Asphalt shingles are the single most common roofing material used in North America. They are affordable and easy to install. However, when it comes time to replace your roof, you need to consider how long the roofing material will last. There are several factors that go into determining how many years an asphalt shingle roof can last. So, just how long do roof shingles last?

The Design and Material of the Shingle Makes a Difference

In today’s roofing world, asphalt shingles come in many colors and designs. Three of the most common designs are the strip shingle, the dimensional shingle, and the premium shingle. Each has a different expected life span:

  • Strip shingles have a single layer. A three-tab shingle is a common variety of a strip design. These can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years.
  • Dimensional shingles have two or more layers. These heavier shingles can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years.
  • Premium shingles often resemble natural slate or shake roofs. These premium roofs can last up to 50 years.

Manufacturers also use different materials when constructing an asphalt shingle. Most use either an organic mat or one made from fiberglass. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.

The organic shingle has a mat commonly made from paper, cellulose, or wood fiber. The mat’s saturated with asphalt to provide waterproofing. Another layer of asphalt provides additional protection and an adhesive layer for the granules. These granules provide protection against the sun and weather. The main advantages of an organic shingle are that it’s more flexible in colder water and that they use renewable resources.

A fiberglass shingle has a mat made from fiberglass fibers. They originally were used to replace asbestos in asphalt shingles. The manufacturer embeds the fiberglass mat with asphalt containing mineral fibers, which makes the shingle more fire-resistant and more waterproof.

Other Factors Influencing the Lifespan of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Besides design and material, there are other factors that determine how long an asphalt shingle roof can last. Here are four of the most significant.

  • Quality of installation – The quality of the roof installation goes a long way in determining how long a roof may last. Poor installation often translates to sloppy underlayment, poor installation around skylights, and shingles that blow off in high winds. A poor installation job can even void your roofing material warranty. That’s why it’s critical to select a high-quality company among the many Orlando roofing companies.
  • Underlayment – Some roofers don’t see the need for a solid, well-installed underlayment. The shingles are supposed to keep the weather out. Actually, the opposite is true. The shingles deal with the sun’s UV rays, the Florida heat, and the tumultuous weather. They can also get lifted in high winds and that lets moisture get underneath. The waterproof underlayment is the ultimate barrier for protecting your roof.
  • Ventilation – An unventilated, hot attic is one of the worst enemies your roof has to face. The heat trapped in the attic actually cooks the shingles on the roof above. This shortens the shingle lifespan significantly. A ventilated attic keeps temperatures down, which minimizes damage to the shingles. Plus, it helps keep your summer energy bills lower because it’s not transferring heat into your home.
  • Roof Maintenance – Maintenance is probably the most overlooked factor that influences a roof’s lifespan. Routine inspections can uncover small problems before they become major issues. For example, if a shingle gets blown off during a wind storm, replacing it quickly can prevent damage to the rest of the roof. It can significantly increase the lifespan of your roof.

Asphalt shingle design and construction has come a long way in the past few decades. A quality shingle that’s properly installed and maintained can easily a few decades. If you need a new roof or just want more information, contact Janney Roofing today. We are the Orlando roofers you can trust.