Roofs are always a valuable part of any structure, whether for residential properties or commercial and industrial ones. They protect you from all kinds of hazards, while also offering lots of features for comfort and security. Whether you are a homeowner or a commercial property owner, you want to make sure that your roof is at its best at all times.
It helps to know your roof’s lifespan to have a good idea of how long it can protect your home or building. Read on to know how your roof can last and other essential details about rood lifespan.
General Roof Lifespan
Let’s cut to the chase. An average roof can typically last up to 20 years. This number is generally good to use as a guide, especially if you are not familiar with your roof’s build. You can get a pretty good idea of whether repairs or replacements are in sight or not.
What you need to remember is that roof durability and longevity can depend on several factors such as the material, type, installation quality, and the climate and surroundings. Roofs can also come flat or sloped. If you are looking to replace your current roofs or be more hands-on in roof installations for your new structure, you should make sure to consider these.
Factors that Affect the Longevity of Roofs
The material you choose to use can play a big role in expanding the lifespan of your new roof. You want to pick a durable material that can withstand exposure to elements while ensuring the comfort, security, and safety of the building’s occupants.
Some of the most popular kinds of materials are metal, asphalt shingles, wood, clay or slate tiles, polymer. For many, the type of roofing refers to the kind of materials used to construct the roof. Here, we are referring to the different variants of each material. For example, metal roofing comes in stand seam rubbed, and stone-coated types.
Keep in mind that different materials have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. We can help you determine the type you need to use given your needs and environment. membrane, and thermoplastic polyolefin.
• Installation Quality
The workmanship and construction quality can spell the difference between a durable and a flimsy roof. You want to make sure that the material is installed properly. Remember, no matter how good of a material you choose, poor installation can result in various issues such as leaks, fragility, and overall inadequate protection.
This depends entirely on the roofing company you work with and their personnel. You want to go with roofers with a positive reputation and have workmanship, skills, and the right equipment to satisfy your construction needs.
• Climate and Surroundings
Lastly, your environment can contribute to the deterioration of your roof. If you live in a sunny area, you should pick one that can repel and withstand sunlight. The same is true for snowy and rainy locations. Those who expect snow in cold seasons and extreme sunlight in warm seasons should go for a more versatile option.
Remember, materials expand and contract depending on the temperature and you need to take this into account when picking out the right choice.
Longest-Lasting Roof Materials
Now that you are aware of three of the biggest contributors that affect the longevity of your roof, you might be interested in knowing what materials can offer longer durability. Here are options that are known to be heavy-duty, while also being long-lasting.
• EPDM Single-Ply Membrane
Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is one of the longest-lasting materials that work best for flat roofs, typically seen in commercial buildings. These single-ply membrane roof materials are known for being durable and versatile because they can withstand all kinds of temperatures.
These coverings are great for the environment because many of the EDPM available in the market are made from recycled materials. It is one of the latest innovations in the roofing industry. The best thing about it is it is known to last up to 50 years at a more affordable price.
• TPO Membrane
Another great choice for flat roofs is the thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane, which is great for industrial buildings and facilities like hotels, cafes, and gyms. These are known to be elastic, which means it can withstand changing temperatures Plus, it has low moisture absorption, which minimizes issues with leaks.
This is slightly more costly lang EDPM, but it can compete when it comes to lifespan. It has a 50-year life, making it ideal in the long run. Its fire-fighting properties give it additional points.
Metal roofing is a great option for individuals looking for longevity, durability, and flexibility. Standard materials are known to last between 40 to 70 years, but if you go with copper or zinc sheets, you can expect them to last up to 100 years.
You can choose between three types of metal roofing such as stand seam, ribbed metal, and stone-coated roofs. Each type has its respective strengths, such as wind resistance for stand seam, cheap prices for ribbed, and durability and better wind resistance for stone-coated options.
What you need to remember is metal, especially un-coated ones, tend to rust. This affects the durability of your roof, but with proper care, you can prolong its lifespan.
• Slate Tile
Slate tiles are known for being the longest-lasting option for residential homes. These can last anywhere between 75 to 200 years. These are great for all kinds of weather conditions, especially temperatures and elements. These are good-looking and fairly easy to maintain.
A downside of this option is its weight. It can be very heavy, which requires better and more sturdy support. It is important to check the structure to verify that it can carry the weight. Losing shingles can also be a problem, especially for older structures.
Which Should You Choose?
So, which should you choose from this list of the longest-lasting roofing materials? The answer will vary depending on your priorities and preferences. Say, you are in the process of having a commercial or industrial building. Your best bet can be EPDM or TPO membranes as they are the most durable. However, you can go for PVC if you want a lightweight choice or modified bitumen for an affordable and easy-to-install option.
For homes, metal is a popular choice, especially as it can be flexible when it comes to appearance and build. It is also relatively durable. If you are looking for classic options, clay or slate tiles can do the trick, while still offering longevity.
The safest way to determine which choice is best for your needs is to ask your roofer. Make sure to look for a trustworthy and knowledgeable service provider who will give recommendations based on the information you provide and their expert opinion.
Taking Care of Your Roof
Proper care is an important factor when it comes to the lifespan of roofs. While some of the options given above can last for more than 50 years, it is always smart to have regular maintenance work done. This keeps your roof in tip-top shape, especially as it is always in contact with the elements.
Maintenance work can help take care of any minor issues, as well as any budding problems that could escalate in the long run.
You can do the maintenance yourself, but for commercial flat roofs or other difficult-to-access roofs, your best bet is to get maintenance services from your roofer. This way, you are already familiar with the service provider and they are bound to be knowledgeable on how to properly take care of your roofing.
When Do You Need to Replace Your Roof?
The thing about roofs is they are built to withstand a lot of impacts, temperature changes, and the elements. Because of this, issues that go unaddressed can grow into bigger problems without you knowing. Once you start observing issues, you might want to have specialists assess your roof.
As a general rule, roofs that are at least 80% of their lifespan will show signs that you need to replace them. It can come in different forms, but you can expect leaks, detachments, and an overall lack of integrity. For tiled roofs, missing, curled, and cracked tiles or shingles are tell-tale signs. Metal roofs tend to have rusts that may be too damaged to be repaired.
When these signs start to show up, your first move should be to get in touch with your roofer. They will evaluate whether repairs can be done. However, for severe damages, they will recommend replacements, so you should be ready for the cost.
Whether you are going for flat or sloped ones, your roof is your first line of defense from the elements, so you should make it a point to pick the material and type that offers durability and longevity. You should also take the necessary steps to prolong its lifespan so you can minimize any future problems and costs. This way, you can enjoy this piece of your building for a long time.
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