If you are thinking of buying a new home, you may be asking yourself this question: “How long will the roof over the house last?” What about the age of the roof— how old is it? Is it going to need replacing anytime soon?

There are certain guidelines you need to follow when you have a roof replacement or when you decide to buy a new home.

A typical asphalt shingle roof will last you anywhere between 15 to 25 years before needing a replacement. Having said that, there are many different asphalt shingle roofs available and some have different lifespans. For instance, a 3-tab asphalt shingle lifespan is 15 to 18 years whereas an architectural shingle will last anywhere between 24 to 30 years.

Asphalt Shingles:

Asphalt shingles, such as the 3-tab variety, are the most basic and least expensive asphalt design for sloping roofs. A typical 3-tab asphalt shingle will last you anywhere between 15 and 18 years. 3-tab shingles are fine for houses located in a temperate climate but are very much out of place in areas that have to weather storms on a daily basis. The maximum wind torque one can expect for the 3-tab asphalt to handle is between 60 and 70 mph.

A downside to asphalt roofs is that they can develop cracks when exposed to direct sunlight and/or extreme temperature variations that are a common feature in southern states such as Texas or Arizona. This actually diminishes the lifespan of the asphalt shingles and results in its early failure.

Architectural Shingles:

Architectural shingles (aka dimensional shingles) are thicker and hence more solid than their 3-tab shingle counterparts. Most architectural shingles will last anywhere between 15 to 25 years with their lifespan being a function of the environment. These architectural designs can brace themselves for an 110 mph wind speed… and  with some modifications, they can handle winds up to 130 mph.

Premium shingles come with an improved sophistication– an upgrade to ordinary asphalt shingles. They are thicker and will last for anywhere between 25 and 30 years depending on the environment. Wind upliftment rates for premium shingles are similar to architectural shingles, and with some modifications such as solar reflectance, lifespan is extended and they offer resistance to hail in hail-prone areas.

Telltale signs that your asphalt roof needs replacement is when the shingles are all curled up or major cracks have developed with a loss of sand granules or when they are chipping at the corners.

But roofs vary with extent of damages based on some very salient points:

Color of the roof: A dark roof absorbs more heat which shortens the lifespan of the roof.

Angle of Roof: Higher pitch roofs tend to last longer.

Orientation of roof surface: Roofs facing south will get more sunlight and that will reduce the lifespan of the roof.