According to Home Advisor, you can expect to get from 15 to 20 years of use from your asphalt roof. That depends on what materials were used, the quality of the installation and the types of weather in your area. Using quality materials and a reputable roofing company are the first steps to keeping your roof around. Regular maintenance in the following areas also insures that your roof is giving your home the best protection during its lifetime.
Weather and Nature Damage
Rain and debris are enemies of your roof if not controlled. If portions of your roof are always wet and organic debris is allowed to sit on it for long periods, roof rot can develop which destroys shingles and the underlying wood. Make sure your gutters flow freely and water isn't backing up onto the shingles. Hose off any buildup of moss, leaves, sticks, pine cones and needles before they begin to decay. If you live in a shaded area where trees can deposit leaves and branches on the roof, you may need to clean off your roof regularly to keep it healthy.
Ultraviolet Light Protection
The small particles embedded in the asphalt shingles deflect some of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays off of your roof. This keeps your roof and house cooler and extends the life of the shingles. When the asphalt shingle starts to lose those particles, it is less effective and means your roof may be ending its usefulness. When cleaning the gutters and downspouts, look for a collection of these particles, which means it's time to contact the roofing company.
To prevent a buildup of moisture in your attic, good ventilation is required. Make sure all vents and airways are clear. If you have attic fans, make sure they are functioning normally and any louvers are not blocked. If excess condensation occurs on the subroof in your attic, the wood can rot, sag or flex causing the shingles to be damaged. If portions of your roof are bowed, you may have subroof damage from attic moisture.
Flashing and Water Leaks
Openings in the roof where your chimney, water vent pipes and air vents come up from the house are sealed by metal sheets and roofing compound. These are less durable than the rest of the roof and leaks are common when they do fail. If you notice drips on interior walls or water stains on the ceiling, but your shingles look fine, you likely have a leak around a flashing. You'll need a roofer to inspect and replace the flashing to prevent the leak from getting worse.
Your roof protects the investment you have in your home. While the house itself will outlive any roof you have installed, by reducing the effects of weather and nature, and fixing the little problems as they arise, you'll prevent your roof from having an early demise.