Many homeowners at some point or another find themselves wondering how long their roof will last. The roof is a major system in the home, so catching a roof's failure early is important for the structural integrity of the house. The following answers to frequently asked questions will tell you approximately how long you can expect a roof to last and how to recognize the signs of imminent failure.
How long will your roof last?
The expected lifespan of your roof depends on the type of material from which the roof is made. Different roofing materials last for different lengths of time. The lifespans of some of the most common roofing materials include the following:
- Slate: 50 years
- Asphalt shingles: 20 years
- Copper roof: 50 years
- Clay roof: 100 years
- Tin roof: up to 50 years
How can you tell if your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan?
Different materials will have different problems when they begin to fall apart. The following are some of the indications that your roof will soon need to be replaced:
- Missing shingles or tiles. If shingles or tiles are missing, this is an indication that the original nails or pins that hold the roofing material in place are beginning to deteriorate. If all the nails or pins begin to deteriorate, then you will soon need a new roof.
- Curling shingles. Asphalt shingles begin to curl as they age. When this begins to happen, you'll notice this happening with many shingles all at once. Old shingles cannot withstand heat, wind and rain the way that new shingles can, so when this happens, the shingles must often be replaced.
- Roof leaks. Roof leaks are a common indication that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, however, not all roof leaks are indicative of complete roof failure. Roof leaks can happen for a variety of reasons and can sometimes be repaired without replacing the roof.
If your roof shows signs of needing replacement, contact roofing contractors to get an assessment and find out for sure what needs to be done.
What can you do to maximize the service life of your roof?
There are many things you can do to increase the expected service life of your home's roof. Here are a few tips:
- Cut down overhanging branches at least once annually.
- Have your home's roof professionally inspected annually.
- Clean your gutters on a semi-annual basis.
- Remove any moss, twigs and leaves from the roof on an annual basis.
For more information about how you can maintain your home's roof and increase its expected service life, contact a professional roofer in your area. He or she can answer your questions and give you advice.