asphalt shingle roof

How Durable Are Shingle Roofs?

Shingles are among the most popular roofing materials in North America. Many homeowners choose shingles because they are aesthetically pleasing and relatively affordable. However, other important considerations, such as durability and longevity, should be taken into account before installing a new shingle roof.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the durability of shingles and determine whether they are a good value over the long term. We will discuss the main factors affecting shingle durability and describe when and where they perform their best.

How durable are shingle roofs?

Several factors affect shingle durability. The most common are listed below:

Material: Shingles can be made from a range of materials, including wood, metal, composite, and asphalt. Each performs differently, so it is important to select the best shingle type for your location.
Climate: The climate where your home is located can affect the durability of your shingles. Some shingles do not perform well in areas with excessive heat, high humidity, high winds, heavy precipitation, or significant saltwater exposure.
Quality: Shingles can vary in quality. When selecting shingles for your home, we recommend speaking to a roofing professional to determine the difference in quality between shingle producers. Some shingle manufacturers have built a reputation for quality over many decades.
Installation: Roofing is a highly skilled trade that takes many years to master. Finding the right company to install your shingles is of the utmost importance.

Which type of shingle is the most durable?

Let’s take a look at the durability of the most popular shingle types:

Asphalt: Asphalt shingles are quite common primarily because they are affordable. However, they are not the most durable shingles available. They tend to weather faster than other shingle options. As a result, they typically last 15-30 years before needing to be replaced.
Wood: Wood shingles offer a nice combination of aesthetic appeal and durability. They can perform well over many decades but require regular maintenance and inspection. Barring a major insect, mildew, or rot problem, wood shingles often last 20-30 years.
Composite: Roofing technology evolves each year, and materials are becoming more durable than ever. Composite shingles, which are typically made from a blend of materials, can last 30-50 years before being replaced. However, quality can vary significantly in this category, so it’s important to consult a roofing professional before selecting the composite shingle for your home.
Metal: Metal shingles are extremely durable and are among the most durable roofing materials available today. With proper care, they can last 40-70 years or more. While they tend to be the most expensive shingle type, they offer significant value thanks to their durability and longevity.

Are shingles the right choice for most homeowners?

Shingles are a good option for many homeowners but are not the best choice for everyone.

Some communities and homeowners associations (HOA’s) require specific roofing materials. Before planning a shingle roof, every homeowner should check their community and HOA guidelines and make sure that shingles are permitted. Failing to do so can be very costly.

Homeowners in coastal, tropical, or hurricane-prone areas should probably look elsewhere when selecting a roofing material. As mentioned above, shingles are susceptible to degradation when exposed to high humidity and salty air blown in from the ocean. Additionally, shingles are not particularly wind-resistant and may not be reliable during a hurricane or other high-wind event.

What about Florida homeowners?

Florida roofs must withstand high heat, humidity, salt exposure, and the occasional hurricane-force wind. As a result, tile, standing seam metal, and slate roofs perform better in Florida over time. While these roof types may cost more upfront, they last longer and require less maintenance throughout the years.

CMR can be your roofing expert

Our team of roofers is made up of highly trained and experienced professionals. They can help you find the perfect roof for your needs, budget, and location. Contact us today to get started.