With roofing a significant home investment, most Ontarians can expect at least a few decades of home protection from their shingles. But exactly how long will roof shingles last? Learn more about the factors that can stretch or shorten their lifespan.
One of the questions we hear most from customers is, "How long does a shingle roof last?" Whether we're talking asphalt shingles or architectural shingles, North American manufacturers all have an average expected lifespan for their roofs.
But, the "average expectancy" tells only part of the story. If you want to get as much life out of your shingle roof lifespan as possible, you need to be mindful of several factors.
As experienced Hamilton roofers, we're ready to help you understand the lifespan of your roof shingles.
By and large, the most popular choice amongst homeowners, asphalt shingles first date back to the 1920s and consist of a base mat, a waterproof asphalt layer, and a layer of ceramic granules.
Quality of Installation - Proper workmanship ensures your shingles are installed securely and according to the manufacturer's directions.
Maintenance - Clearing your roof of sitting debris and regularly performing more minor roof shingle repair work will significantly extend the lifespan.
Water Damage - With sitting water and freezing/thawing cycles, cracks can form in shingles.
Shingle Color - Lighter shingles absorb less heat, while dark shingles absorb more, shortening their lifespan significantly.
Harsh Climates - Extreme wind, rain, and rapid temperature changes cause harmful material expansion and contraction.
Direction - If your shingles face east and west, you get even sunlight, while south-facing shingles endure more direct sunlight, which shortens their lifespan.
Organic shingles contain a felt-like material saturated with asphalt to become water-resistant. Afterward, the asphalt shingle is coated in adhesive asphalt, and stone or ceramic granules are embedded.
With a minimum of 40% more asphalt than that found in fiberglass shingles, organic shingles are heavier, more durable, and wind-resistant. Organic shingles typically last longer, especially in areas that experience harsh weather conditions.
Fiberglass shingles hold a reinforced fiberglass mat base coated in mineral filler asphalt for waterproofing. The top adhesive coating covers the mat and ingrains ceramic granules into the shingle for protection against UV rays.
Fiberglass shingles are cost-effective and easy to produce, making them the most popular choice for homeowners and roofing contractors.
Most asphalt roof shingles last 10 to 30 years on average, depending on the asphalt type.
There are three types of roof shingles containing asphalt:
Architectural or Laminated asphalt shingles have a multi-dimensional look and feel. They may last up to 50 years, with extra layers of shingles for added strength and durability.
3-Tab shingles are affordable, but the lower asphalt roof cost comes with a shorter lifespan. 3-tab roof shingles' life expectancy lasts up to 15 years, thanks to their fiberglass bases with mineral granules.
Luxury shingles are made of asphalt but look like cedar shake or slate shingles. They have stronger durability than the other options, lasting up to 30 years.
Architectural shingles are premium asphalt shingles that come with limited warranties. While your roof might come with a 30-year or 50-year shingle warranty, that coverage doesn't encompass every issue that may arise.
30-year and 50-year warranties don't magically prevent every roofing issue, but they guarantee protection from manufacturer defects with the shingles themselves. They also typically have enhanced materials and protection - and come at a higher cost.
Clay roof shingles give homes a Southwestern or Mediterranean style and are quite popular with homeowners in warmer climates. There are countless combinations available with either glazed or unglazed finishes and various shapes, including interlocking, fluted, or flat clay shingles. Clay shingles withstand extreme temperatures, including cooler climates like our Ontario winters.
Clay shingle life expectancy: 50 years
Concrete shingles can be formed in virtually any style you like and withstand wind speeds over 200 km/hour. They work in any climate, including cold temperatures, but are quite difficult and costly to install.
Concrete shingle life expectancy: 50 years
Cedar shingles are more precisely milled and refined than wood shakes, giving homes a rustic appearance commonly seen on country farms and homes. As cedar and wood aren't as durable as harder materials like concrete, these shingles have a shorter but still relatively comparable lifespan.
Cedar shingle life expectancy: 30 - 40 years
Composite shingles have a fiberglass mat coated with minerals and asphalt that works well in most weather conditions and regions.
Composite shingle life expectancy: 20 - 40 years
Metal shingles are typically composed of steel with a galvanized aluminum or zinc coating. Metal can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, hail, and rain or windstorms.
Metal roof shingle life expectancy: 50 years
Slate is perhaps the longest lasting roofing shingle you can choose to install on your home. This heavy material needs a strong structure to support it and a specialized installer to ensure the job is done properly.
Slate roof shingle life expectancy: 100+ years
Ready to invest in new roofing shingles? Our Hamilton roofing contractors can assess your roof and help you choose the shingles that offer the most value. Learn more and get a free cost estimate - call (905) 544-4667 today.