Repairing My Roof

How To Help Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Last Longer

Asphalt shingles are a very common roofing material choice in the United States because they are easy to install, easy to repair, and reasonably priced. However, they are not the most durable of roofing materials. The average asphalt shingle roof lasts around 20 years -- maybe 30 if architectural shingles are used -- whereas slate and tile roofs can last 100 years or more. Luckily, there are some ways to help your asphalt shingle roof last longer.

Make sure your attic is well ventilated.

Your attic should not be a sealed, airtight space. If it is not well ventilated, it will become hot and humid, and this heat will seep through the roofing shingles. Over time, the heat transfer causes the adhesives in the shingles to break down. They start losing granules and peeling.

Make sure your insulation is not pushed in front of your vents in your attic. If your attic is always moist and hot, you may want to have a roofing company add an extra vent or two.

Keep leaves off the roof.

When leaves tumble off the trees in the fall, get into the habit of sweeping them off your roof every few days. If left in place, these leaves trap water near the shingles, exposing them to consistent moisture that may weaken them. You can easily remove leaves with a broom or a rake.

If getting a new roof, choose a lighter color.

If you're on the hunt for a new roof, choosing a lighter color will ensure the shingles last longer. Lighter-colored shingles reflect more sunlight than darker ones. This keeps them cooler, which slows down the rate at which they become dry, crumbly, and fragile. Tan, pale green, and cream roofs are becoming more common as homeowners learn of this advantage.

When there's a heavy snowfall, rake it off.

If you live in an area where there's a lot of snowfall in the winter, get into the habit of raking snow off your roof. This way, the snow won't melt and trickle down to the edge to form ice dams. These dams can be damaging to the roof since the ice shimmies its way under shingles and causes them to peel back. To learn more about extending the life of your shingle roof, speak with your roofing contractor. They may have some additional advice based on the exact climate where you live and the brand of shingles that you have.

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