If you’re currently building a house or are considering investing in some home improvements, you may well be wondering: how long does an asphalt roof last?
Most people will reasonably expect to see their asphalt roof last anywhere between fifteen and forty years, depending on the type of asphalt shingles used in the installation.
Commonly used throughout the United States, asphalt shingles have many pros and a few cons, which we introduce to you a little later on in this article.
But let’s begin by looking at what an asphalt roof actually is, and ascertain some of the factors that may affect the longevity and durability of your asphalt shingles.
What is an Asphalt Roof?
An asphalt roof comprises asphalt shingles and is the most common roofing material used in the United States. The primary reason for this is that asphalt is affordable, durable, and relatively long-lasting (with most carrying warranties for between twenty and twenty-five years).
The base material of an asphalt shingle is often fiberglass, which is then coated in an asphalt sealing. The shingles are then treated with coarse granules that protect the shingle from the weather and also add color to the roof.
Builders hoping to keep the cost of construction low usually opt for 3-tab shingles, which are the cheapest option and readily available. But should your budget allow, you could upgrade to either architectural or premium shingles, which are longer lasting and more resistant to the elements, as we introduce below.
How long does an Asphalt Roof last?
If you’re wondering how long an asphalt roof lasts, it largely depends on the type of asphalt shingle that you install on your roof. 3-tab shingles usually last between fifteen and twenty years and are the least durable of the shingle options.
Architectural (often known as dimensional) shingles are more resistant and will last for between twenty and thirty years if installed correctly. And premium shingles, which are the most durable and expensive shingle option, can last anywhere between twenty-five and forty years.
While this should be treated as a rough guide when considering how long an asphalt roof will last, there are several factors that are likely to influence the durability and structural soundness of your roof, which you need to consider before installing asphalt shingles.
Factors Affecting the Durability of an Asphalt Roof
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that there are several factors that can potentially affect how long your asphalt roof will last. If you’re currently in the process of building your dream property, or if you’re looking to upgrade the roof of your current home, you should consider the applicability of the following factors before installing an asphalt roof:
How do you Know if you Need to Replace your Asphalt Roof?
While it’s always a good idea to hire a roofing contractor to check the condition of the roof before you purchase a property, there are several signs you can see for yourself that indicate that an asphalt roof may need to be replaced. These include:
- 1List Curled or damaged shingle edges.
- 2Cracks or depressions in the shingles.
- 3Bald spots where granules should provide a rough surface.
- 4Moss or other growth is appearing on the surface of the roof.
As we’ve seen, an asphalt roof will typically last anywhere between fifteen and forty years, depending on the shingles that have been used. So, if you’re moving into an older property, it’s vital to inspect the roof prior to relocating, as you don’t want to be surprised by a huge bill to replace the roof right after settling in to your new family home.
The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Roofing
Now that we’ve explored how long an asphalt roof lasts, as well as the various factors that can influence the durability of your shingles, it’s time to provide a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of asphalt roofing, so you can definitively decide whether asphalt shingles are the ideal material for the roof on your new or current home. Let’s begin with the pros:
In direct answer to the question ‘how long does an asphalt roof last,’ you can reasonably expect a well-installed asphalt roof to remain in sit for anywhere between fifteen and forty years, depending on the type of asphalt shingles used.
If your budget allows, it’s best to opt for architectural or premium shingles, as they tend to offer guarantees in excess of twenty years. As you can see from the pros and cons introduced above, while asphalt is relatively inexpensive and durable, it’s not the best choice if you live in an area of the country that is prone to adverse or extreme weather. (Related: The Truth About Roofs: Are Metal Shingles Cheaper Than Asphalt Shingles?)
But overall, if you’re looking to install an aesthetically pleasing, affordable, and durable roof for your new property, high-quality asphalt shingles are certainly a great option to consider.