Key Factors Impacting the Lifespan of Your Roofing

Wondering how long your current roofing is likely to last? Or maybe you are curious as to how many years of good service you can expect out of the new roofing you are planning to put on your home?

The fact is, there isn’t just one factor that impacts the durability of roofing – there are many such factors. For one thing, the quality and type of the material itself is a huge factor – but things like installation job, weather, and regular maintenance also have a big impact over the years.

Here are ten of the biggest impact-points that make a difference in how long new or old roofing will continue to do its job on your rooftop.

1. Type & Quality of Roofing Material

The most obvious factor to consider when thinking about how many years you are going to get out of your roofing is the type and quality of the material itself. 

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing-type by far. They normally can be expected to last about 20 years, but architectural asphalt shingles and higher-quality brands and types can last 25 to 30 years on average.

Asphalt roll roofing may only last 5 to 10 years. Wood shakes or shingles give you 20 years or more. Standing seam metal roofing offers a 25 to 50-year lifespan. And clay tile or concrete slab roofing often endures for 100 years or more with the right care.

2. Quality of Installation Job

It really does matter who installs your new roofing and how they do it! Contractors who concentrate on quality instead of just doing a “rush job” and who have a lot of experience and overwhelmingly positive local customer reviews are to be preferred.

What kind of nails are used and where they are placed, proper flashing and water barrier installation, and general carefulness all combine to make a big difference. Look for a local contractor with an impeccable reputation that you know you can trust.

3. Insulation & Ventilation

Good attic insulation will help prevent your roof from getting too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter in chillier climates. Good insulation (possibly including power vents on the rooftop) will also help with climate control.

While shingles are designed to withstand relatively extreme temperature changes over long periods of time, using insulation and ventilation techniques to mitigate the severity of temperature extremes tends to extend the life of your roofing.

4. Do Regular Roof Maintenance

Like anything else, roofing lasts longer when it is taken better care of over the years. Sweeping off loose debris that has accumulated on your roof, cleaning the gutters periodically, cutting back branches that overhang your roof, and ensuring the roof drains well will all help.

But also be sure to order a professional roof inspection at least once a year. Some even recommend two inspections per year, one just before the storm season and one just after it. And be sure to get a special inspection done right after a major storm if your roof appears to have suffered some damage.

An inspector will be able to spot any problems that need to be repaired and give you a good idea on how much longer your roofing is expected to last.

5. High-quality Underlayment

A high-quality, water-resistant underlayment will help your shingles to endure for longer. Synthetic underlayment is especially effective at keeping moisture from building up under your shingles or rotting out your roof deck.

The right underlayment may add 5 years or more to the life expectancy of your roofing.

6. Long-term Exposure to the Weather

Although there’s nothing you can do about, there is no denying that the elements are a major factor in determining how many years it will be before you need to invest in roof replacement.

Extreme rainfall, wind, high heat in the Florida summer months, hail impacts, and more barrage your roofing over its years of service.

Some types of roofing shingles have special ingredients that increase their resistance to moisture and heat, that prevent fading due to UV light exposure, or that help them stand up against high winds better.

7. Roofing Material Color or Shade

The color or shade or your roofing affects more than just the looks of your home. Dark colors absorb and hold more heat, which may lead to cracking, bubbling, or other problems. Lighter colors stay cooler. This isn’t a big factor most of the time, but it does have at least some effect on roofing lifespans, so it’s something to be aware of.

8. Roof Pitch and Design

Some types of roofs are more likely to suffer from wind damage, while others may not shed water as quickly or effectively. The pitch (slope) of the roof and the contours of its overall design relative to prevailing wind patterns can be a factor.

9. Fixing Leaks Fast

Leaks only make your roofing suffer more damage when they are not dealt with promptly. They also, of course, do damage to your home’s interior, which is far more noticeable. But water under the shingles is just asking for trouble, so leaks need to be located and eliminated as quickly as possible.

10. Never Doubling Up Shingles

Some homeowners are tempted to put one layer of shingles right over another to save on tear-off costs. But that shortens the life of the new shingles, adds weight to your roof, and only delays the tear-off expense until next time the roofing needs to be replaced.

These are our top 10 factors that can impact the lifespan of shingles, for better or for worse. Many of these factors can be controlled or influenced by the proactive homeowner, with the help of a local, reliable roofing contractor such as Sheegog Contracting in Central Florida.

Feel free to contact us anytime for answers to all of your roofing-related questions and help with all your roof-related needs!


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