How Building Factors Affect The Life Of Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

25 August 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Many factors influence the longevity of an asphalt shingle roof. Examples include quality of the shingles and the kind of maintenance practices you execute on your roof. However, you should also know that there are building design and construction factors that also determine the length of the life of the shingles. Here are four examples of such factors:

Roof Slope

Shingles on steep slopes tend to last longer than those on low-pitched roofs. One of the reasons for this is that water and ice tend to stand on low-sloping roofs for a long time. This encourages ice dam formation and increases the risk of leakage. Both of these factors reduce the life of your roof.

If you have to install asphalt shingles on a low-sloped roof (for cosmetic purposes, for example), then you need to take precautions to prevent water damage. For example, you can install a waterproof membrane (it must be nailable) under the shingles, but don't forget that this increases the overall cost of the roof.  

Roof Ventilation

Proper ventilation encourages the free flow of air. With poor ventilation, the attic temperatures soar, and the overlying shingles may begin to warp. Apart from warping issues, the speed of deterioration of asphalt shingle components increases with temperature increase.

The situation is not better in winter where warm air rises and condenses on the underside of the roof. The moisture causes the roof deck to swell, and the overlying shingles experience distortions. The result is that your shingles may fail prematurely.

Design Complexity

Asphalt shingles are best suited to simple roofs that allow good drainage. Complex roofs shapes, for example, those that contain lots of roof projections and steep angles, prevent the free flow of water. The more complex your roof slope is, the higher the chances that your asphalt shingles may not last as long as shingles on simpler roofs.

Roof Orientation

Lastly, your roof's orientation may also be a cause for its premature demise. For one, heat and radiation from the sun accelerate the aging process of asphalt shingles. This means shingles on the sun-facing slopes may deteriorate faster than those on other slopes. At the same time, shaded roof slopes may experience aggressive fungus growth, which may lead to moisture problems and eventual roof damage.

It's clear that you can't just rely on proper maintenance to make your asphalt shingle roof last for long. You need to start thinking about your roof's longevity right from the start when planning your roof's design. This means you have to involve a professional roof contractor from the beginning. Contact a company like David Construction, LLC for more information.