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How Long Should My Roof Last?

by | Jul 11, 2022 | Tips & Tricks

Your roof could last for up to half a decade, depending on the material used to make it.

That’s quite a big range so, understandably, you might be wondering: how much longer does my roof have left?

For many homeowners, aging and damaged roofs are a major threat to the overall condition of their house. In fact, a damaged roof does more than just add unnecessary expenditure.

Neglected roofs are not only increasingly difficult and expensive to repair, but also increase the chance of your house developing water damage, mold, and other problems.

So, the key questions are: how long should my roof last? And how can you tell if the roof needs to be replaced?

Keep reading this post as we look into how long particular materials are expected to last. We’re also here to teach you how to tell if you need roof maintenance or a full replacement.

The Life Expectancy of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, you’re far from the only one. This is the most popular type of roofing material because these shingles are quite durable and cost-effective. Plus, they are very easy to install.

To create these shingles, asphalt is spread either over a fiberglass sheet or an organic one made of cellulose. The asphalt coating forms a barrier that blocks UV rays and withstands all types of weather, including wind and rain.

Another pro of asphalt is that when the sun hits the shingles, they heat up and meld together, in a way. This creates a watertight seal on your roof, strong protection against precipitation — and a great reason why you should keep an eye out for roof damage. If this seal is compromised, your roof won’t be waterproof anymore.

Asphalt shingles aren’t the right choice if you live in a humid environment, as they aren’t the strongest against algae and fungi that grow in these places. If your asphalt roof gets damaged by such growth, then it might not last as long as you want it to.

On that note, let’s discuss how long you can expect your asphalt roof to last. It’s a wide range, but most asphalt roofs will last between 15 and 30 years, depending on your roof maintenance over the years.

The Life Expectancy of Rubber Roofs

If you have a flat or low-sloped roof, you might have a rubber roof instead. This is an excellent option for roofs with these shapes in particular.

That’s because shingles are stacked on top of each other to create a waterproof seal on a sloped roof. However, if water doesn’t move quickly from the roof as designed, it can pool and infiltrate these seals, causing leaks. With a rubber roof, though, water drains quickly – and if it doesn’t, it can’t seep through the material.

As you can probably imagine, rubber is very durable as a roofing material. It’s waterproof, too, just like the many other rubber items you already have in your home.

When rubber roofing is installed professionally, it can have a very long lifespan: 25 years or more, to be exact. Some people estimate that rubber roofing can last up to a half-century, so this roofing material is very much worth the investment.

Signs You Need Roof Maintenance – or Replacement

Although you’re likely judging your roof from the ground, you can still keep an eye out for signs that your roof may be compromised and need a repair – or complete replacement.

Cracked Shingles

The good news is that if you find cracked shingles on your roof, you may be able to call in for a roof repair. You can swap out asphalt shingles for new ones, should any of them get damaged. Keeping an eye out for this is a good practice to save you from having to pay for a new roof installation, should the majority of your shingles start to crack.

On that note, keep tabs on where you’re finding the shingles. If they’re just in one area, then you can write that off as weather damage. But if you’re finding cracked shingles randomly all over your roof, then they all may be too old and in need of a full replacement.

Falling Granules

If you’re cleaning your gutters and finding asphalt granules in the drains, that’s a big red flag. These granules are what protect your roof from the sun so, when they start falling off, it’s a sign that your shingles are going to deteriorate – and probably do so quickly.

Light in the Attic

You don’t have to climb a ladder to see if this scenario is happening on your roof. Head upstairs to your attic and see if any light is filtering through it.

If sunlight is getting through your roof, so can everything else: snow, rain, wind, critters, and more. You can also inspect attic walls and floors for water damage, as this may show that your roof is compromised even if the light isn’t seeping in.

You may be able to cover the holes that have appeared in your roof. However, if your roof is older or there are several damaged areas, it may be better to just call a roofing company in to replace the whole thing.

Curling Shingles

Finally, keep an eye out for shingles that start to curl. It could be that the edges start to turn up. Or, the edges may stay flat while the center of the shingle starts to bubble up.

Either way, a curling shingle can cause leaks beneath it. If a lot of your shingles curl, it can be a sign that your roof will need repair within the next five years.

How to Extend the Life of Your Roof

The good news is that you can take some steps to extend the life of your roof beyond inspecting it for damage every so often. Doing so can all but ensure that your roof lasts to the latter end of its lifespan.

1. Clean Your Gutters

For starters, you can keep your roof at its best by regularly cleaning your gutters yourself or with the help of a professional team like ours. Either way, cleaning your gutters ensures that precipitation can flow freely from the roof. If there are blockages in your gutters, water can pool and cause roof and even structural damage to your abode.

2. Trim Overhanging Branches

You can make your gutter cleanings easier by removing branches that hang over your roof. That way, fewer leaves, and branches will fall overhead, thus preventing blockages in your drains and pipes.

Removing overhead branches protects your roof from damage in another way. A falling branch can cause instant perforations or damage to your roof, so removing them instantly protects it.

3. Have an Inspection

Regular roof inspections by a professional can help extend the life of your roof, too. You can keep an eye out for issues, as we previously described. However, a pro can come in and pinpoint issues that you might not be able to see from the ground or with a limited amount of roofing expertise.

The Cost of a New Roof

New roof installation comes at a range of costs. It depends on the material you choose for your roof, as well as the size of your roof.

Any underlying damage to your roof’s structure can raise the price, too. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for damage to your shingles.

On a 2,200-square-foot home, an asphalt roof costs approximately $2,500, according to HomeAdvisor. A minor repair costs between $325 to $1,277, according to the same estimates.

A rubber roof costs a bit more than an asphalt roof: somewhere between $6,000 and $18,000. As you can gather from that range, the average cost is roughly $12,000.

Replacing your roof is an inevitability if you live in your home for more than 20 years, so it’s important to know these figures to prepare your finances for such a big expense.

Bring in the Professionals to Protect Your Roof

With all this information about roof maintenance and lifespan, you may feel a bit overwhelmed, unsure of where to start in inspecting your roof or deciding if it needs replacement.

If you feel this way, we’re here to help. We can start with an inspection to determine if your roof needs a repair, or if we need to install a completely new set of shingles. Of course, we can lay down a rubber roof on flat surfaces, too.

Click here to contact us today to figure out the lifespan of your roof.

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