The million dollar question if you own an asphalt shingle roof is, “How long does a shingle roof last?” This question is asked by everyone who purchases a home with this type of roof because they want to know how long before the big expense happens. The answer to how long asphalt shingles last is not as clear as one may like but there are some principles and circumstances that can help determine how much longer before you need to replace your shingle roof. In short, in the Tucson Arizona area with the extreme sun a homeowner can reasonably expect their shingle roof to last from 10-25 years before needing replaced. Roof replacements can be expensive so knowing some key facts up front can help you determine when and how and to some degree how much to save up for a new asphalt shingle roof.
Shingle Roofs Age Different In Different Locations
Location, location, location! Shingles have differing lifespans depending upon the geographic location where they were installed. In Tucson, Arizona shingles do not last as long as they would in more moderate climates. The reason is the sun can be brutal on oil-based asphalt shingles. The sun bakes the shingles daily and the shingles dry out quicker than they would in other climates. Thinner shingles dry out quicker than thicker shingles. The old three-tab shingles, especially the cheaper ones, were quite thin compared to the modern shingle applications. Thank goodness for modern laminated / architectural shingles that are thicker and do last longer.
Shingle Roof Replacements vs Reroofing Shingle Over Shingles
Asphalt shingles last much longer when applied directly over underlayment and not in a shingle over shingle application. Reroofing involves laying new shingles over the top of old shingles, a roof replacement involves removing all the old roofing material and starting fresh. Many home owners choose to reroof because they are on a budget. If the old roof is in decent shape this application can be a viable option if the house can handle the extra weight. However, it is never the best option. Homeowners can get 25-50% more out of the same shingles if the roof is completely removed and replaced. The extra longevity is because the shingles will lay down exactly as designed on a flat surface, the old shingles will retain heat, and the new shingles will move more with the expansion and contraction of materials. Besides all this, many shingle manufacturers will not honor their warranty if their shingles are placed on top of old shingles.
The Quality of the Shingles Matter
There are different quality of shingles and this is an important consideration when considering, “how long will my shingle roof last?” Cheaper shingles tend to be thinner, stick less to the surface, release their granules sooner, dry out quicker, etc. Many of the more expensive laminated shingles will last significantly longer because they were crafted to last in more extreme temperatures and through more extensive weather conditions. They also tend to have strengthened nailing areas that hold the nails better. Shingles types and brands matter so choose the best shingles! When deciding which shingle to have on your roof look at their warranties. The limited lifetime or lifetime warrantied shingles are typically better more longer lasting shingles.
Proper Installation Increases Shingle Lifespans
It almost goes without saying that if shingles are improperly installed they will not last as long, but it needs to be said! When choosing a roofing contractor to install your shingles, make sure they are well versed in applying the shingles. Ask them specific questions about the shingles they prefer. Ask them how many nails they put in each shingle. Ask them if they use water and ice barrier. Ask them what underlayment they prefer. If they stumble over these questions then dig deeper to determine if they are the right roofing company for your project. Most licensed, bonded, insured roofing companies should have clear, concise, and direct answers for these questions. Finally, ask the roofing contractor if they use subcontractors. Subcontractors are not all bad, but sometimes roofing companies use subs and don’t follow up with their work and/or understand how the subs are actually doing the work. If your shingles are improperly installed they will not last as long.
The Million Dollar Question: How Long Will My Shingle Roof Last?
As noticed already the question has not been directly answered and that is because there are numerous variable that should be considered. However, if a homeowner uses modern laminated mid to higher grade shingles, pays for a complete tear off, has the roof inspected every 2-3 years, and hires a roofing contractor that installs the roof in the manner that the shingle manufacturer expects, then the shingle roof should last upwards of 25 years in the mid-west dry climate. It could last longer but 25 years is commonly expected duration among southwest roofers. Many times “you get what you pay for.” When it comes to the most important aspect of your home protecting your family and assets, it is never wise to cut corners or do things half-way.
If you are looking for a roof company that will do things the right way and roof it right the first time, look no further. Desert Sky Roofing prides itself for using top quality products, following the shingle manufacturer’s recommendation, and never cuts corners. We realize that our clients are investing into their future and placing their trust in us to get it right, therefore we take our time and make sure our client’s roofs are installed better than expected! For a free roof inspection and free roof estimate give us a call!