Asphalt shingle roofs are both inexpensive and durable, but they can become brittle over time and will need to be replaced every 15-30 years, depending on your climate and the quality of the roofing used.

To tell whether your asphalt roof needs to be replaced, use a flat pry bar to break the seal holding the shingle down, then slowly bend one of the shingles back.

If the shingle is brittle and breaks, it’s probably time to replace the roof. Only perform this test when the weather is warm, but not too hot, since cold temperatures aren’t good for roofing and make asphalt shingles more brittle, while hot weather makes them too soft.

Watch the video above to find out more.

Want to see how some of our favorite asphalt shingle brands stack up against each other? Check out our GAF vs IKO asphalt shingles comparison.


Danny Lipford: People who have asphalt shingle roofs, often want to know how to recognize roof replacement signs. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing in the U.S. because they are effective and relatively inexpensive, but they do have a finite lifespan.

When these shingles become brittle the chances of the roof failing go way up. To test this, bend one of the tabs back with your hand. If it bends with a gentle curve, it still has some flexibility and probably lots of life left. If it creases or breaks, it is brittle and could easily snap off in a stiff wind.

If the problem is confined to just a few shingles, you can replace them yourself without replacing the entire roof. Simply pry up the damaged shingles with a flat-bar to remove the nails near each of the slots between tabs. You have to do the same with the row above it as well, since those nails go through both shingles.

Replace the damaged shingle with the new one of similar color and style before you drive new nails in the same location. Finally apply some roofing cement between the rows to hold the bottom of each tab in place.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More