Asphalt roofs are expected to last about 12 to 20 years. However, replacing the roof every 12 years can be a huge drain on finances. It is in the homeowner's best interest to maintain a roof and replace it every 20 years. In addition to keeping up with a good maintenance schedule, there are some other factors that can affect the roof's overall lifespan. Some of these factors cannot be controlled. As such, homeowners should discuss other roofing options with an experienced Fort Worth roofing contractor if asphalt roofs are not right for a particular home.
The climate can have adverse effects on asphalt roofs, for instance. As the temperatures rise, extreme sunlight in combination with humidity can actually cause the shingle adhesive to melt. This degrades the asphalt material itself. If the adhesive breaks down, moisture can seep into the attic space as a result. As the asphalt breaks down, the protective mineral granules can be lost. Without these granules, the asphalt shingle will not last long in a hot climate, and, if the roof is directly exposed to sunlight, the shingles will degrade even faster.
Most asphalt roofs are dark in color. Dark colored roofs absorb more heat than roofs that are lighter in color. This can contribute to a quick overall degradation of the shingle.
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Dark colored roofs may require more maintenance throughout their lifespan and may be more likely to become damaged.
The roof pitch can also influence how long the roof may last. Roofs that have a steeper pitch shed water more easily, thereby lasting longer. The downside is that steeper roofs need more materials and can cost quite a bit to install due to the danger.
Finally, the roof's ventilation system can also impact the lifespan. Roofs that are not properly ventilated are susceptible to excess moisture content and extreme heat. A ventilation system allows fresh air into the attic and allows heated, moist air to leave. This keeps the roof support system located in the attic from becoming too hot or wet. Without a ventilation system, the roof becomes more vulnerable to sunlight and will deteriorate at a much faster rate.
While some factors can be controlled, such as the roof's ventilation system, the shingle color and the pitch, other factors cannot be controlled. This means that there may be other types of roofs available that work better for a particular climate or area. Those who are looking for an alternative roof that may better suitable should discuss their options with a roofer.