How often do asphalt roofs need to be replaced?

asphalt roofs
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: September 1, 2023
  • Updated On: September 1, 2023

Some owners may have to replace their roofs sooner than others due to various factors. The most common determinant is the roof material you choose to begin with. Depending on taste, budget, or availability, some people will go for metal roofs, rubber roofs, wood shingles, asphalt, or composition shingles.

If you select asphalt roofs, they will need to be replaced after 15 to 30 years on average. As for the composition, the period is relatively short, ranging from 12 to 20 years. Wingle shingles can last 20 to 25 years, whereas rubber roofs may only need a replacement after 30 to 50 years. The longevity of metal roofs is impressive, between 50 and 75 years. Learn more about asphalt roofs, their longevity, and replacement frequency.

How do you know that your asphalt shingle roof needs a replacement?

The longevity of any roof isn’t a definite figure due to various external factors. Asphalt shingle roofs aren’t an exception; hence, the need to know what shows it is indeed the time for it. However, if you can’t identify the problems, seek professional help, and HomeBuddy fits the bill.

These indicators that show asphalt shingle roofs need a replacement include the following;

How old your shingle roof is

Since wear and tear over time is inevitable, you should consider the age of your asphalt roof to know if it needs replacement. On average, this roof will need a replacement after 14 years. Therefore, waiting 18 to 20 years is a long time to replace yours.

Shingles falling off

Replacing your roof may be a great idea if you notice shingles around your compound. After all, it is already too weak to withstand strong winds; thus, expecting it to shelter you and your belongings is unrealistic. The shingles are already dry, cracked, and curled, which warrants a replacement.

Excess moss

Moss often grows around the areas where shingles are worn out or cold. If it is all over the roof and in abundance, the state of your roof is wanting. Whereas cleaning can help, it might be too much work, requiring substantial effort on time. On the other hand, ignoring the moss worsens the situation by compromising drainage, thus increasing the chances of leaks. So, replacing your asphalt roof is the best way to handle the excess moss.

Shingles Curling

Asphalt in shingles usually dries and shrinks as time goes by. The consequence is brittle shingles that strong winds can blow off easily. Depending on the extent of the issue, you may need to repair part of or the entire roof.

Missing Granules

You can point out missing granules as you view your asphalt roof from the ground. Look for patches that can be lighter or darker than the rest if you have dark or black shingles. As you clean your gutters, many granules are also a bad sign. Remember that the roofs will not leak despite the lack of these granules. Unfortunately, the absence of granules exposes your roof to UV rays known for accelerating the rate at which the shingles wear.

How can you avoid replacing your asphalt roof too often?

Asphalt roofs can last for 1 to 2 decades. The following tips can ensure that the longevity of your roof leans on the 2 more. Check them out!

Avoiding pressure washing the asphalt roof

Whereas cleaning your roof to remove moss, algae, bird droppings, and dirt is an incredible way of maintaining it, how you do it also matters. As practical as it may sound, it harms your roof. It compromises the shingle’s longevity and eliminates its protective granules. Consequently, it won’t last for a long time; hence, it is vital to avoid it.

Annual roof inspection

Some problems with your asphalt roof are solvable if you catch them on time. Equally important, the longer you leave an issue unresolved, the harder it gets to solve, not forgetting the cost aspect. So, have annual roof inspections to help you catch roof problems soon and extend your roof’s durability.

Cleaning the roof and gutter often

If gutters don’t drain water excellently, the roof edges will rot. So, clean the gutters to avoid clogging. Debris on the roof can also adversely affect water flow, thus threatening its lifespan.

Trim nearby trees and branches.

Trees attract birds, but their droppings are a disaster upon landing on your asphalt roof. They are acidic and thus destroy shelters, but cutting trees and branches near the house can avoid such incidences. 

Ventilate the attic adequately.

An adequately ventilated attic is enough to extend the longevity of your asphalt shingle roof. After all, it traps cold and hot air, and that isn’t good for your roof. Once moisture or heat reaches a cold attic, it condenses, making it hard for the roof decking to hold nails. It also compromises its capacity and accelerates mildew and mold growth.


First, the longevity of asphalt roofs is quite impressive. 12 to 20 years isn’t a short time and is excellent value for your money. However, it can be shorter than that due to avoidable or unavoidable issues. Looking for the above signs, you can tell when it is the right time to replace the roof. Besides, you can extend the asphalt roof’s longevity by observing the tips discussed.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.