Many people ask us, “How long does a roof last in New Jersey?” Because today’s highest quality shingles are better than ever, a new roof may very well last much longer than you expect! When someone asks, “How long does a roof last?” the answer is often, “Longer than ever before.” Read on to learn how advancements in materials and routine care are helping New Jersey roofs last longer than ever.
Longevity of Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Quality materials can make all the difference in how long a roof lasts. Choosing high-quality materials installed by a factory-certified roofing contractor can extend the life of your roof by several years. Trust roofers certified by industry leaders like GAF and Owens Corning to install your new roof up to specifications.
Architectural vs. Three-Tab Shingles
In general, thicker architectural shingles will last longer than thinner three-tab shingles. In turn, ultra-premium architectural shingles often last longer than standard varieties. The durability of architectural shingles is due in part to the lamination process — a layer of tough fiberglass is sandwiched between two layers of asphalt. By contrast, three-tab shingles consist of a layer of fiberglass simply embedded in the asphalt.
In the past, three-tab asphalt shingle roofs typically lasted between 12 to 20 years. How long does a roof last if architectural shingles are used? Many of today’s architectural shingle roofs should last 25 to 30 years or more.
Some major roofing manufacturers like GAF will warranty a roof installed by one of their factory-certified contractors for up to 50 years. There are also lifetime warranties good for as long as your own your home. In some instances, they are even transferable to the next owner!
In addition to the type of shingles you choose, look for features that will extend the effective life of your roof. For example, a warrantied wind rating of 130 mph or more is appropriate in New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Also, consider cool roof technology that can reduce energy costs and extend product life. Special highly reflective granules send more of the sun’s UV rays back into the atmosphere.
Some of today’s shingles even offer protection against algae streaking. For example, shingles featuring GAF’s StainGuard Plus Time-Release technology come with a 25-year warranty on blue-green algae streaking.
Things That Reduce a Roof’s Longevity
Ask long-term residents of northern NJ neighborhoods “How long does a roof last?” and you’ll get very different answers. One roof might protect a home for 50 years, while another one might only last ten years. There are many reasons for this disparity. Let’s look at some of the things that shorten the lifespan of a residential roof in New Jersey.
Inferior roofing materials may substantially shorten a roof’s effective life. Since shingles vary in quality, it is wise to pay attention to the type and the brand your roofer uses. For example, GAF, Owens Corning and Tamko all manufacture highly-rated shingles.
Sub-standard felt or the wrong sheathing may also shorten a roof’s lifespan. In general, shoddy materials increase the probability of leaks or other issues. Sometimes, water infiltration from these leaks is so widespread that a total roof replacement is the only sensible option.
Improper Shingle Installation
It is imperative to entrust your roof replacement to a reputable, factory-certified roofing contractor. Shoddy installation may dramatically reduce your roof’s longevity. For example, if nails are not properly driven through the reinforced strips on shingles, they are more prone to coming loose in high winds. Improperly installed flashing is another source of trouble.
Today’s asphalt shingles are engineered to withstand New Jersey’s weather extremes for many years. However, it is crucial to maintain good roof ventilation, so the underside of your roof is not subject to excess heat and moisture. Regular inspections will ensure that your vents remain clear of debris.
In addition to the conditions above, altitude, wind elevations, the pitch of the roof and even valleys and facets can affect how long a roof lasts.
Tips for Making Your Roof Last Longer
Modern asphalt shingle roofs are designed to survive New Jersey weather extremes for many years. However, it always necessary to be proactive about roof inspections and maintenance. The following tips can help to extend the lifespan of your roof.
Get Regular Roof Inspections
Semi-annual roof inspections in the spring and the fall are essential to catching emerging problems while they are easier to address. Missing or damaged shingles, moss growth, broken flashing, and other issues should all be addressed early on before they severely threaten the life of your roof.
Perform Routine Maintenance
It is ideal to have professionals perform roof maintenance when these spring and fall inspections occur. Routine roof maintenance can resolve leaks and other issues before they become a significant headache for you.
Ideally, you want to clean your gutters of any debris and leaf litter in the spring and fall. It is vital to have clean gutters going into winter to avoid water backups that may turn into destructive ice dams that can drastically reduce how long your roof lasts.
A modest investment in foam inserts, surface tension hoods or mesh-screen caps can help keep most debris out of your gutters, although some cleaning and removal is still needed from time to time.
Debris can build up anywhere on your roof, stopping water from draining away. It’s a little like those dams across New Jersey streams built by beavers. Twigs, branches and leaves combine to obstruct water flow, leading to standing water that saturates shingles, leaving them prone to rotting.
Eliminate Moss Buildup
Towering, mature trees shade many New Jersey roofs. Moss often grows in shady spots that remain moist too much of the time. Sometimes, moss mats may grow until they are several inches thick. This moss growth can significantly limit how long your roof lasts. The underlying shingles may rot when they remain wet for long periods, so removing and eliminating any moss buildup on your roof is essential.
Many things that threaten a roof’s longevity come from one source — nearby trees. Excess shade on the roof, accumulations of leaves and falling branches, and more can all be managed to a degree by cutting back branches, particularly those that hang right over your roof or block large portions of the roof from receiving sunlight.
Contact Us Today
When you ask, “How long does a roof last in New Jersey?” you want to partner with a certified local contractor who is dedicated to the answer, “As long as possible!”
CRS is a GAF Master Elite Contractor who installs and maintains some of the best roofing systems in New Jersey. Ask us about the attractive terms of GAF’s Gold Pledge Warranty.
We are a full-service roofing company dedicated to meeting every roofing need, from inspections and routine maintenance to emergency repairs and complete roof replacements. To learn more or to schedule a no-obligation visit by our certified roof inspector, please contact us today!