How Long Do The Parts Of A House Last
A FEW YEARS BACK, I wrote an article called “Building Blind,” that exposed some major flaws in the way products are installed in new homes, with no regard for how one product limits the lifespan of another. For example, putting thin asphalt felt under clay roof tiles means you will have to remove those tiles when the paper fails in about 20 years, whereas the tiles might have lasted for centuries.
It’s very tough to get real numbers regarding the expected lifespan of products, but back in 1997, the National Association of Home Builders published estimates of the most common products and systems in a home. The folks at Sunland Home Inspection in Arizona were kind enough to reprint them, and I’ve included the numbers below.
Some of these figures are no doubt anecdotal estimates. Many, in my view, are far too conservative. A cast iron tub, for example could easily last a couple of hundred years, whereas many poured foundations will not. Still, the list is informative, and food for thought.
Heating Cables For Gutters
Q: Last winter, we had a serious problem with ice clogging our gutters. And every time it melted a bit during the day, the overflow would spill onto the walkway and driveway and refreeze at night into a sheet of ice. How can we stop this from happening?
A:Tom Silva replies: One way is to run electric heating cables inside the gutters and downspouts. Turn the cable on during snowy, freezing weather so the water drains away and stays off your walk and drive. Be sure to use cables with thermostatic controls so they don’t overheat or run up your electric bill.
But these cables only treat the symptom of a bigger problem: inadequate roof ventilation. In other words, the heat escaping from the house is getting trapped under the roof and melting the snow, even when the weather is below freezing. That meltwater ends up refreezing in your gutters.
A roofing contractor can install the ridge and soffit vents that a properly ventilated roof should have. But if you can’t get this work done before winter, try placing a small box fan in the attic to cool the underside of the roof. Face it towards the area of the roof that gets warm, and run it whenever there is any snow on the roof. That’s a lot less expensive than installing and operating heating cables.
When To Replace A Roof
If youve experienced a major weather event or a catastrophic disaster like a hurricane, tornado, house fire, or smoke damage then you already know that you need to replace your roof and that it is time to work with your insurance company to make a roof insurance claim and get the necessary work done.
However, if you havent had to deal with a significant disaster, you may still need to replace your roof due to its age, type, or other issues such as overhanging trees or shrubbery causing damage, or extreme humidity.
For instance, a typical residential roof will generally last for around 20 to 25 years, with the caveat that if your roof was installed with one layer over another, you will want to hire a roofing contractor or company who understands this type of roofing job in order to ensure that your current is properly repaired, replaced, or otherwise taken care of.
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Eggs On An Asphalt Roof
Q: Not long after we moved into our home, some wise guy threw eggs at our asphalt shingle roof. I went up there and scrubbed with every cleanser I could think of, but all I got was a bad manicure. What should I do about this unsightly mess?
Carrie, Grand Junction, Colo.
A:Tom Silva replies: Egg residue should come off just fine if you flood the area with water while the egg is still wet. But if it gets a chance to dry, or worse, if it gets baked on by the sun, the job isn’t as easy. I’d try soaking the area with water, then spraying it with a nontoxic, biodegradable cleaner such as Simple Green, which was originally formulated to remove protein stains. Let the cleaner soak in for a while as you keep the area moist, then gently scrub the area with a soft-bristle brush. Working with cleaners and water on a roof will make surfaces slippery, however, so be very careful.
When you’re done, the color of the roofing may be noticeably different, but there’s nothing you can do except wait it out. Maybe it will blend in over time.
But Weather Can Damage Any Roof
Durable materials, like metal, slate, and tile, stand up best to harsh weather, but any surface will sustain damage under certain conditions. For example, high winds can push up shingles along the edges, loosening them or pulling them off altogether. If you lose a shingle, those left around the gap become more vulnerable. Depending on how air flows around your house, strong winds can create suction, actually pulling material away. Wind can also bring down tree branches, loosen chimney bricks or satellite receivers, causing breakage.
Hail causes some of the greatest damage to roofs. In a hailstorm, nature is throwing rocks at your house, and the hard, icy balls can dent metal, crack tiles and wear away the protective granules on asphalt shingles. While most material can resist small hailstones, you should always check for signs of damage after a storm.
Roofing material generally stands up well to snow and ice, but heavy conditions could cause cracking. Melted snow can seep into existing fissures, and when it refreezes and expands, it may weaken or fracture tiles and shingles.
The good old sun can even wear out your roof. Intense UV will break down materials over time, especially asphalt and wood shake.
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A 30 Year Roof Will Last 30 Years Right
Wrong! 30 year shingles also known as laminated, dimensional or architectural shingles typically do not last 30 years. 20, 40, or 50 year shingle will not last their designated years either. It is a common misconception and a point of confusion for many homeowners. Thus, trying to make a responsible decision in a roofing system can become difficult. Lets look at a few areas to inform you and answer your question how long does a roof last?
The Life Expectancy Of Your Roof
Having a roof inspection conducted during the standard due diligence stage that occurs before you buy a property is fairly standard, and dont hesitate to ask for concessions if the roof isnt up to code or has problems that could prove to be costly in the future.
If youve purchased a home or built a home before then you probably know that the roof might be one of the complicated and potentially expensive aspects of the purchase.
Youll want to know the age and condition of the roof that youre putting over your and your family or employees, along with any concerns or special requirements for the type of material and style of roof on the property.
Youll also want to understand the average lifespan of the type of roof you are buying or installing in your specific geographic area and its unique weather patterns.
And perhaps most importantly, youll want to get the roof inspected before buying a new home as well as having regular roof inspections performed to assess the current state of your roof.
For instance, asphalt shingle roofs tend to last around 20 to 25 years, while other types of roofing, like metal standing seam roofing, can last for 50 years or even longer, depending on your climate, type of property, and various other environmental factors including things like overhanging trees and the humidity percentage, amount of rainfall, or if you are prone to roof hail damage.
So, at this point, you might be asking how long does a new roof lasts?
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How To Extend The Life Span Of Your Roof
A roofing system tends to last longer if it’s given proper care and attention. Here are steps you can take to extend the life of your roof:
- Keep the gutters clean to prevent blockage and water damage to the boards.
- Remove leaves and debris from the roof. You can use a garden hose or leaf blower, but avoid pressure washing because it can cause damage. You can also trim nearby branches to reduce the number of leaves falling onto your roof and prevent damage from falling tree limbs.
- Ventilate the attic to allow humid air to escape, and prevent the growth of mold.
- Have your roof inspected by professionals annually to catch smaller problems. Address them immediately before they escalate into more serious issues.
If you need a roof inspection or suspect that you need a roof replacement, contact West Orange Roofing in Central Florida. With years of experience, we know how to get the job done right and provide the highest possible service for you and your family.
How Long Does A Metal Roof Last
Metal roofing can last for decades, which is one reason that it is popular in many areas.
In addition, the look of a copper or zinc roof can be aesthetically pleasing and add value to your home due to its appearance and longevity.
After all, what potential buyer wouldnt be interested in a beautiful roof that can last for decades?
More importantly, a metal roof can last for 50 years or even longer if they are well cared for and no major disasters or other problems occur.
In fact, copper and zinc roofing can last for well over five decades and can be fully functional for 100 years or longer, which might make these types of metal roof costs well worth the investment if they are the right style and fit for your home and your style preferences.
Metal roofs have become increasingly common due to their longevity as well as their energy efficiency, since they can often keep your property cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Standing seam roofing systems are the most common types of metal roofing systems that youll see in most residential neighborhoods, and they can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years to over 100 years depending on the material, construction techniques, and the location of the property itself.
Standing seam roofs can be crafted from a variety of materials including stainless steel, copper, titanium, and zinc.
Another affordable option for metal roofing is ribbed metal panels, which offer many of the same benefits but work well on steeper or gabled roofs.
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How Long Will Your Asphalt Roof Last
There are three types of asphalt shingles, 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. But for this article, were going to use the two most common asphalt shingles, 3-tab and dimensional, as examples.
3-tab shingles generally come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. Dimensional shingles come with a 30-year manufacturer warranty.
Vented properly and installed correctly, you should get around 80-85% of the life span out of an asphalt roof. That means you can expect to get about 20-22 years out of your 3-tab shingle roof and 25-28 years out of your dimensional shingles.
Remember these numbers are based on your roof being installed using correct roofing principles and having adequate attic ventilation. If it doesnt, your roofs life will be cut short and youll have to go through the roof replacement process.
To learn more about the types of asphalt shingles, check out this article on the 3 types of asphalt shingles.
Shingle Type And Quality
Shingles come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, and with additional features, like algae and fire resistance. While these things can affect how long shingles will last, a new roof usually lasts anywhere between 15-50 years. Now, thats a big range, right? Well, its because there are several kinds of asphalt shingles, including compositional shingles, dimensional shingles, asphalt shingles, 3-tab shingles, and so on.
What brings these shingles together is their life expectancy rating. You might be shopping around and see things like 30-year shingles or 50-year shingles, regardless of those shingles being laminate or asphalt or something else.
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How What Is The Life Expectancy Of Stone Coated Roofing Tiles
Concrete tiles or clay tiles are another favorable roofing option, especially for higher end or luxury homes.
Clay tile roofs can last for 50 to 100 years and the more affordable concrete tile roofs can last for around 40 to 75 years, but keep in mind that they are heavier than other types of roofing systems so the underlying structure will need to be able to properly support them.
One thing to be aware of if you are considering installing clay or concrete roofing is that both clay tiles and concrete tiles can break off and become hazardous during a windstorm or tornado.
Clay tiles are particularly popular in the southwestern U.S. especially in that distinctive terra cotta shade due to their ability to keep things cool in hot desert weather.
How Long Does A Roof Last In Minnesota
Its safe to say that the primary function of roofing materials is to protect a house from the elements. Minnesota has a beautiful but varied climate. However, it does for a fact experience harsh winters and high winds which can contribute to a great deal of damage when it comes to its homes. So, how long is roofing in Minnesota supposed to last?
Well, a high-quality, well-maintained roof is meant to at least last up to twenty years. However, there are several deterring factors that tend to influence its lifespan considerably. Two major factors affecting the lifespan of your roof are the climate you live in and the type of roof shingles.
In terms of the material, the type of shingle used on your roof plays a big role in how long you can expect it to maintain its useful life. Depending on the type of shingle material, your roof can last anywhere from 10 years up to 100 years. For example, asphalt shingles, are the most common roof shingle used for residential buildings.
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How To Extend The Life Of Your Roof Tiles
So how do you extend the life of your tile roof and decrease the chances of having a leak? We at GreatWay Roofing recommend an annual roof inspection and if needed, maintenance performed. An easy way to remind yourself to inspect your roof is to do it once in the fall and again in the spring during Daylight Savings. This is a great time to also replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and change the air filter in your furnace.
Which Way Does Your Asphalt Roof Face
You probably dont think the direction your home faces factors into the life of your asphalt roof. But the amount of direct sunlight your roof gets affects how long itll last.
If the roof faces east and west, each side gets an equal amount of direct sunlight as the sun comes up and goes over your home as the day goes on. If it faces south, then only the south side is going to receive direct sunlight on it all day and its also going to take all the wear and tear from the weather.
All of the outside elements are going to factor in the life of your asphalt roof. Talk to your contractor about how the direction your roof faces could affect how long itll last.
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How Long Can You Expect Your Asphalt Roof To Last
When investing in a new roof, you’re expecting to get as many years out of it as possible. This is especially true for an asphalt roof.
One of the most crucial questions customers ask is how long their asphalt roof will last. While a roofing contractor can say 25 or 30 years, you’re probably wondering if it’ll actually last that long.
Luckily, we’re here to help you understand the lifespan of your asphalt roof.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been installing asphalt roofs in the Nashville area since 1990. We know what it takes to maximize the life of your roof with our workmanship and attention to detail.
The truth is, you should get pretty close to the manufacturers lifespan of your roofing materials. But there are a number of factors that ultimately determine how much life youll get out of your asphalt roof.
Houses May Last 100 200 Years Or Longer
If your buying an old house or even own one, it is wise to check the home out for structurally soundness and safety from time to time. Make sure that there are operating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, that the plumbing and electrical systems are in good shape and review the structural soundness of the foundation and framing.
Taking care of the home is key in the home serving you for many years to come.
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Signs Of Roof Damage That Can Shorten The Life Of Your Roof
o Holes and Leaks
Leaks on a roof are sometimes difficult to spot because they may originate from small hidden cracks. However, the longer the cracks go unnoticed or ignored, the bigger they become. The situation can escalate quickly, with moisture accumulating under the roofing shingles.
Small holes can also be difficult to identify, unlike bigger ones. If you can see the sun shining through the roof, you will have to work on repairing the hole as soon as possible. In some cases, you could end up changing the entire roof.
Inspect the roof through the attic and determine whether there are cracks or holes by checking for leaks when it rains and sun rays when it is shining. If you notice any sign, call a professional roofer immediately.
o Moisture and water stains/damage
If the attic has excess moisture, the roof is probably damaged. The same applies to stains on the ceiling or deck. These are indications that the roof is leaking and should be repaired soon. The insulation is another place that can show signs of water leaks. Check for pooling water or signs of soaking around the insulation.
The stains on surfaces can be yellowish, brown, or circular. They may also appear as streaks, especially on the walls. They are usually caused when debris mixes with rainwater.
Another sign of roof damage is sagging ceilings. If there is unevenness, call DAngelo and Sons roofers immediately. Sagging is usually a sign that the problem has become too advanced.
o Exterior roof damage