increase your roof lifespan

Lengthen your shingle roof lifespan


If you’re researching “How long do shingle roofs last?” then you’re probably also wondering how you can lengthen your shingle roof lifespan. The average lifespan of a shingle roof depends on the shingle material you select, but in general it can range from 15-30 years depending on the material and the quality of brand. In short, shingles are prone to wear over time, but there are ways to help prevent this breakdown to even the best roofing shingles.


There are different types of roof shingles — the ever-popular asphalt shingles, heat-resistant clay tiles and the commercial-favorite metal roofing option — but what you’ll find with each one of these variations is that it’s not ideal to walk on anyone of these materials, especially often. Foot traffic can accelerate shingle wear!

Asphalt shingles, found on most U.S. homes, combine various fibers into a mat that is then coated with asphalt and other minerals. Like an asphalt road, asphalt shingles can crack. They even can become brittle. Walking on shingles can cause them to tear from their nails and glue, degrading their protective qualities.


Clay tiles are even worse to walk on! Think of these tiles as having pottery on your roof. Created by baking clay in an oven, clay tiles are resistant to hot temperatures, making these roofs popular in places like Arizona, but heavy weight and sharp impacts can cause these tiles to break, especially if you walk in the valleys of the tiles and not on the two peaks. Meanwhile, metal roofing is hardier, but it is dangerous to work on due to heat conductivity, and they’re extremely slippery when wet.

So, while it’s recommended to inspect your roof annually (see below for more shingle roof maintenance tips), you can eliminate at least two trips to the roof by nixing the annual install and removal of holiday lights. (Believe it or not, while it’s recommended to hang lights from a ladder, many homeowners take to the roof when they can no longer reach the peaks. Of course, this is a big no-no for safety reasons, and it adds unnecessary wear-and-tear to your shingles.)

That’s where permanent holiday lights can have a big impact. Designed to match the exterior of your home, these lights install once. After that, you get to keep them up year-round! And thanks to the color apps that accompany these systems, you can even change the hues to celebrate other occasions. Rated at 100,000 hours, the Oelo permanent holiday lighting system offers the most longevity — double the LED lifespan of competing lights, which means you can avoid trips to the roof for roughly 22 years. That’s a lot of hassle-free holidays!


While you should avoid trips to the roof, roofing experts do recommend you make at least one (annual) trip to inspect your roof. (It’s easier to repair small problems before they spiral into big ones.) Here are some quick things you can do to maintain your roofing shingles:


Inspect your roof for damaged or missing shingles, especially after a nasty storm … and of course, repair when you discover issues.


Replace roof sealant and caulk the flashings, as needed, and maintain your chimney, especially when you discover cracked or missing mortar.


Inspect any of the metal components of your roof for rust and remove with a wire brush. Prime and paint the affected areas.


Clean dirty shingles with a mixture of bleach, detergent and hot water to reduce algae, moss, fungal and lichen growth.


Trim overhanging branches that can rub up against your roof and clean your gutters to avoid water accumulation that can rot shingles.

Out of all these tips, hanging permanent holiday lights certainly sounds like the most fun!