Investing in a new roof can be daunting, but it helps to know the facts about the lifespan of roofing styles and materials. This way you know exactly what you’re getting for your money and rest easy in the knowledge that most roofs will last a very long time if well maintained.
The lifespan of roofing materials varies greatly, but according to the National Association of Home Builders' Life Expectancy of Home Components report, an asphalt shingle roof typically lasts 20 years, while fiber-cement shingles last 25 years. Wood shakes are good for around 30 years, and copper, slate, or tile roofing can be expected to be good for over half a century. Meanwhile metal roofing often lasts upwards of 30 years.
But that's just the averages, and you can't simply go off of your warranty either: roof replacement might need to be done before or after a typical 20-year warranty for asphalt shingles. There are many factors that will affect your roof’s lifespan, including the materials chosen, the installation process, and how well you maintain it.
Factors Aside From Shingles That Affect Roofing Lifespan
Good underlayment is key to extending the lifespan of your roofing. That extra layer of water resistant material will protect your roof decking against possible intrusion of water or ice. And proper flashing installed in the roof valleys, around vents, and especially around the chimney (if you have one) is also key to protecting both your roof and your home.
A third important factor to extending roofing life expectancy is good ventilation. Poor ventilation in your attic may make your roof too warm during hot Florida summers, which could gradually weaken the shingles over the years. But the single biggest factor for extending the life or your roof, aside from roofing material and weather, is high-quality installation services.
Not all roof installations are equivalent. An experienced, conscientious roofing contractor will ensure that roofing is installed 100% in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and is fastened correctly with the right kinds of nails in all the right places.
A good contractor will also be sure that the roof deck is clean before covering it with the new underlayment and shingles. Layering a new roof on top of an old one, or on top of a nail-infested, cluttered up roof deck, can weaken your new shingles prematurely and might even cancel all or part of your manufacturer's warranty.
Signs It May Be Time To Consider Roof Replacement
It’s a good idea to occasionally inspect your roof for normal wear and tear, as well as to take a look after a significant storm to ensure that the wind, rain, and hail haven’t caused damage.
The first sign that you may need a new roof is simply the age of your roof relative to the material type. You can use the general roofing lifespan estimates mentioned at the beginning of this article to decide if it might be time to consider a new roof simply due to age.
The second sign is that the roofing is visibly deteriorating. The shingles may look badly faded, have curl ups and buckles at points, become dislodged here and there, or even missing most of their surface granules. You may also have noticed a lot of granules accumulating in your gutters and downspouts.
Possibly, there may also be some flashing loose or missing, a few shingles that are cracked, broken off on the end, or fallen completely off. The valleys are a common area for the worst deterioration to occur, but it could happen anywhere.
If you actually notice roof leaks, see light shining through the roof in the attic, or if the roof gives a bounce when walked on, there could be moisture damage. This should be addressed as soon as possible as water damage will only continue to worsen over time.
If you’re unsure of the status of your roof or are concerned that it may need replacing, it’s always a good idea to contact a reputable contractor who can give you an honest assessment. For more information on how to decide when it's time for roof replacement or repair in Central Florida, contact Sheegog Contracting for a free consultation!