Asphalt shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingle roofs are a popular roofing option for many homeowners due to their affordability, ease of installation, and durability. One of the benefits of asphalt shingles is their versatility in design, as they are available in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture. Additionally, asphalt shingles can be installed quickly, where roofers can quickly lap and nail them into place, making them a popular choice for new construction projects or roof replacements.

Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles are relatively lightweight, making them suitable for a wide range of homes and structures. They also provide good insulation and are energy-efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. Another advantage of asphalt shingles is their low-maintenance nature. They require little upkeep beyond periodic cleaning and inspection, and minor repairs can be easily addressed by a professional roofing contractor.

Despite their many benefits, asphalt shingle roofs are not without their deficiencies. One common issue with asphalt shingles is granule loss as they age, which can occur due to exposure to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail, or wind. Granule loss results in UV sunlight breaking down the asphalt components of the roofing material, increasing the risk of them cracking and leaking. The shingles become brittle and less effective at protecting the roof from the elements. High wind loads can also damage asphalt shingles.

To maximize the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof, proper installation is essential. This involves ensuring that the shingles are installed correctly, with the appropriate amount of overlap and in the right direction, and that the roof is properly ventilated to prevent moisture buildup. Regular maintenance is also crucial, including periodic cleaning of the roof and gutters to remove debris and prevent clogs, as well as inspection for signs of damage or wear.

Moss and other organic growth is also common on this roofing material, especially when trees are too close to, or grow directly overhead. Shingles can become lifted, allowing water to leak through the roof, and damage the material directly.

Improper installation of asphalt shingles can also result in roof leaks. One common mistake is when roofers drive nails directly through the top surface of the shingles, such as around flashings or on ridge pieces, without properly waterproofing the nail heads.

Asphalt shingle roofs must be installed onto OSB or plywood sheathing, and cannot be installed onto lapped or shiplap underlay. This is because thermal expansion and contraction of lap boards can damage the shingles over time, whereas OSB and plywood are dimensionally stable with temperature fluctuations. This is especially noteworthy if your home previously had old wood shakes or wood shingle, and are being replaced with asphalt shingles. Wood shakes are typically installed directly onto shiplap, so an update to asphalt shingles will require an underlayment of OSB beforehand.

Homeowners should also be aware of the average life expectancy of an asphalt shingle roof, which is typically between 20 to 30 years. As the roof approaches the end of its lifespan, it may be necessary to consider a roof replacement to avoid costly repairs and prevent further damage to the home.