How Long Does a Roof Last?

Old Clay Roof

There is no standard period that a roof should last. While some roofs look horrible after just 20 years, others are still in good shape even after clocking 50 years.

Moreover, a 25-year warranty doesn’t necessarily mean that your roof will cave in after 26 years. Likewise, a lifetime roofing warranty doesn’t guarantee a perfect roof till the end of time.

How long a roof lasts depends on several factors, such as the quality of the roofing material and the installation method.

In this article we’ll have a detailed look at the main factors that will influence the lifespan of your roof.

  1. The Material of The Roof

Most homes have asphalt or composite shingle roofing, which normally last about 20 years. However, there are premium brands that can serve you diligently for 50 years.

Fiber cement can go up to 25 years, and the thicker asphalt can give you about 30 years. Cedar shake can also go for about three decades.

Metal is one of the materials with the longest lifespan. It can last between 40 and 80 years. Slate and tile are even more durable. Some slate roofs out there are over a century old.

  1. Weather Conditions

Any roof can sustain damage under bad weather, but tough materials like slate and metal can withstand some of the harshest weather conditions.

High winds normally push up shingles along the edges. This can loosen them or pull them off completely. When you lose a shingle, the adjacent shingles become more vulnerable. Wind can also break branches down or loosen chimney bricks, which in turn cause breakage.

Hail is one of the most destructive weather conditions. A hailstorm will throw rocks at your house. These rocks are capable of denting metal, cracking tiles, and wearing away the protective granules on asphalt shingles.

Most roofing materials can generally withstand snow and ice. However, heavy conditions may cause cracking. Also, melted snow can seep into existing cracks. This snow may refreeze and expand, weakening or fracturing tiles and shingles.

The sun also can influence the lifespan of your roof. Intense UV normally breaks down materials over time. Asphalt and wood shake are the most vulnerable here.

  1. Roofing Underlayment

Underlayment is waterproof material installed over the deck of your roof. It should be placed underneath all of the other roofing materials. In this way, it provides an extra layer of protection against elements such as rain and snow.

By investing in roofing underlayment, you can extend the lifespan of your roof.

  1. Ventilation

Ventilation also plays an integral role in the life of your roof. A properly vented attic, for example, can extend the period it would take for you to replace your roof.

Vented roofs stay cooler. This prevents snowmelt and ice-damming during the winter months. Proper ventilation also prevents your attic from getting excessively warm and moist, which can cause rotting of roofing material from within.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on proper ventilation. Low-cost products such as ridge vents and eave vents are virtually invisible and can offer you great ventilation.

You may need other ventilation options like power vents depending on the gradient, size, and architectural design of your roof. A roofing service should be able to advise you on the best ventilation option for your house.

  1. Installation

Proper installation is a crucial factor in determining the lifespan of your roof. There are numerous ways to install a roof. However, some roofing products or geographic areas have specific installation requirements to ensure maximum durability. Failure to follow these requirements may reduce the longevity of your roof.

Conclusion

While it is difficult to tell how long your roof will last, it is advisable to perform regular roof inspection for signs of age or damage. A damage doesn’t necessarily mean your roof has reached the end of its life. You can have it repaired professionally to give it some more years.