How long can you expect your roof to last?

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How old is your roof?

If you are unaware of your roof’s age, it is a good idea to find out. Most roofs can last for decades assuming that they have not been damaged by the weather. With that being said, the reliable “decade’s-long” timeline can tempt homeowners to ignore certain warning signs that point towards needing various roof repairs.

Regardless of the age of your roof, the longer that wear and damage go untreated, the worse off your roof, home, and belongings will be.  Here are a few factors to consider when thinking about the longevity of your home’s roof:

A Roof’s Lifespan Depends on Materials Used

Most roofs have shingles made of asphalt or composite materials. Roofs made of these materials usually last around 20 years. Premium brands, however, can last upwards of 50 years. Roofs made of fiber cement last around 25 years, and roofs made with thicker architectural asphalt or cedar shake can be expected to last around 30 years.

Then, there are materials that last even longer than traditional roofs. Metal roofs, for example, can last anywhere from 40 to 80 years. Roofs made of slate or tile have been found to last upwards of a century.

Weather Does Not Care About Materials Used

Slate, tile, and metal are more durable than other roofing materials and do best in harsh weather conditions. With that being said, any material can become damaged by the weather. High winds, for example, can easily push shingles upwards, loosen them, or pull them off of the roof altogether. If just one shingle is lost, the surrounding shingles are then weakened and much more vulnerable.

In terms of what kind of weather produces the greatest risks to roofs, hailstorms are notorious for causing severe roof damage. After a storm, it is important to always inspect your roof for damage.

Warning Signs That Point Towards Repairs

Having your roof regularly inspected for signs of aging or wear-and-tear is essential. If you have a shingled roof, look for curled, cracked, or missing shingles. It is also wise to check the roof’s flashing for damage or rust around the skylights, chimney, and vents. If there is rust or if dents or tears are visible, water can begin to leak into the home.

It is important to examine your roof from the inside as well. Go into your attic on a sunny day to look for light leaks. Additionally, bring a flashlight with you to scan the area for any water staining or wet spots. A roof can last for decades if certain preventative measures are taken and regular inspections are conducted.

Angie Holcomb

Author: Angie Holcomb

In late 1993, one year after their marriage, Angie and Mark Holcomb decided it was time to follow their dream, and the couple set out to launch their own business. One year later, in 1994, Marks Custom Exteriors was established, one loving couple, one new truck and a passion for their vision. 25 years and many roofs later, MCE has grown to become Portland's premier roofing company and one of the only Nationally Recognized Roofing Companies in the State of Oregon as a GAF Master Elite Contractor. They remain committed to building lasting relationships with their customers through outstanding customer service, expert craftsmanship, and professional behavior and appearance among every member of our team.
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