How long does a roof last? People often wonder how long their roof will protect their home and what they can do to get the most out of this investment. Oftentimes, the type of roof can have the greatest impact on a roof’s life expectancy, but this is just one step in the decision-making process. Many factors impact a roof’s lifespan, so we’re breaking it down for property owners.
Factors that Impact the Average Lifespan of Your Roof
If you’re in the market for a new roof, there are many considerations to ensure you’re making a smart investment. Follow along to find out which factors impact the lifespan of your roof and determine when you should investigate replacement options.
Type of Materials
The materials used on your roof and their durability are large factors that impact the average lifespan of a roof. In many cases, cost and longevity are directly correlated, but we’ll cover roofing materials in more detail below.
Quality of Materials
No matter what type of roof materials you decide to use on your residence or commercial buildings, there are low and high-quality versions of each material. Low-quality roofing materials typically lead to more repairs and lower roof life expectancy, so it’s best to choose a superior product. Hiring a reputable contractor that uses high-quality materials will help you decide to get the most out of your roof.
Roofing underlayment is one of the most crucial components of residential roof replacements. Underlayment is a layer of waterproofing protection if the exterior roof gets damaged. This additional layer of defense prevents moisture buildup and mold issues and is essential to prevent your materials from rotting away.
Workmanship of Roofers
Before selecting a roofing contractor, make sure you investigate their qualifications, insurance and liability coverage, and reviews or testimonials. Choosing a licensed professional could affect the average lifespan of your roof more than you’d think. You don’t want to be in a situation where you spot signs of a bad roofing job and have to question whether the roof was installed correctly.
All Star Roofing is a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor, so we only recommend durable, high-quality materials that will protect your home for the long haul.
The climate and sun exposure to your roof are significant factors that impact a roof’s lifespan. Florida’s drastic and irregular temperatures, along with extreme storms that can cause roof damage, threaten your roof’s health. So it’s important to choose durable options.
Temperatures frequently going from hot to cold, as we experience in the spring and fall, can cause splits and cracks in shingles. Wind, hail, tornadoes, and other storms can cause even more harm by leaving divots in the roof, removing protective granules from shingles, and building up moisture that leads to mold and roof leaks.
Lastly, pay attention to the trees near your roof – check that the branches are not rubbing against the shingles, and be sure to dispose of any leaves or debris built up in the gutters.
Color of Roofing Materials
In some cases, the color of the shingles you choose can affect your roof’s life expectancy. Especially in sunny climates, lighter materials are recommended because dark products will absorb more heat from the sun. Overheated shingles are more likely to experience wear and tear, and it will make ventilating your roof more difficult.
The Slope of a Roof
The pitch of your roof impacts drainage, and a roof with poor drainage abilities may require more frequent repairs or replacements. Property owners with flat roofs and roofs with low slopes need to be more cautious about checking for water accumulation that could lead to mold and fungus growth or cause more serious damage resulting in roof leaks.
Having appropriate ventilation methods for your roof is a key part of property health that will increase the roof’s life expectancy. When the roof can maintain a consistent temperature, the materials are less likely to crack under pressure. It can also reduce the risk of overheating or freezing, and your entire property is more likely to run efficiently.
Improper ventilation can lead to costly damages, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of poor roof ventilation and take precautions to control it.
Regular Roof Maintenance
Performing periodic maintenance will extend the average lifespan of a roof. Annual roof inspections help identify any warning signs that you may need a new roof or a major repair. When a problem is identified, it can be resolved quickly before it gets out of hand.
Many property owners wonder how to know when it’s time for a roof inspection, and the answer may depend on your roof’s current health or other circumstances. Our roofing contractors recommend getting regular evaluations once per year and more often if you’ve experienced storm damage to your roof.
How Do Warranties Compare to the Lifespan of a Roof?
Typically, the roof’s life expectancy will be greater than the warranty offered on a roof, but the roof warranty is there in case the roof’s lifespan is cut short by a major storm or incident. This will protect the property owner’s investment, ensuring that costly roof repairs from unexpected damages will be covered. Higher-quality roofing materials will have longer warranties and keep you covered for a longer period since these durable products are projected to last for the long haul.
How Long Does a New Roof Last?
The average lifespan of a roof usually ranges between 25 to 50 years. However, a roof’s life expectancy ultimately depends on the quality, durability, and type of material chosen. You typically get what you pay for, and the larger the investment for a new roof, the longer it will protect your home. However, there are many options homeowners and commercial property owners should consider when choosing the best type of roofing material.
Roof Life Expectancy Based on Types of Roofs
Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles
This type of roof lasts 15 to 20 years. Three-tab asphalt shingles are a budget-friendly option, but they have one of the lowest lifespans due to their low wind resistance and less durable materials. Our experts wouldn’t recommend three-tab asphalt shingles since they offer less protection, and homeowners would need to make another roofing investment not far down the road.
Typically cut from cedar, spruce, or pine, a wood-shingled roof offers a more natural and rustic look to a home that is very affordable. Most wood roofs last up to 30 years, but keep in mind that wood needs continual care and can be susceptible to termites, fires, mold, mildew, and other storm damage.
Pricing and the lifespan of your roof for this option depend on the thickness of the metal you choose. With thinner metal, your roof will last about 20 to 25 years, but choosing thick, quality material will provide over 50 years of protection. Metal roofs are growing in popularity as they typically have a longer lifespan than asphalt options, but they are also more expensive to install.
Architectural Asphalt Shingles
If shingles are your material of choice, architectural asphalt shingles are a great option. There are various types made of thicker and more durable materials, so these can last 30 or 50 years. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and give homes a sort of “layered” look.
Made to look like wood or slate tiles, these copycat shingles are made of polymer, rubber, or plastic. Composite shingles are less expensive than slate but still a pricey investment for a less durable material. Compared to the wood tiles they mimic, they last longer and provide more protection against heat, hail, and fire, depending on the option you choose. These shingles come in a variety of colors and can last anywhere from 40 to over 50 years.
These extremely durable tiles have one of the longest average lifespans for a roof, lasting well over 50 years and sometimes almost up to 100. They are excellent options for Midwestern homes since they can resist heat, hail, snow, and moisture. However, due to the expensive cost and heavy weight of this type of roof, the number of contractors that install slate tiles is limited. It is recommended that homeowners consult a structural engineer to determine if their home can handle the weight of a slate roof.
Concrete or Clay Tile
Another durable option that withstands the test of time is concrete or clay shingles, which can remain strong for 50 years or more. This type of shingle is most common in the Southwest on Spanish-style homes, as they can withstand high heat, and concrete tiles reflect sunlight. Similar to slate roofs, clay, and concrete shingles are heavy and require additional framing and support. It is recommended that homeowners consult a structural engineer before roofing installation.
How Can I Make My Roof Last Longer?
Get the most out of your roof replacement investment by diligently and regularly checking the overall health of your roof. By implementing proactive maintenance and conducting annual inspections, you can extend your roof’s lifespan. These practices allow experts to identify small issues before they escalate into major problems.
Homeowners and property managers can perform regular roof maintenance by following a few simple steps. We recommend checking the condition of the roof seasonally, as each season brings different weather conditions and potential external hazards.
During the spring and summer, Florida properties may be susceptible to hail, wind, and severe storm damage. Detecting and addressing small issues early on can help prolong the lifespan of your roof. In the autumn months, homeowners should clear fallen leaves and debris from the gutters to ensure proper drainage. Property managers should also inspect flat roofs for proper drainage and check for any buildup on the roof’s surface. Wintertime presents its unique challenges, such as the formation of ice dams along the roofline or leaks in the ceiling due to inadequate ventilation.
In addition to these seasonal maintenance check-ins, it is valuable to seek the opinion of a roofing professional through an annual property evaluation. Our Tampa roofing company offers roof inspections, providing local homeowners with a convenient option. This approach allows us to identify warning signs for potential roof replacements or address minor issues efficiently, ultimately extending the average lifespan of your roof.
How Often Should I Replace My Roof?
Despite knowing the average lifespan of various roof types, you must continue to monitor your roof’s health to know how often to replace your roof. Typical warning signs you need a new roof include:
- Damage to roof material
- Leaks and water damage
- Discoloration to ceiling
- Visible damage to the roof and exterior
- Pests getting inside
If your roof has withstood the test of time and is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it is crucial to closely monitor its condition. Start saving and planning, and consider reaching out to a roofing contractor for replacement recommendations in advance. This will ensure that when the time comes to invest in a new roof, you are prepared and can make an informed decision regarding the type of roof and the quality of materials needed for optimal protection.
Determining the exact frequency of roof replacement can be challenging, but our experts recommend annual inspections to closely monitor the roof’s condition, similar to how you would maintain your HVAC systems, car, or any other valuable investments you wish to prolong the lifespan of.
A certified roofing professional will be able to identify issues that a typical homeowner or property manager might overlook, to help you maintain the integrity of your property. Additionally, conducting roof evaluations after storms is highly recommended to promptly address any damages and prevent costly problems in the future.
Get a FREE Onsite Roof Estimate With All Star Roofing
Our goal as a Tampa, Florida roofing company is to educate local property owners on how to effectively maintain and prolong the lifespan of their roofs. All Star Roofing prioritizes protecting our customers by offering high-quality products and materials. Our Tampa roof repair team strongly encourages homeowners and commercial property managers to regularly schedule appointments to assess the health of their roofs, and we are proud to offer free property evaluations.
Other Services We Offer
- ROOF INSTALLATION
- SHINGLE ROOFS
- TILE ROOFING
- FLAT ROOFING
- METAL ROOFING
- EMERGENCY ROOF REPAIR
- HURRICANE HELP