When Should I Replace My Roof?


Years ago a 3-Tab Roof was marketed for a life span of 20 to 25 years. In reality, these 3-Tab shingles will protect your home adequately for 13 to 16 years. I have seen some last 20 years under near perfect conditions, but it is very rare. Architectural shingles are currently marketed as a Lifetime shingle but used to be sold as a 30 to 40-year shingles. Many companies claim to add benefits and improvements, but in my experience architectural or lifetime shingles last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. I have seen many last only about 15 years.


There are many factors that contribute to the shortened life span of an asphalt shingle roof, and one of the most common is inadequate ventilation. When replacing your asphalt shingle roof be sure to ask your contractor if your home has sufficient ventilation. Roofs that have less than ideal ventilation tend to have a significantly reduced life expectancy.


Another common reason why a roof may have a shortened life expectancy is using shingles on a low roof slope area. You do not want to install shingles of a roof pitch less then 3 on 12. On these areas, it is better to use another roofing material like standing seam metal roof panels, especially when transitioning from a higher pitch to a lower pitch roof.



It amazes me when someone chooses not to replace their roof after an insurance company has determined a full roof replacement is necessary. A great time to replace your roof is after your roof has been damaged by severe weather. Roofs are expensive and if the roof is only going to cost you the deductible amount you agreed on, you could pay when choosing your insurance coverage... why not.


Hail damage is very common in some areas. Even a small hail storm will decrease the lifespan of your roof because of the granule loss. A shingle with granule loss is a shingle that will not last very long because the granules are what protect the asphalt from deteriorating quickly.


Wind Damage will often result in an insurance claim approved for full roof replacement. The reason for this is because strong winds lift the shingles breaking the tar seals that hold them attached to each other, and they will not seal again once that seal has been compromised.


Tropical Storms can be devastating to your roof and also, to the rest of your home. Unfortunately, after a tropical storm, many unqualified people will also claim to be able to replace your roof. Be careful. if possible, have a reputable roofing company tarp your roof until they are able to come out and replace your roof properly. It's amazing how many terrible roof jobs I have seen after Katrina.



One of the first things that I do when performing a roof inspection is a “Brittleness Test”. A Brittleness Test is basically a small test to see if I can perform a repair without further damaging the roof. If the roof crumbles, cracks or breaks when I remove a small piece of shingle, than a repair cannot be properly performed . In these cases, it's always best to replace the entire roof because chances are the roof will continue to leak, and rather than fix the problem you will create an even larger one.

Sometimes a Brittleness Test is not necessary because the roof is showing signs of deterioration. If you notice any of these signs its time for a full roof replacement.

---Heavy granule loss

---Cracked Shingles

---Blistering Shingles

---Missing shingles and broken seals on shingles

---Buckling shingles

---Several roof leaks

If you have other questions, or are unsure whether your roof will need replacement, contact us. You can email us at ruben@rbjroofing.com or call us and we can give you a FREE NO-OBLIGATION Estimate!