A Shingle Roof’s Lifecycle

A roof replacement is a major investment – one that most homeowners go through at least once. So, it’s natural to wonder how long you can expect your shingle roof to last.

While there is no set formula for a roof’s lifespan, most manufacturer warranties guarantee asphalt shingles for anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Why the huge span?

“Actual roof system lifespan is determined by a number of factors, including local climatic and environmental conditions, proper building and roof system design, material quality and suitability, proper application and adequate roof maintenance,” notes the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

The fact is, from the moment a new roof is completed, it begins to age. A home’s roof is exposed to harsh environmental conditions and constant weather woes. Sunlight, wind, moisture from rain, hail, snow, and physical threats such as falling tree limbs, stray soccer balls, and even wildlife like squirrels and birds can all cause premature aging of a roof system.

So, how long does a shingle roof last? To get the most out of your investment, it helps to understand the three main stages in the lifecycle of a shingle roof.

The lifecycle of a shingle roof

Shingle lifecycle.

Stage one: New roof

The new roof phase generally lasts for about two years and begins as soon as the last shingle is nailed in place. This stage in a roof’s lifecycle is a period of rapid aging, at least initially. This period is also known as the curing phase.

For up to a year or so after installation, homeowners might notice some significant granule loss, curling along the edges of some shingles (particularly during a cold weather spell), and even minor blistering. Don’t worry: this is perfectly normal and temporary as the new roof adjusts to the harsh environment and weather conditions it is constantly subjected to. As long as the roof’s integrity is sound and there are no leaks, there’s no real cause for concern.

Stage two: Mid-life roof

After the initial curing phase, a shingle roof enters an extended period of aging slowly, which lasts for the major portion of the shingles’ natural life, typically between 12 and 15 years. Signs of normal aging include: minor granule loss, cracking, and other signs of weathering, but not in any significant amount that would be cause for concern.

What is important for homeowners to remember during this relatively quiet stage of a roof’s lifecycle is to keep up with roof maintenance. Regular inspections, either annually or biannually, and maintenance is critical to ensuring that all the various roofing system components are performing optimally and guarantee your roofing investment lasts a long time.

When inspecting your roof, you want to make sure your roof, gutters, and vent openings are clear of debris like leaves and tree limbs, and be sure to check for moss, mildew, or mold — a sure sign of moisture seeping into the surface of your roof. Treat any affected areas with a roof moss remover spray or cleaner from your local hardware store. Or try this DIY version from This Old House. Look for and secure any lifted or loose shingles and give the flashing a quick scan and tighten any bolts, if needed.

Remember, small defects can lead to major repairs that can compromise the entire roofing system and make a major dent in your wallet. Even a warranty can’t protect a homeowner from shouldering the responsibility of an ill-maintained roofing system. A warranty can be voided if there’s been extended neglect.

Stage three: old roof 

After 12 to 15 years, a home’s roof is entering its declining years and the aging process generally accelerates pretty rapidly. It’s during this stage in a roof’s lifecycle that homeowners should start considering replacement.

“Sooner or later, every roof needs to be replaced, usually due to the long-term effects of weathering. If a residential roof is more than 20 years old, it is a prime candidate for reroofing,” says the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. ARMA lists a few signs to determine if you need a new roof: cracked, missing or broken shingles, staining, blisters, excessive loss of granules, or exposed bald spots.

If you’re roof is getting to the age of replacement, give us a call and we can provide a free estimate! (615) 794-4001

You Might Be Surprised! 10 Roofing Facts You Didn’t Know.

You see your roof every day. You see your neighbor’s roof every day. You see dozens, maybe even hundreds of roofs every day.

But what you don’t know just by looking at them is that the typical roofing system is incredibly complex, employs some of the best cutting-edge technology in the construction industry, and hides a bevy of “trade secrets.”

We’re pulling back the curtain (or shingles, in this case) and revealing 10 roofing facts that might surprise you.

1. Where you live dictates what style of roof you should get.

It’s a roofing fact: some roof types just work better in certain regions and climates. Gable roofs, or roofs formed with two triangles at a 90-degree angle, work best in colder, snowier climates or when homeowners want to build attics or have vaulted ceilings.

Hipped roofs, which have four slopes of equal length on all four sides that meet at the top to form a ridge, are more wind resistant than gable roofs and might work best in windy areas.

Water tends to pool more easily on a flat roof, which means this type of roofing system might be best in a drier, less rainy climate.

2. Flat roofs are not flat.

Don’t be fooled by the name. Flat roofs are not entirely flat. They actually have a slight slope of at least ¼ inch per foot.

3. A roof is a lot more than shingles and wood.

Facts about roofs.

A good roof system has no fewer than seven necessary components. There’s the roof decking, which has to support all the weight of the roofing system. Next comes the ice or water barrier to help prevent damage if ice damming occurs. A roof also needs a waterproof or water-resistant underlayment that will protect the deck directly from moisture creeping in. Then there’s the metal flashing, which ensures the water runs off the edges, and a drip edge, which has a similar function. Finally, a roof has to have shingles. And don’t forget the ventilation system–the soffits, eaves and vents which allow air to circulate.

4. It’s not okay to cover an existing roof.

While it may seem like an inexpensive, quick fix to a roofing problem, double-layered roofs can cover up big roofing issues that need to be addressed. In addition, a double-layered roof adds weight and just hides the corroding material, allowing the problem to get worse. If previous roofing materials were installed over the top of your existing roof, you should replace the entire roof as soon as possible.

5. You can’t DIY a roof.

Yes, it seems to run counter to what all the DIY programs tell you. The true roofing fact is, a roof is actually a complex system of layers that require proper installation from skilled professionals with the right training and tools to ensure it all works together correctly. Going the DIY route can result in damage to your attic, walls, wood frame, and even electrical systems.

6. Roofs breathe.

Roof ventilation facts.

As funny as it may sound, a roof needs air. Roof ventilation, ie: the flow of air on the underside of a roof deck, is one of the most critical aspects of the whole roof system. Roof ventilation allows warm, moist air to escape and cooler, drier air to come into the attic. Without ventilation, condensation is going to build up in your attic, which can damage walls, wood and insulation.

7. A roof can be good for the environment.

Environmentally friendly or “cool roofs” reflect infrared and ultraviolet rays from the sun away from the building and have a higher thermal emittance, or ability to efficiently emit radiation. According to the EPA, cool roofs not only help homeowners conserve energy, but they reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well by mitigating the heat radiated into the atmosphere.

8. Professional roofing cleaning companies are a thing.

It’s a roofing fact that it’s important to keep your roof clean and clear of moss, algae and fungus/lichen, but did you know there are professionals who specialize in keeping roofs clean? They have special techniques and products to do it, including equipment that doesn’t harm shingles and biodegradable cleaning solutions that are less harmful to plants and the environment. They even have a trade association, the Roof Cleaning Institute of America.

9. A faulty roof can break a home sale.

A new roof can be a major selling point when you go to sell your home. Conversely, a roof with leaks, missing or damaged shingles, or other visible signs of disrepair can send a potential buyer running. The last thing a new homeowner wants to do is spend money on a costly roof replacement. It’s far better to replace your roof before you sell your home.

10. My roof will last forever.

Almost, but not quite. The typical lifespan of a roof really depends on the materials and installation. A simple, 3-tab shingle roof may be warranted for 20 to 25 years. Shake style shingles can be warranted for up to 50 years.

How Much Does A New Roof Really Cost?

The fact is, roofs don’t really have price tags dangling off of them. So, how do you know how much a new roof costs? There are quite a few factors to consider. As Middle Tennessee’s leading Roofing company, we’ve got answers that can help you budget your roof replacement.

First, it helps to understand the various parts that make up your whole roof.

Understanding your roof system

A roof is made up of several layers that work together as a system to protect your home. Proper installation of each component protects the roof, attic, walls, and foundation from wind, rain, ice, heat, and humidity.

In addition to shingles, a complete roofing system includes:

  • Deck: The main wooden structure.
  • Underlayment: A layer installed under the shingles to keep the deck dry.
  • Flashing: Material used to deflect water away from seams or joints around chimneys, exhausts, etc.
  • Vents: Items that optimize airflow through the attic to keep the roof dry.
  • Drip edge: Material along the edge of the roof that guides water to the ground or in the gutters.
  • Soffit: The area underneath a roof overhang.
  • Fascia: The horizontal roof trim on the end of the rafters that often holds the gutters.
  • Winterguard: waterproofing shingle underlayment – key in fighting water penetration

Factors that affect new roof costs

Now that you understand the complexity and interconnectedness of your roof replacement, here are five factors that will impact the cost:

  • Size

    The biggest factor in determining how much it will cost to replace your roof is the size of your roof. The cost of roof replacement is calculated in terms of roofing squares; one roofing square is 10 feet by 10 feet, or 100 square feet. Whenever possible, we use state-of-the-art, satellite technology to precisely measure the roof of your home. This ensures the right amount of roofing materials are ordered—thereby saving costs and reducing waste—and helps provide a better estimate on how long the project will take.

  • Removal

    Before a new roof can be installed, your roofing professional will need to remove and dispose of the old roof, which can include layers of old shingles and underlayment. Any debris must be moved to a proper landfill site, which typically charges by the weight of the materials. The costs associated with this process depend on the amount of time and labor it takes to remove the old materials, as well as the landfill charges.

  • Style & Shape

    The slope of a roof can make a big difference in determining the cost of replacement. The slope is the angle of incline and indicates the vertical rise compared to the horizontal run. For example, if your roof’s slope is 6:12, it means the roof rises six inches vertically for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. The steeper the slope of the roof, the more shingles it takes to cover it. In addition, a roof with a very steep slope requires greater staging and safety equipment, which can cost more.

  • Materials

    There can be a major cost difference between the different types of roofing materials. Asphalt is generally the most affordable option, with slate and shake, or wood shingles being the most labor-intensive and the most expensive. Five Points Roofing has a whole range of shingle options, including luxury and designer asphalt shingles.

  • Features

    Chimneys, skylights and vents can improve the look of your roof but for a roofing contractor, these features can all be potential obstacles to carefully work around during the installation process.

Paying for your new roof 

Roof replacement is an important investment. The good news — there are plenty of financing options available to make sure you’re not breaking the bank, shingle by shingle.

Five Points Roofing has convenient financing that fits every homeowner’s budget. We work hard to keep our financing options as simple as possible. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind you need.