How long do roofs really last?

October 21, 2020

If you live in South Florida, you know for a fact that you don’t have to worry about losing your roof to snow, ice, or other wintery weather conditions. However, hurricanes can also do measurable damage to roofs in this area as well as large tree branches falling on them. Mostly, its climate and weather conditions, materials, and workmanship that have the greatest impact on the life span of a roof. It is also not surprising that cheaper roofing materials tend to last less than more expensive types. This means that roofs from the top price range have the potential to last longer than the house itself.

As to how long each type of roofing material lasts, the National Association of Home Builders conducted some research in 2007 regarding the lifespan of different components of the home. It included everything from windows to kitchen appliances and, when it came to roofs, here are some of their findings:

  • Roofs that lasted more than fifty years were found to be tile, slate, and copper roofs.
  • Roofs with wood shakes or shingles generally lasted about thirty years.
  • Roofs made of fiber cement lasted 25 years.
  • Asphalt and composition shingle roofs lasted about 20 years.
  • As far as gutters, aluminum ones lasted about 20 years while copper ones lasted close to fifty.

Are there any steps you can take to make your roof last longer?

Whether you just purchased a new home, have lived in yours for many years, or have bought an old home with no clear idea how old the roof is, you can be sure that getting a new roof is an expensive proposition. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take all the possible steps to make the roof last as long as possible. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Keep Your Gutters Clean and Free of Debris

You are probably aware of the damage that gutters cause on the sides of homes as they leak, and moisture accumulates there. What you may not have thought about is the damage they can cause to the roof itself. A thick pile of wet leaves in the gutters can wick into roof sheathing and rot it causing thousands of dollars in damage. Clean your gutters yourself or hire a pro at least twice a year.

Don’t Allow Leaves to Accumulate on Your Roof

If your roof is pitched, you probably won’t have this issue. Otherwise, clean leaves that may have accumulated in valleys and near chimneys. They will surely trap moisture and create a fertile ground for plants and mold to grow on your roof, weakening it.

Trim Tree Branches

Trimming trees that surround your home is a good way to prevent roof damage. Leaves and branches that continuously brush against your roof can end up damaging it, detaching shingles. Also, they are a great bridge that allows rodents and squirrels to cross over to your roof.

In general, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of inspecting your roof. That’s the first line of defense against damage, loose or missing shingles, and anything else that may seem amiss.

If you need a new roof or need to have your current roof inspected for damage and repaired, visit today.



JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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