When Should An Asphalt Shingle Roof Be Replaced?

When Should An Asphalt Shingle Roof Be Replaced?

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials throughout the country. Affordable, durable, and stylish!

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials throughout the country. Affordable, durable, and stylish, asphalt shingles provide both protection and aesthetics. However, like all good things, your roof is not going to last forever. There will come a time when your roof either looks old, worn out, or is showing signs that tell you it is time to replace the asphalt shingles. That is why you need to know those signs. If you miss them, you risk exposing your house to dangers, like water damage and mold.

Here are signs that will answer the question of whether you need to replace the shingles on your roof or not:

General Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

Depending on the type of asphalt shingles you have installed on your roof, the life expectancy is going to change. All asphalt shingles have the same materials, such as asphalt and crushed fiberglass, but some have more layers. The manufacturer’s formula will also change the durability and the longevity of the shingles on your roof.

Most often, 3-tab shingles will last up to 20 years (but will survive an average of 10-15 years). Dimensional shingles—also known as architectural or laminate shingles—are rated to last anywhere between 30-50 years. If you do enough upkeep on dimensional shingles, they should hold up for at least 20-40 years.

Signs It Is Time To Replace Your Asphalt Shingles

Even if you do the math and figure out that your roof should still have some life in it, there are signs that tell you that might not be true. Again, routine maintenance will prolong the life of your asphalt shingles, but there are other factors that can prematurely age your roof, too. Exposure to sun, wind, rain, and freeze/thaw cycles can weaken shingles over time. Falling debris and other dangers can remove shingles or scratch off granules.

You may begin to notice that your roof no longer looks the way it did when it was brand new. Don’t wait until your roof is leaking to replace asphalt shingles. Here are a few signs that tell you it is time for a new roof:

Curling, Cracked, or Torn Shingles

Shingles that are cracked or torn leave open spaces for moisture to get into the underlayment of the roofing system. When that happens, water can and will eventually leak through to the roofing deck and even farther down, to the ceiling over your head. Curling shingles do the same thing. While shingles can curl, crack, or tear for any number of reasons, such as poor ventilation, improper installation, or old age, it all adds up to you needing replacement roof shingles.

Missing Granules

The granules on shingles are made to protect your roof from sun exposure and increase the fire resistance of your roof. In other words, granules are not just something that can be scraped off and forgotten about like crumbs. Without granules, your shingles aren’t going to function properly, and that can lead to leaks, higher utility bills, and other issues. If you find granules around the downspout or in the gutters, it is time to replace your shingles.

Moss and Rot

When moss grows on shingles, it doesn’t always mean that your shingles are old and need replacing. Sometimes, you can even clean the moss from the shingles. That said, if there is abundant moss growth, it will eventually damage the integrity of the asphalt shingles on your roof by getting underneath, lifting the shingles away from the underlayment. Do not let moss grow unchecked. If you do, you may need to replace the entire roof.

Missing or Blown-off Shingles

Nails go missing, You experience strong winds from a severe storm. Something falls on the roof and rips off the shingles. Regardless of how the shingles are missing, it means that your roof is now exposed to the elements. You will need to replace those shingles as soon as possible, as well as check for any damages to the vulnerable materials underneath.

Old Appearance

Even if your asphalt shingles are not curling or torn, that doesn’t mean you can keep the shingles around for another few years if your roof looks old and tired. You will know old roof shingles when you see them—discolored, flattened, smooth, and drab. This not only affects curb appeal, it also endangers your roof. Old shingles cannot do their job efficiently, meaning that every time there is a storm, water could be pooling beneath the old shingles or sitting still.

If your shingles start looking aged, it is time to replace them.


Replacing old or damaged shingles is something that should never be delayed. Do not overlook the signs that your roof is beginning to fail, because it opens up the opportunity of greater, more expensive damages. Now that you know the signs the tell you the asphalt shingles need to be replaced, go out and inspect your roof. You know what to do if you find signs of aging.

Looking for more information about shingles and their lifespan? Need maintenance tips? Or are you looking for assistance with replacing your roof? We can help! Fill out the contact form, and we’ll be in touch.