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Residential roofs made of aluminum, slate, or concrete have long life spans ranging from 50 years to a century. Their wood and asphalt counterparts have a shorter service life, ranging from 10 to 30 years. Nevertheless, the actual roof's longevity might differ from those specified by a manufacturer. It depends on countless factors, especially the soundness of installation and the quality of the material. That said, it's essential to know how to pick the right roofing coverage and how to upkeep it to make your roof transcend its expected life span. Keep reading to learn what factors most affect roof life expectancy and discover some tried-and-true maintenance tips to keep your roof safe and sound for many years to come.
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Every homeowner knows that roof repair or replacement is a costly investment. To ensure it will pay off in spades, you need to know what factors influence the average roof life and how to carry out roof maintenance to avoid regular repairs and re-roofing.
On average, a new roof lasts for 15–20 years, but the exact time depends on many factors, including the roofing materials you use, the actual age of the roof, and weather conditions in the region.
There are countless factors affecting the lifespan of the roof. We cannot enumerate them all as they might differ depending on your region, house construction, and even unforeseen circumstances like natural events and man-made disasters. Nevertheless, we can highlight the general factors determining how long your roof will actually last. Take a look at them below:
The materials you select will directly influence the total roof’s lifespan. To avoid frequent repairs, choose only high-quality, durable materials to ensure roof protection for many years.
Roofing underlayment serves as an additional layer ensuring waterproofing protection of your home in case of any exterior roof damage. In addition, it protects the materials from moisture, rotting, and mold.
Poorly performed installation or replacement services might negatively affect the roof’s lifespan. When seeking a residential roofing contractor for your project, pay special attention to their qualification and licensing. They should provide you with a portfolio of successfully completed projects and testimonials of customers who have already used their services. Don’t save on high-quality services as you always get what you pay for.
The roof longevity depends on the climate pattern in your region. Thus, temperature changes from cold to hot and vice versa can result in cracked shingles, holes, and leakage. Storms and tornadoes can damage the roofing coverage leaving divots in them. Heavy wind can take a protective layer off the shingles resulting in moisture accumulation and mold appearance. Additionally, trees next to your house can also damage the roof, so make sure their branches are not in contact with roofing materials and leaves are not left on the top for a long time.
To ensure the roof’s extended service life, you need good ventilation to protect your house from extreme temperatures that usually lead to damage to roofing materials. Regularly check ventilation and take necessary measures to maintain proper airing.
The slope of your roof plays an essential role in the efficiency of a drainage system. If you have a low roof pitch, you better use cement or clay tiles to ensure its longevity. Moderate or regular roof pitches are traditionally covered with asphalt (composite) shingles, while roofs with steep slopes show better performance when covered with the alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics.
When you check the physical condition of the roof at least once a year, you can rest assured it stays in mint condition for years. During the inspection, a professional roofer may find potential issues like missed shingles, broken flashing, or moss build-up and take measures to extend the roof’s lifespan. As a rule, regular roof maintenance services and cleaning may double its service life and preserve its good looks. Make sure to hire expert roofers to get the most out of every inspection and repair.
Every year, millions of Americans are forced to replace their roofs, either because they have been damaged during another heavy storm or reached the end of their service life. Knowing how long a particular type of roof lasts, you may create a roof maintenance checklist and schedule repairs beforehand. But, first, let’s look at the most popular roof types and their typical lifespan.
Asphalt shingle roofing is one of the most widely-used roofs on modern houses. It’s the best option for those homeowners who want to get sufficient home protection at a reasonable price. However, while considering this type of roofing, be ready to make a comprehensive renovation or replacement every 20–25 years. With correct installation, proper upkeep, and ventilation, you can get around 85% of the claimed shingle roof lifespan.
If you want to give a natural look to your house, install a wood shingle roof made of pine, cedar, or spruce. Such roofs typically last up to 30 years, but they require regular maintenance, including annual shingle cleaning and repainting. If you notice shingles splitting or rotting, mold growth, or any damage caused by pests, it’s high time to replace your wooden roof.
The popularity of metal roofs is constantly growing as they typically last longer than asphalt shingle roofs but still remain an affordable option. However, their durability and cost depend on the metal’s thickness. Roofs made of copper or zinc ensure a proper home’s protection for over 60 years.
As one of the most durable roofing materials, clay tile roofs can serve 50–100 years. Their long life expectancy is predetermined by their unique characteristics, including fire and rot resistance, protection against extreme temperatures, and energy efficiency. To ensure the clay tile roof’s durability, clean and inspect it at least once a year. It will help to avoid moss, mold, or algae accumulation. If you live in regions with a cold climate, you’d better use other roofing materials as clay tiles can be damaged by constant freezing and thawing. However, if your house is located in the Southwest, a clay tile roof will easily withstand high temperatures and perfectly protect your home from heat.
Slate roofs top the list of roofing materials with the most extended lifespan – they serve from 70 to 200 years. Slate easily withstands extreme weather conditions and temperature drops. It doesn’t need much maintenance, but you must be careful with its initial installation. Since slate is a heavy-weight material (100 square feet of slate weighs about 1,000 pounds), you need to consult a structural engineer to determine if your house withstands such a weight.
Here are a few roof maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your roof.
If there are no gutters on the roof and against the home’s walls, you should consider installing them. They help water go down the roof’s pitch, preventing its accumulation and penetration under the shingles. Properly installed rain gutters are the best means to protect a roof from leakage and the appearance of mildew and algae.
Having some trees growing next to your house is a great idea – they make your home and the surrounding area look great. But at the end of the fall, leaves and wind-blown branches fall on the roof, and you need to collect them as they may prevent water from going down the top. If you don’t want to spend additional time cleaning the roof from debris, you’d better regularly trim your trees.
Shingles protect the house from wind, snow, and UV rays. However, when the air becomes too hot in summer, shingles heat up, leading to their quick decay. Specialists recommend installing proper insulation to protect them from overheating and extend the roof’s lifespan.
Specialists claim that an annual inspection is enough to keep a roof in mint condition. But if you want to ensure the best care, perform check-ups every season. The top can be damaged in spring and summer by storms and heavy winds, so you’d better fix any issues after their appearance. In autumn, you may need to clear the roof from fallen leaves to provide proper drainage. Besides, don’t skip professional roof maintenance, as it will help you identify and fix issues at the early stages.
If you want to extend the life of your house’s roof but are not sure you can cope with this by yourself, you may consider hiring an experienced roofing contractor that offers the following services:
Regular roof maintenance is vital for the longevity of the roof. By hiring a roofing contractor, you may ensure they thoroughly inspect your roof, identify all warning signs, and advise you on the best corrective measures.
Suppose any damages are detected during the roof inspection procedure. In that case, a specialist will be able to do timely roofing repair that will help you avoid the complete replacement of the roof.
When you decide to replace the old roof, it’s better to leave proven experts to do this job. However, since roof replacement is a complex and costly project, you need to ensure it’s done correctly by true professionals.
If you’re asking questions like “How can I find roofing companies near me?” or “How much will contractor’s services cost?”, HomeQuote is here to help.
HomeQuote, a nationwide network of verified home repair contractors, can match you to the top roofing companies available in your region. After specifying the project details, you get paired with the three to five best local contractors and receive free price quotes from them. Then you may compare their offers and select the best option.
Fill out a short questionnaire to get a free price estimate for your next roofing project.
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