If you’re like most homeowners, your roof consists of asphalt shingles. They’re by far the most popular roofing material in America. They’re the least expensive material to manufacture and they’re the easiest to install. Despite their low cost, however, they’re still quite durable, lasting around 20-30 years depending on the type of asphalt shingle and how well maintained they are. That said, asphalt shingles won’t last as long as most other roofing materials. Asphalt shingles will eventually fail, and sometimes they’ll fail prematurely. In order to understand why this happens, you have to have an understanding of how asphalt shingles are made.
How are asphalt shingles made?
Asphalt shingles are primarily made with three components. The first is the mat usually made from fiberglass. Next is the asphalt, and finally, the ceramic granules which provide the shingles with their color. The granules are also what protects your roof from the elements. The asphalt that is used to make roof shingles can come in various grades. What many homeowners don’t realize is that some manufacturers cut production costs by using a lower grade asphalt. Shingles made with lower quality asphalt are sure to fail sooner than higher quality roofing shingles.
Factors that determine lifespan
The lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs can vary widely. Thirty years is an excellent lifespan for an asphalt shingle roof. Most likely, your roof will need to be replaced sooner. Asphalt shingle roofs fail for a number of reasons. First, unlike other roofing materials, asphalt shingles expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate. On a very hot summer day, your shingles can reach temperatures of 150 degrees. A sudden thunderstorm can cause the temperature of your shingles to drop 100 degrees in a very short period of time. As your shingles expand and contract, they will become brittle and eventually crack. Over time, wind, rain, and debris will also cause your shingles to lose their granules. Without the granules, your roof won’t last much longer. Granule loss is unavoidable but you shouldn’t see granule loss in the first decade or so, especially if you’re careful to not allow any tree branches to hang over your roof where they can scratch across your shingles.
What to do when your asphalt shingles fail
If you notice signs that your roof is failing prematurely, you should check on the manufacturer’s warranty. If failure is the result of defects in the shingles themselves, you may be able to save some money on getting your roof replaced. If failure of the shingles is the result of extreme weather, your insurance company may cover the cost of a new roof. If you haven’t maintained your shingles properly, you’ll probably be responsible for the cost of a new roof.
Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof. com
Source: chicagotribune. com/sns-201501051700--tms--askbildrctnab-a20150116-20150116-story.html