One of the most widely used roofing materials is asphalt shingles.

They work well on residential roofs, are affordable, come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors, and are relatively long-lasting.

How long does a shingle roof last?

Let’s explore the options.

What is an Asphalt Shingle?
Asphalt shingles are separated into two types:

  • Organic
  • Fiberglass

Organic shingles are made up of paper with an asphalt coating that converts them into a ‘waterproof’ product. Fiberglass Shingles provides better fire protection than organic shingles. Like organic shingles, fiberglass shingles are treated with a protective resin coating that converts them into ‘waterproof’ material.”  -The Balance

The exposed surface of the shingle is filled in with slate, quartz, brick, stone or ceramic granules. The underside is treated with sand, talc or mica to prevent shingles from stick to each other prior to installation.

The granules on the top surface of a shingle both block ultraviolet light to prevent deterioration and provide color. You might see darker colors shingle in colder climates to absorb heat, and lighter colors in warmer climates to reflect heat. Shingle surfaces may also contain copper or biocides that prohibit growth of algae.


“Asphalt shingles account for 75% of all roofs in the United States. “

How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?

The biggest contributing factor to how long a shingle roof lasts is weather.

Temperature fluctuations from extreme heat to extreme cold, wet to dry, and other climate factors cause the most wear and tear. Over time, asphalt shingle roofs can become brittle and subject to tears and breakage.

A homeowner can expect an asphalt shingle or composition roof to last up to 20 years, reports the National Association of Home Builders. Cedar shingle roofs can last between 20 and 35 years.

Asphalt shingles will last an average of 20 years.

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the maximum life from your shingle roof.

Routinely clear a roof of fallen tree limbs and debris, and empty gutters. Ensure that the roof is clean from algae and mold. Cut away overhanging vegetation to prevent damage, and inspect the roof following storms or at least twice a year, spring and fall.

Need a Roofing Expert?

Contact American Dream Restoration

Want to know how long does a shingle roof last? Ask the experts at American Dream Restoration, a top-rated roofing specialist in roofing of all types. As professionals, we also warranty our work and our products.

No job is complete until our customer is 100% happy.

If you need a new roof installed, maintenance or repairs on your old roof, or are looking for assistance choosing roofing materials, contact us.

For emergencies, call our roofing and storm damage professionals at one of our local offices in Woodbridge, Winchester and Front Royal, covering the counties of Fairfax, Prince William, Shenandoah and Warren.

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