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How Long Do Architectural Shingles Last?

Posted on March 23, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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How Long Do Architectural Shingles Last?

According to research, most architectural shingles last 25 to 30 years. But depending on several factors, the lifespan can range from 10 to 40 years. If you want to know how long architectural shingles will last on your home, we’re here with a detailed guide.

At North Star Roofing, we aim to help all homeowners learn the true facts about the roofing industry. With the correct information, you can make safer and more cost-effective decisions for your home and family. 

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • The average lifespan of architectural shingles
  • How long 30-year architectural shingles really last
  • How long GAF architectural shingles last
  • Factors that affect the lifespan of architectural shingles
  • Signs that architectural shingles need to be replaced
  • Tips for extending the lifespan of architectural shingles

Let’s find out how long architectural shingles last in different locations.

Average Lifespan Of Architectural Shingles

The average lifespan of architectural shingles is 25 to 30 years in the United States. This is when you live in an area with moderate weather conditions and cold winters.

  • If your home is in a storm-prone area, the extreme weather conditions may reduce the lifespan of your architectural shingles to 15 years.
  • For homes in average regions with pleasant weather all year round, architectural shingles can easily last up to 40 years!

Architectural shingles were developed to provide a more aesthetically pleasing and durable roofing option over 3-tab shingles. They are made of multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass, which gives them a more dimensional appearance and better weather resistance. You just need to maintain your roof correctly, and you can expect the shingles to last as long as they should. 

But what’s the truth about shingles meant to last around 30 years? Do they really last that long? Let’s find out.

What Are 30-Year Architectural Shingles & How Long Do They Really Last?

30-year architectural shingles are offered by many roofing manufacturers as a premium product. They are made from fiberglass-reinforced asphalt and are designed to mimic the appearance of more expensive roofing materials, such as wood shakes or slate tiles. While 30-year architectural shingles are designed to last for three decades, the actual lifespan is closer to 25 years. 

If you choose a top line, like GAF Timberline architectural shingles, you’ll get even better durability and performance from their architectural shingles. 

How Long Do GAF Architectural Shingles Last?

How Long Do GAF Architectural Shingles Last?
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GAF is a famous brand that offers a wide range of shingles, including 3-tab, architectural, and luxury. According to research, GAF architectural shingles can easily last 30 years. Some of their architectural shingles, like the Timberline Ultra HD and Timberline American Harvest, are rated for up to 50 years! To back their product, GAF offers a limited lifetime warranty of 50 years on these shingles, which can also be transferred to new owners during that time period.

Due to such durable versions and the extraordinary benefits of architectural shingles, they are growing really popular throughout the country. However, it is essential to note that the lifespan of any architectural shingle depends on various external and internal factors. You should know about these aspects to get a fair idea of how long the architectural shingles will last on your home.

So, let’s discuss these crucial factors in detail.

Factors Affecting The Longevity Of Your Architectural Shingles

Now that we’ve learned that the longevity of architectural shingles varies from place to place, we should consider the many factors that affect how long they will last on your home. 

Here are some of those factors that play a vital role in determining the lifespan of your architectural shingles.

Your Local Climate

The climate where you live has a significant impact on the durability of your architectural shingles. Exposure to extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, hail, or snow can cause shingles to deteriorate more quickly. If you live in an area where hail, high winds, or heavy snow is common, it is best to choose Class-4 architectural shingles.

Manufacturer And Product

Some brands develop better architectural shingles than other manufacturers. Because of their advanced manufacturing and installation technology, GAF architectural shingles are more durable and sturdier than those of their competitors. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable manufacturer that has a suitable architectural shingle line that can handle your local weather conditions.

Roofing Contractor

The quality of the installation by the roofing contractor you hire greatly affects the lifespan of architectural shingles or any other roofing product, for that matter. Roofing contractors offering the lowest prices may not hold the necessary license or required experience with architectural shingles. This may lead to poor installation, where the shingles are not sealed or aligned correctly. Such roofing faults lower the curb appeal of a home and lead to leaks and premature damage.

If you suspect any issues with your existing architectural shingles, you should get them inspected as soon as possible. 

Now, let’s talk about some common signs of shingle damage that you can easily spot yourself.

Common Signs Of Damage Found With Architectural Shingles

It is important to keep an eye on your roof and address anything that may seem unusual. Otherwise, tiny issues can become severe and shorten the lifespan of architectural shingles. From roof leaks to excessive granule loss, here are some significant signs that indicate your architectural shingles are damaged and need urgent attention:

Roof Leaks

If you notice water stains on your ceilings or walls, it may be a sign that your shingles are no longer providing adequate protection from the elements. A leaking roof can cause significant damage to your home’s structure and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Shingle Damage Visible From Ground

Shingle Damage Visible From Ground

Look for signs of physical damage to the shingles, such as curling, loose, or missing shingles. Such damage will allow water to seep under the shingles and reach the wooden roof deck, causing rot, leaks, and mold in your home. 

Granule Loss

Granule Loss

As shingles age, they may begin to lose their granules, which can make them less effective at protecting your roof. These are small, sand-like grains that protect the shingles from algae growth, black stains, and UV damage. Look for these shingle granules in your gutters or around your home’s foundation. This can be a sign that your shingles are either damaged by a storm or nearing the end of their lifespan.

If you want to know more about how long architectural shingles last, you should know that proper installation and maintenance are critical to a long-lasting shingle roof. We’ll share some crucial tips to help you make sure that your shingles protect your home for decades to come.

Enhancing The Durability Of Your Roofing Shingles

To ensure that your architectural shingles last as long as possible, it’s essential to take steps on an individual level. By following these guidelines, you can enhance their performance and prevent damage.

Schedule Regular Inspections And Maintenance

A professional roofing contractor can identify and address any issues before they become more severe and costly to repair. Inspections should be done at least once a year and after any extreme weather events.

Keep The Roof Clean

Debris, leaves, and moss can accumulate on the roof and cause damage to shingles. Regularly clean the roof to prevent any potential damage from unwanted debris.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation helps regulate the temperature and humidity levels in your attic. This prevents moisture buildup and preserves the integrity of your roofing shingles.

Repair Any Damage Promptly

If you notice any signs of damage, such as missing or cracked shingles, have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage and extend the lifespan of architectural shingles.

Choose High-Quality Materials And A Reputable Roofing Contractor

Investing in high-quality shingles and a trustworthy contractor can help ensure that your shingles are installed correctly and will last as long as possible. You can also enjoy impressive warranty coverage by using reputable brands and contractors.

If you live in Pennsylvania, we can guide you on proper roof maintenance and installation techniques for architectural shingles.

Free Consultation & Estimate On Shingle Roofing

If you’re looking for a reliable roofer to install or repair your architectural shingles, we’re here to help you. At North Star Roofing, we’ve been helping homeowners get the most durable and appealing shingle roofs for years! We understand the importance of keeping your home and family safe from the elements, and we take pride in providing high-quality services that meet the unique needs of our clients. Call us at (484) 302-7663 to learn how we can help with your residential roofing needs.

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