How Long Will My Roof Last?

A common question with homeowners is, How long will my roof last once I have it installed? The answer depends on several factors such as the type of materials you use, the climate, how well you maintain the roof and if it was installed properly. While many roofs last longer than 15 years, some can hold up well for 50 years or longer.

When assessing roof longevity, the starting point is looking at the roofing material you choose. Roofing manufacturers typically warranty their products to last a specified amount of time under specified conditions (assuming the roofing is taken care of and a hurricane does not blow the roof off). Below, we look at two main types of roofs – sloped roofs and low pitch roofs – so that you know what you can expect once your roof is installed.

Sloped Roofs

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Average Lifespan: 50 years

Standing seam metal roofing is a concealed fastener roofing system that features vertical or trapezoidal legs with flat space in between. This type of metal roofing system is one of the most durable and weather-tight roof systems available in the industry. Its concealed fastener design ensures that the fasteners aren’t exposed to the elements, which would cause them to fail over time. Since these panels are attached to the roof deck with clamps, they’re free of any holes from nails or other fasteners, which could allow moisture to seep through.

Standing seam metal roofing is defined as a concealed fastener metal panel system that features vertical legs and a broad, flat area between the two legs. It’s also described as having raised seams or vertical legs that rise above the panel’s flat area level. The fastener is hidden, whether the panel is attached to the roof deck using a clip or is directly fastened to the decking material under the vertical leg using a fastener flange.

Metal Shingles

Average lifespan: 50 years

Metal shingles are formed with an airspace between the metal and the roof deck. The airspace acts as a thermal break to stop the conductive flow of heat from the roof’s surface into the attic. High reflectance brown metal shingles reduce heat gain by 40% compared to standard asphalt shingles. This is because of the airspace between the metal and the roof deck. 

Steel metal shingles are made from steel with a zinc or zinc and aluminum metallic coating on top of the carbon steel. This anti-corrosive metallic coating protects the steel from rusting. On top of the coating, manufacturers typically have a paint finish or an aggregate coating for added protection. Many metal shingles are also produced from aluminum and copper, which are inherently rust-free metals.

Wood Shingles

Average lifespan: 20 years

Wood shingles are thin, tapered pieces of wood used to cover roofs. Shingles are split from straight grained, knot free bolts of wood. They are mostly made by being cut, which distinguishes them from shakes, which are made by being split out of a bolt.

Distinctive shingle patterns exist in various regions created by the size, shape and application method. Special treatments such as swept valleys, combed ridges, decorative butt ends and decorative patterns create a special design on each house. Wood shingles can also be shaped by steam bending to create a thatch-like appearance with unique roof details and contours.

Asphalt Shingles

Average lifespan: 25 years

Asphalt shingles are not made of asphalt all the way through. Instead, they consist of either a fiberglass or felt paper base coated with a waterproof layer of asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. Shingles are manufactured as either three-tab shingles or architectural shingles. Three-tab shingles are designed to look like three shingles, although each shingle is one piece. 

Asphalt shingles are easy to install, cost-effective and popular. Architectural shingles are manufactured with an additional layer of asphalt to give them more dimension and enable them to mimic the look of roofing products like wood or slate. Both types of shingles come in a large variety of colors to suit almost any home design.

Clay Tiles

Average lifespan: 75 years

Concrete and clay tiles feature natural earth tones, a sand-cast or unglazed finish and a classic curved shape. Today’s clay roofing is not limited to Southwestern and Mediterranean styles. Their casting allows for many style options to suit almost any type of architecture. Clay roofs are resistant to fire rot, insects and other pests. 

Most tile roofing can withstand extreme heat and cold, making it suitable for use in virtually any climate. Clay is particularly resistant to the salt air corrosion, making it a great choice for homes in coastal regions. Many types of roofing tiles also have superior impact resistance, making this a good option for regions that experience hail or high winds.

Low Pitch Roofs

Membrane Roofing

Average lifespan: 30 years

Membrane roofing is a type of roofing system for commercial buildings. It is used to create a watertight roof covering to protect the interior of a building. Membrane roofs are commonly made from synthetic rubber, thermoplastic (PVC or similar material) or modified bitumen. Membrane roofs are used in commercial applications, although they are becoming increasingly common in residential applications.

Membrane roofing has advantages over common flat roofing such as asphalt and gravel. In asphalt and gravel application, it can be very difficult to create a proper seal at all seams and connection points. This can cause a roof to leak early in its lifespan and require much more maintenance. When installed correctly, membranes are either seamless or have seams as strong as the body. This eliminates most of the leakage concerns associated with flat roofing systems.

Rolled Roofing

Average lifespan: 10 years

Rolled roofing (MSR) is a mineral-faced, oil-based asphalt product available in 100 square feet rolls and weighs about 75 pounds per roll. It can be found in almost any home improvement outlet, hardware store or online source. Though roll roofing is similar to asphalt shingles, it is considerably cheaper, thinner and less durable.

Some homeowners choose to apply MSR on their roofs because they can re-roof over an existing roof. However, the roofing must be carefully prepared ahead of time to remove any debris, gravel or residue from the previous roof covering to keep from damaging or puncturing the rolled roofing.

Get a Free Estimate from a Roofing Contractor on the Gulf Coast

Which type of roofing material is best for you? Contact Quality Roofing Solutions to discuss your roofing options and the next steps for your roof installation. Quality Roofing Solutions has helped residents and business owners with all types of roofing needs for over a decade. 

We have the experience, equipment and team necessary to handle small and large-scale jobs. Call us today at 850-378-3757 if you damage your roof and need a free estimate from a roofing contractor in Pensacola, Florida.