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?
Temperature And Other Weather Factors
It probably shouldnt surprise you to learn that one of the biggest contributing factors to how long a shingle roof will last is the weather. Temperature swings from hot to cold, humidity swings from moist to dry, and occasional strong storms really have a big impact. The stresses of the elements will inevitably cause shingles to weaken and become brittle over time, leading to granule loss, brittleness, and eventual shingle tears and breakage.
The Long Life And Beauty Of Cedar Shakes From Brava
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What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Shingle Roof
Shingles AsphaltOrganic ShinglesGlass Fiber/Fiberglass ShinglesLifespan of Asphalt ShinglesTemperature ExtremesFactors That Effect The Life Expectancy Of Your Shingles
- Color of roof A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan
- Angle of roof slope Higher pitch roofs tend to last longer.
- Orientation of roof surface A roof slope facing south will get more sunlight, and have a shorter life.
- Multiple-layer roof A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
- Quality of roof materialEconomy roof materials have a shorter life.
- Installation Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life.
- Attic ventilation An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
- Trees near roof Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof shortens its life.
- Harsh climate Severe weather, both harsh winters and hot summers, along with big temperature swings within a 24-hour period, also shorten lifespan because of the expansion and contraction of roof materials.
Maintenance and Warranties
Why Does Composite Roofing Last So Long
There are many factors that contribute to the longevity of composite roofing. First and foremost, composite shingles are made from a blend of materials typically a combination of fiberglass, plastic, polyester and paper bonded by resin or laminates. When mixed together, these materials create a recipe for strength and durability.
Thanks to their composition, these types of shingles wont crack, split, peel or warp. They also offer a high level of fire resistance and impact resistance, helping prevent damage from hail and other hazards. Whats more, composite shingles resist fading caused by sun exposure, allowing them to maintain their pristine look for time to come.
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Clay Or Cement Tile Roofs
Clay tile roofs are very popular in the Southwest United States but they can be found anywhere in the country, thanks to their incredible strength and durability.
Traditional tiles are made from terracotta clay, but there are also ceramic tiles roofs , as well as concrete tile roofs. All consist of individual tiles installed in overlapping layers over the roof surface, and all have roughly the same degree of strength and durability. They require a sturdy roofing framing sufficient to hold the weight and must be installed by skilled professionals. This may well be the only roof your home ever needs.
How Long Does Each Type Of Roof Last
The primary factor that determines how long a roof will last is the material from which its made. On the lower end are asphalt shingles, some of which last longer than others. At the high end are copper and slate roofs, which can last for over half a century. Some even say they could last up to 100 years.
The more durable the material used for a roof, the more expensive those materials tend to be. Well take a look at how long each type of roof lasts along with how much you can expect to pay. That way, you can do the math to determine what you get in return for the roof you buy.
The average lifespan of different types of roofs include:
- 15-30 years for asphalt shingles
- 20-50 years for composite shingles
- 30 years for modified rubber shingles
- 30-40 years for wood shingles
- 50 years for clay tiles
- 50 years for concrete tiles
- 50 years for metal roofs
- 60+ years for copper roofs
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How Long Can You Expect Your Shingle Roof To Last
There are now more roofing material options available than ever before, but if youre an American homeowner the chances of you having some sort of asphalt shingle roof are still pretty good. Asphalt shingles continue to be the most popular roofing material in America, as they have been for nearly 100 years.
Why are asphalt shingles still so popular? One significant factor has to be that asphalt shingles are still one of the most economical material options for covering a home roof. Other advantages include the fact that shingles are relatively simple to install by comparison, they come in a wide array of color combinations, and theyre easier to repair than some other roofing materials.
How Long A 30
Asphalt shingles are common roofing materials in Sacramento, CA. They are durable, affordable, and come with warranties of up to 30 years. They are composed of fiberglass and asphalt sealant and can effectively protect your roof from rain, wind, snow, and harsh UV rays.
Most asphalt shingles last between 15 and 30 years based on your areas weather conditions and climate.
The type of asphalt shingle also influences its lifespan:
- Three-tab shingles last from 15 to 20 years and are the cheapest option
- Architectural shingles last from 20 to 30 years
- Premium shingles last from 25 to 40 years and are the most expensive of the three
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What Is The Average Lifespan Of Premium Shingles
Like architectural shingles or dimensional shingles, premium asphalt shingles can withstand around 110 MPH to 130 MPH of wind uplift depending on how they are installed.
The difference between the two types of shingles is that premium shingles are generally more luxurious in appearance and are usually installed on high-end homes.
Premium shingles last from 20 to 30 years on average.
Adding a desirable roof shingle color can also add to the appeal and value of your property as well.
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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Flat Roof Life Expectancy
A flat roofs lifespan will depend on the materials used to cover it. The asphalt coverings have two layers of felt in a combination with molten asphalt, then it is topped using a coating of gravel. Which is a less expensive option on flat roofs, and only lasts around 10 years. Another option would be the rubber roofing. Rubber roofing could be EPDM or it may be elastomeric membrane, which is synthetic and does not get covered in gravel. This type of roofing will be more expensive than the asphalt roofing, however, it has excellent resistance to UV and it very durable. It has a lifespan of about 40 to 50 years, though many manufacturer warranties will guarantee only a 10 to 15 year lifespan. There is also the flat roof option of thermoplastic olefin membrane, it is made of ethylene propylene rubber mixed with filler materials. This type has a lifespan of about 40 to 50 years, and it resists punctures, UV rays, and tears.
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How Long Does A Roof Actually Last
The lifespan of your roof might not be top of mind, but its a serious issue for all homeowners and business owners. Just think of all the things your roof protects from the elements, particularly the people most important to you. You need a strong roof overhead.
Of course, all things tend to wear out and weaken over time, and your roof is no exception. So, how long does a roof last? Even the strongest materials have limited lifespans, no matter how much they cost or how well they were installed.
The question of how long a roof is good for depends on several factors. From the materials used, to installation and maintenance, to the climate in which you live. They all affect the lifespan of your roof. Well take a look at each of these factors as well as the timing and process of replacing a roof.
If you bought your home from a previous owner, you inherit years of roof life that include all the wear and tear that come along with a roofs age. When buying a home, you should find out how old the roof is, what it is made of , and when the last maintenance or roof restoration was performed. This will help you get a better estimate of how long you can expect it to last.
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Wood Shakes And Shingles
Usually, a wooden shingle roof lasts for about 30 years with warranties that run up to 40 years. In order for wood shingles and shake roofs to last, however, you need to perform regular maintenance. Wooden roof upkeep includes yearly cleanings, as well as repainting or staining every 5 years.
Wooden shakes can last for decades if properly maintained. Image source: Westshore Roofing
The type of wood that you use will also determine how long the roof will last. Cedar shakes, for example, last longer than other types of wooden shingles because cedar is rot and insect-resistant. Cedar shakes are also able to withstand winds up to 245 miles per hour, which makes them a popular type of roofing material for coastal homes.
Signs you need a wooden roof replacement: Splitting shingles, rotting shingles, pest damage, mold, and/or algae growth.
How To Tell If You Need A New Roof
Do you need a new roof?
If your roof is older than 20 to 25 years or if youve recently been subject to a major disaster, then you likely need to look into replacing your roof or at least have it inspected so you can get a good idea of its current condition and when you might be likely to need to get it fixed, repaired, or even completely replaced.
Also, be aware that if your roof was installed over an existing roof the current roof may or may not be properly ventilated, so you will want to look into that as well ensuring the multiple layers are all sound and solid and repaired properly.
If your roof has many layers that have built up over the years, you may want to consider replacing it entirely.
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Shakes And Cedar Shingles
Comparable in cost to metal roofing, cedar shingles and shakes are a common roofing option for beach homes and Cape Cod-style houses. Cedar shake roofs are designed to last 25 to 30 years on average. With regular maintenance and staining, however, a cedar shake roof can last around 30-40 years.
A cedar single roof can have a wind uplift rating of up to 173 MPH, while a cedar shake roof can achieve a wind uplift rating of up to 245 MPH with a proper installation. Wood roofs are extremely resilient and durable in protecting from hurricanes and heavy snow loads.
How Long Does A Roof Membrane Last
If your home or property has a flat or low-sloped roof, some of the other types of roofing systems that weve covered wont be suitable.
For these sorts of properties, a roofing membrane like EPDM is a common choice due to its low cost and easier flat roof repair.
However, it only lasts for 5 to 15 years and is prone to leakage due to its taped or glued seams.
PVC and TPO roof membranes are more costly but also more durable roofing membrane options.
These are single ply roofing membranes with hot welded air seams that allow them to last nearly twice as long as EPDM rubber but of course these types of membrane roofs are more expensive to install or purchase.
Keep in mind that if your property is situated in an area where hurricanes are likely, then you will want to invest in a fully-adhered membrane roofing system as opposed to a mechanically attached single ply membrane roof since those will be more likely to withstand the winds and water from a hurricane.
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About This Roof Lifespan Chart
The following table provides typical expected useful service life durations for various roofing materials and roof systems.
The values for the expected roof lifespans are based on recent developments in roofing materials technology.
This table covers current roofing products, so in some cases the expected service life we give will be significantly longer than what can be expected from older products on existing roofs which were installed years ago.
The warranty information was taken from actual warranty documents for actual roofing products from actual roofing manufacturers. These arent guesses.
Average Cedar Shakes Life Expectancy
Generally, all sources agree that when a cedar shake roof is properly installed and maintained, a cedar roof life expectancy is around 30 years, but they can last longer or shorter depending on frequency of maintenance and roof location. Deterioration prevention maintenance needs to be performed every 2 to 6 years for the longest cedar shake roof life possible.
The location of the home can also play a major role in cedar shake roof life expectancy. In areas of high humidity, they can age prematurely, which can drastically shorten the overall cedar shake roof life expectancy.
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Shake Roof Life Expectancy
Wood shingles and shakes are going to be made of pressure treated wood or else cedar, and they are going to be more expensive than asphalt shingles. The wood shingles and shakes will require regular maintenance, and they are available in a pre-stained or the aged finishes, these give a roof the weathered appearance. Wood shingles will typically resist insects and rot. These have an average lifespan of approximately 30 years. Copper is another choice. It will give the appearance of the old world, and as it is getting older it will turn to a pale green patina. Lasting up to 100 years or more.
Natural Slate Roof Tiles Vs Composite Slate Tiles
Natural slate roof tiles can last up to 100 years if they receive regular maintenance and are installed properly. Slate is brittle and care needs to be taken when walking on the roof, but it is stone and therefore resilient to the elements, fireproof, has great curb appeal, and adds value to any home.
A natural slate roof is extremely heavy and will require adding additional support to the underlying roof structure to ensure the roof doesnt fail. It is expensive and requires professionals familiar with the particular needs of installing slate a skill that is not shared with every roofer as well as special tools to complete the job. Regular maintenance is also required and IT is not a DIY project. An inexperienced person trying to perform maintenance on a slate roof can cause a great deal of damage as well as risking personal safety. This is another important concern to be considered.
However, a composite slate roof gives your home all of the beauty of natural slate without the need for extra bracing or the expense of a specialty roofing contractor. Composite/synthetic slate roofs are eco-friendly, usually manufactured from recycled materials, helping to reduce the congestion in landfills. The composite shingle life expectancy is around 50 years. Maintenance is minimal and can be performed by the average roofer. Composite slate does not break easily and has great fire ratings and impact ratings.
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