The Benefits and Drawbacks of Asphalt Shingles: Insights from Rock Solid Roofing Systems

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing choice for many homeowners, but what makes them so special? To get a better understanding, we sat down with Jayden Ackerman, a roofer at Rock Solid Roofing Systems. In this post, Jayden shares his expert knowledge on the uses, lifespan, advantages, and disadvantages of asphalt shingles, helping you make an informed decision for your roofing needs.

What are Asphalt Shingles Used For?

Jayden explained that asphalt shingles serve as the top covering of a roof system, which also includes the underlayment, ice and water shield, and decking board. Asphalt shingles are the final layer, providing protection against the weathering elements.

Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

The lifespan of asphalt shingles varies depending on environmental factors. Jayden noted that, on average, they last between 15 and 30 years. Factors such as rain, UV exposure, wind, hail, and storms can influence their longevity.

Are Asphalt Shingles the Best Choice?

When asked if asphalt shingles are the best option, Jayden highlighted that it depends on the project and budget. Asphalt shingles are competitively priced, making them an effective choice for many homeowners. While metal roofs offer higher quality and longevity, their cost is often prohibitive. Therefore, for those on a budget, asphalt shingles are an excellent option.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

Jayden identified two primary disadvantages of asphalt shingles:

1. Durability: They don’t last as long as traditional slate or metal roofs, as asphalt and the granules deteriorate over time due to sun and weather exposure.

2. Weight: Asphalt shingles are heavy, and adding a second layer over an existing roof can cause structural damage if not done carefully.

Installing New Asphalt Shingles Over Old Ones

While it is possible to install new asphalt shingles over old ones, Jayden advised against it. International building codes allow only one additional layer due to weight concerns, but Rock Solid Roofing Systems prefers not to do this. According to Jayden, overlaying shingles is like applying a band-aid without addressing the underlying issues, leading to a shorter lifespan and potential problems.

Cutting Corners in Roofing

Jayden considers installing new shingles over old ones as cutting corners. Although it saves on dump and tariff fees, it results in a less durable roof that will encounter issues sooner than a completely new installation.


Asphalt shingles offer an affordable and effective roofing solution, especially for those on a budget. However, it’s essential to consider their lifespan and potential drawbacks. If you’re in Portland or Vancouver (and surrounding areas) and considering asphalt shingles for your roofing project, we recommend reaching out to our friendly team at Rock Solid Roofing Systems. Our expertise and commitment to quality will ensure your roof is built to last. Contact us today for a consultation!

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