One of the biggest questions homeowners have is how long their roof will last. Quite surprisingly, there are several different factors that go into a roof’s lifespan and some of these things can make it much shorter than average. While there are some obvious signs, which we’ll discuss later, some people aren’t sure whether it’s time to replace or not. This is why it’s so important to find an experienced professional, like A Plus Roofing, to evaluate and offer options to those that need their roof replaced. Not only will you see what signs you should look for, but you’ll also learn about some of the things that can alter your roof’s lifespan.
What is a Roof’s Average Lifespan?
This can be a difficult question because there are so many things that come into play. Not only do you have to think about the material used, but there are other outside factors that can affect your roof. You’ll see all of this listed below and you should get a better understanding of whether or not it’s time to get an inspection.
Life Based on Material
Since different roofing materials have different lifespans, it’s important to know how long each one lasts. In addition to listing the most common roofing materials, there’s also information about their average lifespan and what can cause them to need repaired.
These types of shingles are some of the most durable on the market and can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. Not only can they hold up against heat, but they are also resistant to things like hail. With that said, though, slate shingles can be quite expensive and their heaviness means that many contractors won’t install them. If you plan on using this material, it’s a good idea to make sure your home can handle the added weight.
Wood roofs can last up to 30 years and offer a rustic look to your home. They are quite affordable and usually come from pine, cedar, or spruce. They can be installed pretty easily, which means you shouldn’t have much trouble finding an experienced contractor. Keep in mind, wood roofing needs to be routinely cared for and don’t always do well in certain conditions, such as termites, fires, or even mold.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials and can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. They come in tons of different color options, which means you can find the color that meets your wants or needs. When installed, they have a layered look, which can give your home a clean and polished look. These are the way to go if you want long-lasting durability with a touch of customization.
These types of shingles are made to resemble natural wood or slate, while actually being made from plastic, polymer, or rubber. While they’re a more affordable option than slate, they don’t have the same durability. When compared to wood shingles, though, they stand up better against things like hail or heat. You’ll be able to choose from a bunch of different colors and they should last between 40 and 50 years, although they can last longer.
Three-tab asphalt shingles only last around 15 to 30 years and are popular with those doing DIY projects. While they are one of the most affordable options, they don’t do well against things like wind and aren’t made with the strongest materials. If you’re looking for something that needs to last for several years to come, then it might be a good idea to try one of the other roofing materials listed here.
As of recently, metal roofs have started becoming more and more popular due to their lifespan and durability. If you choose a thinner material, the roof should last around 20 to 25 years, while thicker can last for 50 years or longer. Even with that being the case, this type of roofing can be quite expensive, so it might not be an option for those with a smaller budget.
Although this roofing material is extremely durable and can last for 50 years or more, it’s also very heavy and can require extra support before being installed. They are great for areas with higher temperatures because they are resistant to intense heat and actually reflect the sunlight. If you’re considering this type of roofing, make sure you get your home inspected to ensure you have adequate framing and support.
Flat and commercial roofs are made with different materials, which differ from the ones listed above. Not only do they have different lifespans, but they can be affected by different factors.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin, or TPO, is one of the most commonly used materials for commercial roofs. It’s a single-ply roofing material and should last between 15 to 20 years. These come in large sheets that measure 10 feet, 12 feet, or 20 feet wide. This means most roofs will need multiple sheets and the great thing is that the seams last much longer than some others that are made from other materials.
EDPM roofing can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years and is extremely durable. While this synthetic rubber roofing only comes in black or white, the white option can offer a cooler business because it reflects the light. There are tons of size options that range between 7.5 feet to 50 feet wide and is usually either 45mm or 60mm thick. It’s an especially great option for those businesses that are trying to lower their energy bills.
Spray foam roofing is sprayed as a liquid that slowly expands. Most of the time, spray foam roofing materials are used to repair an existing roof. It’s made with two chemicals that are extremely reactive to each other, which is why they aren’t mixed until they’re getting ready to be used. The exact lifespan will depend on how well the foam is maintained, as well as how often re-coatings are done. If the roof is well-maintained, it could last 50 years or more.
PVC roofing usually comes in white, which makes it one of the best options for those that are trying to lower their business’s energy bill because it’s both reflective and resistant to UV rays. While it’s more expensive than some options, it can last for 20 or more years. It can also hold up well against things like fires, damaging winds, and dangerous chemicals.
There are actually several different factors that can determine how long your roof will last. When looking at these, it’s important to consider your specific circumstances because not everyone is going to face the same forces. Take a look below to see some of the biggest factors that can affect your roof’s lifespan.
Even if you have the most durable materials that last the longest, it won’t matter if the work isn’t done well. This is why it’s extremely important to find the best company to meet your needs and wants. When looking for a company, make sure they have the experience and technical know-how to install the roof you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and past examples of their work!
Another big factor is the number and type of ventilation areas. Bigger buildings or homes will need more than smaller buildings, but you want to make sure there’s enough for your roof to keep the same temperature. When the roof keeps the same temperature, the materials are less likely to break down or crack. Not having the appropriate ventilation can cause big problems, so it’s important to watch for any signs indicating an issue.
The color of the roofing material might not seem like a big deal, but it can have a huge impact on lifespan. Lighter colors, like white, can reflect light and UV rays, while black can absorb them. The lighter colors will hold up longer because they aren’t being affected by the intense heat or damaging rays that can cause the roof to crack. With that said, though, buildings that aren’t in hot climates should do fine with black roofing.
The type of materials used is one of the most important factors when considering the life expectancy of your roof. Some materials have longer lifespans, while some won’t last nearly as long. It’s important to use roofing materials that will do well in your climate and have high durability. This is especially true when you consider that a roof is a long-term investment that needs to last for years to come.
While it’s not as important with commercial roofing, a residential roof needs to have adequate underlayment. It’s an extra layer of waterproof materials that are designed to protect your frame if the outside layer gets damaged. It can help prevent the formation of mold or mildew, which can cause damage or even rotting.
A roof that’s better maintained over the years will last longer than one that isn’t really taken care of. It’s important to get an inspection done every year to make sure everything is fine. It can also help identify any issues that can be taken care of before they become larger problems that lead to a lot of resources and money being used. With that said, though, you should get an inspection done anytime there’s been damage done to your roof, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal!
Those that live in areas with harsher elements will need more durable materials. Some places, like the Midwest, have severe storms that can cause quite a bit of damage. You’ll still want to use materials that are as durable as possible if you live in other areas because you never know what could happen. You’ll also want to make sure you take care of any issues that happen from the weather, such as cleaning leaves from gutters and making sure there’s adequate drainage.
The biggest issue with the slope of your roof is the quality of the drainage. Those roofs that don’t have good drainage could be damaged by standing water and lead to mold, mildew, or even decay. The most important thing you can do is talk with your roofer and see what they recommend for drainage. Even with proper drainage, those with more sloped roofs should regularly check for standing water or signs of damage.
Another big factor to a roof’s lifespan is the quality of materials used. Each type of roofing material has both lower and higher quality options, which also have different price points. Lower quality materials tend to require more repairs, while higher quality materials tend to cause less issues. It’s important to get the highest quality that you can afford, so you can have the longest-lasting roof possible.
The best way to ensure your roof lasts as long as possible is by performing regular maintenance. It’s also important to get yearly inspections from an experienced professional. The great thing is that most of the annual maintenance can be done right at home. Some of these things include clearing debris, giving the gutters a decent drainage system, and fixing other small problems. In addition, it’s also important to check out the roof at the end of every season. This is to ensure that small issues won’t turn into big ones that end up costing a lot of money and resources.
Signs That Your Roof Needs Replaced
While it can be hard to figure out when and if your roof needs replaced, there are a few tell-tale signs that are relatively easy to spot. Keep in mind, you might still need your roof replaced even if you don’t see any of these signs. Some of the most-common things homeowners notice are listed below.
- Any discoloration to your ceilings.
- Pests getting into the roof, like rats, squirrels, or raccoons.
- Damage to the roof or shingles.
- Damage that can be see on the roof or roof materials.
Now that you’ve learned the signs of a failing roof and know what you can do to help make it last longer, you’re ready to call a professional. It’s important to remember that the best professionals, like A Plus Roofing, should offer competitive prices, have quality workmanship, and be as honest and trustworthy as possible!