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May 5th, 2022

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

Many homeowners choose to install an asphalt shingle roof because they are aesthetic, functional, and very affordable. However, the question always arises: how long do asphalt shingles last? In our professional experience,  homeowners can expect their asphalt roofs to last approximately 20-30 years so long as they are properly maintained. With this in mind, it’s also important to consider other roofing options. For example, wood shake roofs last approximately thirty years, and fiber cement shingles last about twenty-five years. Therefore, odds are you will get some of the best bang for your buck from asphalt shingles over time if your roof has been installed professionally.

What Makes an Asphalt Shingle Roof Unique? 

An asphalt shingle roof makes use of the inexpensive yet aesthetic and functional material most commonly used in the roofing industry for waterproofing. Asphalt shingle roofs are very popular because they are inexpensive compared to other roofing materials and are fairly easy to install. There are many different types of asphalt shingle roofs such as three-tab, architectural, tie-lock, and many more. Depending on the thickness of the shingle, they may perform better in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or hail.

How are Asphalt Shingles Made?

In order to make asphalt shingles, a fiberglass mat or a roll of organic felt is fed into a dry looper. After these materials have passed through a presaturation chamber to be primed for coating, they will then make their way into a saturation tank that is filled with hot asphalt. This hot asphalt will coat the fibers.


What is the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and Asphalt Shingles?


The differences between asphalt shingles and architectural shingles can be nuanced: 

1) The Shape and Size

Traditional three-tab shingles are part of a single tab size. Three-tab shingles are made of three separate tabs that are 12-inches wide and are coated with asphalt in order to shed water. Alternatively, architectural shingles come in different shapes and sizes.


2) The Replacement Process

Architectural shingles are thicker, which means that they can last longer than regular asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles are more resistant to high wind speeds, hail, and fungal growths, thanks to their unique dimensions. 


3) Cost Differences 

Architectural shingles typically cost more than three-tab shingles and are marketed for their durability. Naturally, this increased performance requires an elevated raw material cost.

Can Asphalt Shingle Roofs Be Painted?

Homeowners can have their asphalt shingles painted, but it’s far more efficient and eco-friendly to have the roof replaced in the new color palette you desire. If you do decide to paint your asphalt shingles, you will need to repaint your shingles from time to time with a fresh coat of paint to keep them looking new. 


Are Asphalt Shingles Toxic?

It is true that handling asphalt shingles can be toxic, but only if they were installed prior to 1989. This is because shingles and house siding that were installed before that time contained asbestos. Asbestos is now classified as a carcinogen and is treated with the same handling as any equivalently hazardous material. 


Is Asphalt Roofing Dangerous for Your Health?

Depending on the composition of the roofing material and the temperatures required to work it, asphalt shingles can be toxic. Asphalt shingles are made out of petroleum products. They only pose a risk when superheated, and a professional asphalt roof installer will practice all of the proper safety procedures while installing an asphalt roofing system. When asphalt is cool, it does not do any harm to anyone working on or around it. 


What Type of Roof Shingles are Best for My Home?

Asphalt shingles are the perennial favorite of residential homeowners because asphalt shingles are very affordable and blend seamlessly into most neighborhood landscapes. Slate, tile, and metal roofs are more expensive, but they are also more durable and typically last longer than asphalt shingles under harsh circumstances. For an expensive, luxury home, ceramic or clay tile may be preferable for some because they are considered part of a distinguished, classic aesthetic. Nevertheless, asphalt shingles can’t be beaten in the popularity contest between roofing materials.

If you are ready to have your asphalt shingle roofing system installed by the best roofing company in the business, then call or email Apex Roofing today to learn more about what our team of talented roofing professionals can do for your building!