What Influences the Lifespan of Roofs?

When you buy a roof, you are informed about its life expectancy. And so, you know how long your new and beautiful asphalt shingle roof will last, from the start. And while this is the first thing that impacts the lifespan of the roof – its expected life based on the material, there are many more factors which will eventually and gradually influence its condition – hence, span.

If you will, the countdown starts the day of the roof installation. That’s when the shingles and all its components are taken out of the box and exposed to the elements.

It’s fair to say that not all roofs are the same or installed the same way or exposed to the same conditions. Even the same exact roof installed in two different houses built side by side but one having trees overhead while the other doesn’t will likely have a different span, just due to the overhead trees and the beating the roof may get due to them.

No roof lasts for a lifetime, but isn’t it nice to know how long yours will last? Or, rather know the factors that may influence its condition?

Roof repairRoofing material

As we said already, the roofing material is the number one factor which determines the life expectancy of the roof. That’s the only sure thing. Asphalt shingles – the most broadly used roof material, last for about 15 to 20 years. Wood shingles and metal roofs last longer, averaging 30 to 40+ years.

Roof pitch

This may sound odd, but the roof pitch highly affects its lifespan. To be specific, the higher the pitch or slope, the longer the roof lives. Why? Because the higher the pitch, the less water it retains – a significant factor over the years and especially during heavy rainfalls.

Quality roof – installation

Not all roofs – of the same type too, are of the same quality. There are asphalt shingles and there are asphalt shingles, for example. Let us clarify one thing. When we previously talked about the way the material affects the roof’s life expectancy, we didn’t talk about the roof’s quality but the material’s strength. Metal roofs, for instance, live for at least 3 decades because metal is durable. But not all metal roofs are the same, in regard to quality. That’s something to keep in mind when you shop for a roof.

One more thing. The color of the roof may also affect the material’s durability and, thus, longevity. Dark roofs in hot locations die younger since they absorb heat and may, in time, brittle.

It also makes sense to say that the way the roof is installed matters to its longevity. That’s true for all things, the roof included, of course. First of all, not all roofs are installed in the same way. And then, the quality of the components, the way everything is placed, the right slope, the rain gutters, and the overall experience of the roofers will all influence the span of the roof – in a good or bad way.

Ventilation – insulation

Attics should have good insulation and ventilation so that the shingles won’t be affected by the heat and ice dams won’t be formed. It’s important to have a good balance of ventilation and insulation to prevent high moisture and possibly mold build up – hence, roof & roof components destruction.

Roof maintenance frequency

When roofs are inspected regularly, their problems are caught in time before they cause extra damage and additional problems. One thing you can do to prevent unnecessary troubles and damage – factors that will reduce the span of the roof, is to have it checked and maintained from time to time. Some roof repairs may also be needed, especially after a bad winter or after a bad storm.

The local weather conditions

One example we used in the beginning was with the trees standing over houses. Their falling branches may cause significant roof damage or gutter damage. Same thing with all flying objects. Impact causes damage and damage reduces lifespan. Although there’s practically nothing you can do about nature, you can get a roof that is ideal for the local climate and, therefore, ready to hold well under all conditions.