A New or Replacement Roof
Roofs do not last forever. But it is possible to estimate the lifespan of a roof based on a number of factors. The principal factor that determines a roof’s lifespan is the quality of roofing shingles and other materials used to install the roof.
Other factors that affect the durability of your roof include the type of climate you live in, and the level of professional maintenance that you give to your roof. Here is a brief discussion on the lifespan of your roof and the factors that can extend its useful life.
Roofing Materials Should Last?
Each roofing material in the market today has its own typical lifespan. With a professional installation and a fair amount of maintenance, the following list should give you an idea of your roof’s lifespan:
Asphalt Roofs: These roofs are the most common and they are about the most affordable for homeowners.
When high quality asphalt roofing shingles are installed, the roof should last for 15 to 20 years. Asphalt roofs require relatively low maintenance and they tend to perform better in cooler climates.
Shake Roofing and Wood Shingles: Wood roofs made of cedar, which is resistant to rot and insect infestation, may last longer than other wood varieties if it is kept clean and dry. But due to natural deterioration and weather changes, most wood roofs may not exceed 20 years.
Metal Roofs: Metal roofs offer relatively higher durability and low maintenance. Although they usually carry a 20 to 40-year warranty, they usually last longer. As long as the roof is installed by a qualified roofing professional, the roof will serve as a good investment.
Tile and Slate Roofs: These roofs are extremely durable and they can withstand the effects of harsh weather. Slate roofs are quite expensive so they are not very common. On the average, they are expected to last for 50 years. But very high quality slate may remain intact without any serious leakage for up to 100 years.
Climate Affects a Roof’s Lifespan
Without any prior warning, Mother Nature can cause serious damage to your roof. Frequent rainfall, windstorms, and high humidity can cut the lifespan of a roof. Climatic changes have different effects on roofs, so you should know how the weather and climate in your environment can affect your roof. For instance, in a state like Florida, the hot and humid weather and the difference in day and night temperatures will reduce a roof’s lifespan.
In a state like Arizona, for example, the daytime temperature may be 100 degrees before it drops to 50 degrees at night. This sharp drop can create stress cracks or fractures on the roofing shingles. On the other hand, in Madison, which has a colder and more stable temperatures, roofs of the same material will last for a longer time.
Professional Maintenance Can Extend Your Roof’s Useful Life
Regardless of the expected lifespan of your roof material, you can extend its useful life through professional maintenance. A professional roofer can help you to inspect your roof at least once or twice in year. At this time, they will clear blocked gutters, remove debris, check the ventilation and insulation and help you to stop tree branches from damaging your roof. Your roofing contractor will also help you examine the sheathing, flashing, roof covering and structure to ensure that there are no parts that need immediate repair. Prompt repair will always save you the cost of more expensive repairs later on and it will help to extend the roof’s lifespan.
In addition to calling a professional to do a routine inspection, you should also look out for warning signs that your roof requires repair. After any heavy rain or wind storm, look for any shingles that have curled edges or are buckled from below. Look for any cracked or missing pieces. If you have asphalt roofing shingles, check the gutters for any granules. If you see granules in the gutters, it means that the protective covering is gradually wearing off. If you have slate tiles, look out for roughness or surface flaking.
Check your chimney for damaged or rusted flashing as well as mold or fungal growth. If you observe any of these signs, getting in touch with your roofing contractor immediately.