As a family-owned construction company with over a decade of experience serving central Iowa, we at Hedrick Construction know your residential or commercial roof is crucial to the wellbeing of the building and everything inside it. Your roof isn’t there just to keep the rain out! A durable, healthy roof can extend the longevity of the entire structure. In this article, we’ll talk about why the lifespan of your roof’s shingles is important and provide practical tips for making the most of it.
Understanding the lifespan of roofing shingles
When we talk about the lifespan of roofing shingles, we don’t mean how long until they are damaged and need to be replaced. Lifespan refers to the length of time shingles are expected to perform optimally. If the stars align, and your home or commercial building is relatively new, you can expect most roofs to last for decades. The exact timeline, though, completely depends on things like the quality of materials, installation, and local environmental conditions.
Lifespan of Various Roofing Materials
When you think roofing materials, asphalt shingles most likely come to mind. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of material used in both residential and commercial roofing. It’s affordable, versatile, and nice to look at. You can expect an asphalt roof to last around 15–30 years.
Metal roofs like stone-coated steel can also use or create the appearance of shingles, tile. While metal roofing materials and installation are more expensive than asphalt, metal roofs typically last much longer and are more durable. As a result, they can cost less in the long run. Metal roofing materials are available in multiple colors, making it easy to match your home’s aesthetic. Metal naturally reflects solar heat and light, which can reduce energy usage and costs. The lifespan of metal roofs range from 40–70 years.
Rubber roofing for flat top roofs is perfect for homeowners with a more modern sense of style, or business owners of large commercial buildings. Rubber roofing membranes are ideal for this type of roof, as they provide a seamless design that looks amazing while still preventing damage from UV rays. Rubber or plastic polymers, or a combination, makes rubber roofing eco-friendly and flexible.
Factors That Affect Roof Longevity
Regardless of what type of material you use, it needs to be high quality for your roof to last. High quality roofing materials reduce the need for repairs and increase a building’s energy efficiency.
Even the best roofing materials will underperform if they aren’t installed properly. Hiring trusted professionals to install or repair your roof is crucial to protect the health and lifespan of your roofing system. Signs of a bad installation include a sagging or uneven roofline, missing shingles, and water damage. A proper installation creates a visible drip edge to protect the board under the roof edge, flashing, and underlayment.
The climate in your area can heavily impact your roof’s health. Extreme temperature fluctuations, like those we experience in central Iowa in the spring and fall, can affect its durability. Heavy rainfall and snow can damage shingles, so it is important to inspect your roofing system for signs of worn shingles or other damage after a storm.
Tips for Prolonging a Roof's Lifespan
Regular inspections and maintenance will help protect the investment you’ve made in your roof. Professional inspections should happen at least once a year, allowing you to uncover small issues before they have a chance to cause bigger problems. Maintenance should include keeping the gutters cleaned and clear of debris to prevent water backup and trimming any tree limbs or other vegetation that may hang over the roof to prevent storm damage and moss growth. If you notice any damage, call a professional right away.
If you want your roof to stand the test of time, it is important to choose high quality materials that are suited to your environment and hire a professional to ensure a proper installation.
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