Asphalt shingle roofs make up the majority of roofs on homes in Florida and around the rest of the U.S., and for good reason. They’re familiar to contractors, they go on quickly, the materials are available everywhere, they look good, and they are a pretty good value for the money. They’re not the most durable roof, however. So if you have an asphalt shingle roof on your home, you might be wondering how to make an asphalt shingle roof last longer. Let’s take a look at some options.
Start With Top-Notch Materials
You will set yourself up for success when you use high-quality materials from the top manufacturers. Those include shingles from GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed. Shingles from these manufacturers will include certain features that help the shingles endure for far longer than a standard shingle.
GAF: Their Timberline UDHZ “Ultra High Definition” shingles are thicker than GAF’s standard Timberline shingles with more pronounced shadow lines, and a new 30-year warranty against blue-green algae staining. If you’ve ever noticed ugly dark streaks on a roof surface, it’s typically blue-green algae. These shingles are also eligible for GAF’s best wind warranty when they’re installed by a GAF-certified contractor.
Owens Corning: Some shingles, such as Duration STORM impact-resistant shingles, have a different and beneficial mix of materials. These shingles provide greater impact resistance thanks to an integrated polymeric backing material, so they meet one of the industry’s highest ratings for impact resistance, UL 2218, Class 4. That might get you an insurance premium discount, so check with your insurance agent.
CertainTeed: This is another giant manufacturing company, and their Landmark shingles are comparable to GAF’s Timberline series and to Owens Corning’s Duration series. Landmark shingles have a 25-year warranty against algae staining and also have features addressing wind uplift. Overall they’re much more alike than different from Timberline and Duration shingles, and all are high quality.
Keeping your roof cool can save you money and extend your roof’s life, according to the Cool Roofs Rating Council. In fact, you could save an average of 7-15% on your cooling costs by using cool-roof technology, which is built into some shingles. GAF, CertainTEED, and Owens Corning all make shingles with cool roof technology, which is just reflective ceramic granules. You can get these shingles in a variety of colors, too; they don’t have to be white or light gray.
Proper attic ventilation is essential for a long-lasting roof. When your attic and roof decking are too moist or too hot, your shingles will suffer. If that goes on too long, their lifespan will be shortened. A periodic inspection is a good idea so you can see what’s happening up there. Much like cool-roof technology, proper ventilation can help to keep attic temperatures in a reasonable range which helps to prolong the life of your shingles.
Regular Maintenance and Inspections
With intense storms coming through pretty much every year, Florida is a high-maintenance place. The best way to deal with that is to keep an eye on your home regularly and to take care of any maintenance and repairs right away. You especially want to be sure that your home is completely dialed in before hurricane season hits. That’s when even storms of moderate intensity will expose your home’s weaknesses. Tasks like trimming overhanging branches, and pruning any trees that are touching the house you should take care of whenever you notice them, before they can cause damage.
Gutter maintenance is another big task. It’s amazing how fast they can fill up with debris. When they become full, they can back up and spill water over the fascia boards, and then down close to the foundation, causing even more problems. Clean and well-maintained gutters and downspouts ensure that water flows away from the roof and foundation efficiently, reducing the risk of water damage for the whole house.
Go For Full Tear Off
Some people will debate this one, but I still think that when you spend thousands of dollars on a new roof you want to get the best result possible. Sure, you can save some money when you don’t tear off the previous roof, but you almost certainly reduce the lifespan of your new roof. I don’t see that as a good trade off. Plus, when you have your contractor do a complete tear off of the old roof, you can inspect the roof decking completely. Who knows what condition that’s in? You might catch some serious rot or see a leak in the making that would have gotten through to the interior of your home before long. With a full tear off, you get a good look at the whole roof and can be certain you’ve made all the necessary repairs.
Use A Certified Contractor for Your Asphalt Shingle Roof
No matter what type of roof you get, you need a great contractor. That has often been a challenge in Florida after hurricanes, as so many out-of-state crews descend on the neighborhoods that have sustained damage. They work for a few months, then take off for the next storm-ravaged place.
Another scenario is using one of the hundreds or thousands of Florida-based contractors who have roots here, who have top ratings with the Better Business Bureau, and who live through hurricanes just as our customers do. We know what it takes to clean up and get back to work.
And we know that proper installation of top products is essential here. A properly installed roof has top-quality shingles with high-quality underlayment, as well as an excellent flashing job. All excellent contractors know their reputation is on the line with every job. That’s reality.
Asphalt Shingle Roofs Can Last Longer
If you’re thinking about your next roof and have some questions, we’re here to help. Whenever you’re ready, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and say, “Let’s talk about my new roof” and we will contact you.