If asked, many people will think a secure front door is the most important part of their home. However, those who are experienced will understand that it’s the integrity of the roof that matters the most. A front door, window, backyard and even the inside flooring can all be easily fixed in a day. The roof, however, keeps a home together or lets it fall apart very quickly. And, a key component of the roofing is the external layer it has to face the elements and outside. Those basic shingles providing the outer skin of a roof make all the difference for years before it’s time for service.
How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?
Understanding how long a typical home roof can last depends a lot on the materials used. The most common shingle roofing involves asphalt shingles which are flat, thin and gritty on one side with a sticky tar material on the inside and bottom. Installed in layers, asphalt shingles provide multiple benefits at the same time. Their petroleum-based material is immediately waterproof, which fends off the rain. The gritty side gives the shingle an exterior armor that protects from the wind, debris, birds and generally light material landing on the roof that can be abrasive over time. And the body of the shingle gives it easy flexibility and durability for installation. It’s lightweight, easy to install, and provides a low-cost approach to exterior roofing protection.
How Many Years Do Asphalt Shingles last?
Asphalt shingles can be expected to last anywhere from a minimum of 15 to as long as 25 years before a full replacement is needed. That said, there’s a lot of variation in between. The sun is actually the most brutal impact on the shingles, drying them out and causing the integrity of an asphalt shingle to fall apart over time. However, heavy weight on the roof can cause premature damage, especially if someone is walking up and down on the roof a lot. Heavy water, wind, sleet and similar water impacts can also impact how long roof shingles last in Ontario, washing bits away as they crack and fall apart.
Generally, the most basic of roofing shingles will perform something close to 20 years at their longest life. These are the most common type used in modern buildings, as well as the cheapest. The strongest asphalt shingles are known as architectural and can last up to 30 years due to their thickness and more material involved. Areas with light weather will also see their roofs stretch out lifespan far better than areas with heavy winters and significant temperature changes throughout the year. However, the most telling difference in longevity is, believe it or not, the skill involved with installing the roof. Poor work produces poor roofing that falls apart quickly.
Maintenance & When Should a Shingle Roof be Replaced
Sitting debris does a roof no good. The least one can do is take a strong blower and clean debris off the roof on a regular basis. Twigs, dirt, rocks, plants, and similar allow things to get trapped, including seeds. These are the worst as they try to root into the shingles and grow, destroying the roof minutely over time. Cleaning off such debris prevents these problems from starting in the first place. Debris can also come from overhangs via big trees and branches. All that plant material ends up dropping on the roof as well as creating a heavy branch damage risk. Even moving branches in the wind can impact a roof and damage shingles. Cut those branches back and remove the risk altogether.
When is it time to replace shingles individually versus a whole roof? Anytime a bad one is identified is a good opportunity. Spotting prematurely damaged shingles can also help stop bigger problems from growing. If you see areas with deteriorating shingles but the rest of the roof is fine, a spot fix can add a few years to an older roof, avoiding a full replacement early when the problem gets worse. Eventually, however, even the best of shingle-style roofs will need to be replaced. Ideally, this happens somewhere between 25 and 30 years after installation and before the moisture problems really start to set in. Regular maintenance is going to make it pretty clear when that point is arriving as the deterioration signs become very evident. It’s also a good idea to take photographs of the roof every year and compare notes. This works a lot better than trying to eyeball the current condition versus what one remembers from 12 months earlier.
Call for the Right Experts
When it’s time to replace your shingle roof, bringing in the right experts like the team at Energy Kingston Exteriors makes all the difference. Yes, there can be a lot of variation in cost if based on price alone, but going too low in price will end up costing you dearly when a badly-installed roof fails a few winters later with significant moisture leaks. Skill, expertise and depth of knowledge produce roofs that last for decades, even in the most turbulent of seasonal climates. Contact us for more information on how we can help with your roofing project.