the outside elements are going to factor in the life of your asphalt roof. Talk to your contractor about how the direction your roof faces could affect how long it’ll last. 

5. Do you get annual roof maintenance?

Debris sitting on your roof will keep it wet. When your shingles stay saturated it’s not allowing them to perform their main function, keeping you dry. This makes getting annual roof maintenance one of the most important factors to ensure you get the most life out of your roof.

It’s important to keep debris off the roof, out of the valleys, and off the gutter line. When you have annual roof maintenance the common roof problems are caught before they can cause too much damage. 

To learn more about how crucial roof maintenance is to the life of your roof, check out this article on the importance of roof maintenance

When should you replace your asphalt roof?

Now you know how long your asphalt roof should last and the 5 factors that impacts its life. Knowing the lifespan helps you understand what you're getting out of your asphalt roof. 

Now that you know how long your asphalt should last, are you wondering when you'll have to replace it? 

Luckily, we've already thought about this. Knowing when to replace your asphalt roof comes down to knowing the right signs. 

To help you understand these signs, we broke it down for you. 

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has offered high-quality asphalt roof repairs, replacements, and maintenance in the Nashville area. Our workmanship ensures your asphalt roof gives you peace of mind for years. That's why we're proud to offer you a lifetime warranty. 

To learn when you should get a replacement, check out this article on the 3 Signs That You Need to Replace Your Asphalt Roof.

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