When it comes time to put new shingles on your roof, you will probably be interested in just how long specific roofing materials last. After all, you don’t want to install new shingles just to have them fall off in 5-10 years, right? That is why you should composite shingles—an affordable option with adequate durability.
Depending on the style of composite shingles you choose, as well as the quality, you could have this roof for many, may years. How long, you ask? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Composite Roof Shingles?
Composite roofing refers to the kind of material used, which is a fiberglass reinforcing mat at the core of the shingle. The fiberglass is flecked with a mineral filler and then covered with asphalt, making the shingle both durable and waterproof. From there, the top surface of the shingle is covered with ceramic granules.
Types of Composite Roofs
Presently, there are three types of composite shingles:
- 3-Tab Shingles: The most common type of composite shingle and the least expensive. These have a single layer and tabs created by notched vertical slots.
- Laminate Shingles: Also known as dimensionals, laminate shingles have become popular because they are similar to 3-tab shingles but have far more thickness.
- Architectural Shingles: The top of the line in terms of shingles. Architectural shingles are strong, heavy, and much larger than 3-tabs and laminates. Some also have additional features, like fire retardants.
Benefits of Composite Shingles
Here are some of the advantages of composition shingles:
- Affordability: Composition shingles have a lower cost than other kinds of roofing, are easy to maintain, repair, and replace.
- Longevity: Composite shingles last longer than single-layer asphalt shingles, which only last 5-20 years, depending on maintenance. Also, composite roofing increases the longevity of your whole roofing system by decreasing UV damage, decreasing energy costs, increasing wind and pest and fire resistance, and even stopping the growth of mold and algae.
- Variety: You can purchase composite roofing in a variety of textures, colors, and styles to increase curb appeal.
How Long Does a Composite Roof Last?
There have been many advancements in roofing technology throughout the years. Old asphalt shingles were once expected to last around 20 years with good maintenance practices. However, if you fail to perform preventative maintenance, you might only have an older room for about 5-10 years.
Newer composite shingles have a lifespan based on materials. A regular composite shingle, such as a 3-tab, will, again, last around 20 years. Fiber cement composite shingles last for around 25 years on average, and architectural shingles will last between 30-50 years.
Of course, the quality of the shingle itself, as well as the construction, can extended the durability by much more than the average lifespan. That is why some brands give customers a lifetime limited warranty on some of their more expensive products.
How Does Environment Affect a Composite Roof?
As with any kind of construction material, the conditions and environment will play a role in how long shingles last. Be sure to consider the climate where you live when you decide on the kind of composite shingles you want.
Here is a brief glimpse at how different environments will decrease your shingles’ lifespan:
If you live somewhere with a lot of direct sunlight and dry heat, like the desert, you won’t have to worry much about your shingles. Contrary to popular thinking, intense heat alone should not affect composition shingles that much. The granules, asphalt, and fiberglass are all UV resistant enough. Plus, the absence of a lot of pounding rain and snow will add years of life to your roof.
That said, many places where your roof is exposed to unrelenting rays are also susceptible to high winds and tornadoes. When your roof is exposed to high winds for long periods, it can start to sheer off the shingles, curling them upward, and even cause nails to come loose, allowing for pests to get inside. If you have holes in your shingles, it can also affect the heating and cooling of your home.
Be sure to inspect your roof and repair or replace any loosened shingles. Doing so can extend the life of your roof.
Humidity and Rain
Along the Atlantic seaboard and around the Southern states, there are times throughout the year when houses are hammered with rain, winds, snow, ice, and everything else. You are going to want to make sure that your shingles are watertight, because any little crack will let moisture get under the shingles.
Look for discolored spots on your roof and for sagging. Make sure nails are not missing, since that could mean the wood underneath is weak. A composite roof that is well maintained in a humid or rainy region can last between 20-30 years.
Snow and Ice
Do you live somewhere where snow is guaranteed no matter what? Then you will probably have to purchase new roofing far more often than someone who lives in the desert. The moisture, formation and thawing of ice will doubtlessly mess with your composite shingles.
Be sure to patch up your roof before wintertime. Replace and repair any shingles that are loose. Also check your attic or ceiling for water damage. As long as you maintain your roof and repair damaged shingles, you can extend the life of a composite shingle roof 10-15 years.
Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question, “How long should a composite roof last?” Depending on the style of shingle, it could be as long as 50 years, with the average between 20-30 years! Remember, the materials involved, as well as routine maintenance, can easily extend the lifespan of your composite roof another decade or two.
Looking for more information about roofing? Be sure to check out our other blogs. If you have questions or would like to know how we can help with your roofing project, fill out the contact form. We’ll be in touch.