Even if you have a high quality roof, which will protect your home for a couple of decades, they do not last forever. You should always have regular inspections by a roofing contractor as well as periodic maintenance. Contractors can let you know when you can expect to have to replace the roof.
Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your roof lasts a long time but there are six key factors that determine how soon and how often your roof may need repair or replacement.
Each roofing material has different endurance and offers different life expectancy. If you have asphalt shingles you can expect the roof to last a few decades. The materials that provide even longer cover include clay or concrete tiles, slate shingles and membrane systems. When it comes time to replace your roof, consider using materials that have longer life expectancy. Work with you roofing contractor to determine the best materials to use for your building and local environment.
Not something you can control but can be prepared for is the weather. Most systems are designed to endure heavy rains, strong winds even snow and hail, but this does wear them down. Extreme weather conditions can really take their toll on your roof, so depending on where you live your roof may be exposed to severe conditions that damage the structural integrity. Consider the climate you live in and keep your roof maintained accordingly. Perhaps check with local contractors for protective tips if you live in areas prone to harsh weather.
The damaging UV rays of the sun can hurt your roof just like they hurt us. Some materials like metal or EPDM rubber membranes are more resistant to the ultraviolet exposure. Most roofing material will degrade with the repeated radiation. Continued sun exposure weakens the structural integrity of a roof by heating it. This causes thermal shock to the materials as well as contraction and expansion. Once this happens, the material degradation is accelerated causing roof repair and replacement to be sooner than expected. Since the sun is not something you can control, it is advised to check with professional roofers for any tips or protective additions that can be utilized.
Longevity of a roof is also affected by its pitch or angle. Roofs that are flat and low do not get rid of water easily so it builds up. When rain or snow are allowed to accumulate on the surface it starts to wear away the materials. Pools of water cause the materials to lose strength which can cause leakages. A good way to offset the damage is to install gutter systems and make sure they are kept clear of debris build up, so they can efficiently remove water away from the roof.
Every building should have proper ventilation. Regular air circulation through the house and attic prevents moisture from accumulating and also reduces the external temperature. When ventilation is poor, roof materials are weakened and not as effective. It is wise to consider which option works out better in the long run, replacing materials more frequently or investing in a good air ventialation system.
A quality installation goes a long way in roofing. When cheap or inexperienced roofers are used it is not uncommon for there to be premature repairs and replacement. While you save money in the beginning, you will have unexpected costs with leaks and other damage that occurs without proper installation. The use of lower quality materials also contributes to early degradation. You want to be sure you hire a licensed professional that uses high quality materials and ensures their work is up to all codes. In the event a genuine error occurs, professional contractors are always willing to return and make it right.
Roofing repairs and replacement is not cheap, so you want to make sure you get the most out of the roof you have. By investing the time to care for it and considering the above factors, you can expect to get more longevity from your roof.