Amenity Roofing & Siding

Roofing Shingle Lifespans and How to Extend Them

A roof consists of several layers starting with the decking. On top of that goes different barriers depending on the demands of your climate. The roofing contractors finish with the visible layer, the shingles. All of those layers can affect how long your roof lasts. However, the lifespan of your roof will depend largely on your shingles.

Learn how you can extend the life of your roof shingles based on their type.Asphalt Shingles

The most common shingles used in roofing are made of asphalt. Manufacturers start with a base mat and add the asphalt layer on top, finishing with ceramic granules that reflect UV radiation. The base mat is either woven fiberglass or felt paper. Asphalt shingles typically last 15 to 30 years .

Included in this category are architectural shingles. They’re constructed in the same basic way as regular asphalt shingles, but they feature an additional layer of asphalt in the lower quadrant of the shingle. This extra layer thickens the shingle, giving them the architectural appearance. They also feature zinc granules to prevent mold and algae growth. Architectural shingles last 30 to 50 years .

Both types of asphalt shingles are very durable. However, with asphalt shingles, you want to watch for warning signs of roof failure. One is you find the ceramic granules in your gutters, which might indicate they’re at the end of their life. Another is curling, buckling, or missing shingles. To prolong the life of asphalt shingles, keep them safe from ice dams and backwash from the gutters.

Wood Shingles

Before manufacturers started making asphalt shingles, the majority of houses were topped with wood shingles. Many homeowners still prize the material for its natural beauty. Wood shingles are typically made of red cedar that’s been coated with a fire retardant. Cypress, spruce, redwood, and pine shingles also exist.

Manufacturers construct the shingles in one of two ways, creating either shakes or shingles. True shingles are cut with a machine on both sides to create a tapered, neat appearance. Manufacturers hand-split wood shakes on one side to create a rough-hewn appearance. Both styles of shingles last 15 to 30 years.

Wood roofs require special maintenance. You’ll need to treat the shingles with preservatives and fungicides about every two years or so. Watch out for signs that the shingles are warping, cracking, or developing mildew or fungus. Luckily, you can have roofing contractors replace parts of the roof with new shingles.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are prized for Mediterranean and Southwest style homes. Manufacturers use pulverized clay and water to create the formable clay. They then form it into curved or flat styles and finish the surface with a glaze. They come in hundreds of glaze colors. Clay tiles are extremely heavy but also extraordinarily durable. They can last 50 to 100 years.

Clay tile roofs are built to last, so you don’t have a lot of maintenance requirements. However, they can become chipped or broken. Since clay roofs are so expensive, make sure you don’t have any overhanging trees over your roof. The trees can drop limbs onto the roof, causing damage to the clay tiles. Roofers can replace individual chipped or broken tiles.

Metal Roofing

With metal roofing, the shingles are actually panels of aluminum, copper, or steel. The manufacturers stamp them so the surface resembles different materials. They can also feature a corrugated surface. The manufacturers usually coat the top with a reflective coating to minimize how much the metal conducts heat.

Metal roofs last 40 to 50 years, with their color coatings guaranteed for 25 years. Metal roofing is extremely durable and low-maintenance. At the time of installation, you’ll want to have insulation installed below to further minimize the transfer of heat energy from the sun. Attic ventilation is also a good idea, which can help prolong the life of any roof, including a metal one.

If you’re looking at a roof replacement or new build, consider the above lifespans and maintenance requirements of the different roofing materials. When you’re ready for any roofing job, call Amenity Roofing Siding & Gutters LLC .


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