Buy a home and live in it long enough, and eventually, you’ll either repair or replace the roof!
We do have good news. Even if you’ve been through a few of Florida’s hurricane seasons, you’ll likely have plenty of time to plan (and budget) for a replacement roof.
Today we’re answering a question on the minds of many homeowners. What is the expected roof lifespan of my asphalt roof?
Whether you suspect you’re living with an aging roof, or you’ve experienced recent roof damage, reading today’s post should answer your question. Take a minute and learn what to expect from the roof covering your Sarasota home.
What Is Average Roof Lifespan?
Roof lifespan depends on several factors.
Climate always makes an impact on how many years of service a homeowner gets from a roof. We’ll talk more about the weather and Florida’s unique environment in a minute.
The quality of the roofing materials chosen by you or the previous homeowner also matters. Finally, you’ll want to factor in how well you maintain the roof.
With regular maintenance, you can expect to get anywhere from 15-30 years of service from your asphalt shingle roof. Depending on the type of shingles, you could extend the maximum lifespan another 10 years.
Other types of roofing materials may last longer. For example, a tile roof may last 20-50 years.
We won’t carry on an exhaustive discussion about every material available for residential roofs. Instead, we’ll keep the focus on one of the more popular roofing materials in Florida—composite asphalt shingles.
If you have something other than asphalt shingles covering your roof, talk to a professional roofing contractor who can give you a more accurate calculation of service life.
Why Would I Need a Roof Replacement?
If your roof falls within the number of years expected for average lifespan, you’re likely crossing your fingers and hoping you come out on the higher end of the timeline.
The numbers we’re sharing are averages, and averages only take into account typical weather, climate, and maintenance. They also don’t consider anything less than the best quality roofing materials.
Unfortunately, Florida isn’t the perfect world for roofing materials. We expect a lot from our roofs, but we expose them to some harsh conditions.
We might not deal with the sub-freezing temperatures or massive snowfalls experienced by our neighbors to the north, but we have our big, beautiful, blazing sun! Don’t forget the frequent downpours, tropical storms, and hurricane-force winds. Add high humidity, salty air, and insects to the mix.
You’d look and feel a little frazzled too if you sat outside 24/7/365 in those conditions! Yet we expect our roofs to withstand it all and still look marvelous.
Exposure to the sometimes harsh Florida environment, age, and possibly, sub-par roofing materials, all make an excellent case for replacing a roof.
What if Yours Is Older than the Average Roof?
Let’s say you’re living under a 16-year old roof. You’ve already enjoyed one year longer than the expected average service life. Should you immediately schedule a replacement?
We’d love to say yes, after all, we’re roofing contractors, but the answer is no!
Remember, we’ve already mentioned a few factors other than age. For your 16-year old roof, we suggest an inspection first, not a replacement.
Inspections look at the entire picture, not just age. A professional roof inspection considers the following aspects of your roof:
- Condition of the Roof Deck
- Quality and Condition of Roofing Materials
- Missing Shingles
- Damaged or Missing Flashing
- Signs of Leaks
The inspector will inspect your roof from the outside and inside (usually from the attic). They may also take note of the condition of your gutter system.
Only after completing the inspection will your contractor know whether you need a replacement. It’s always possible you can get a few more years out of the roof by making a few repairs.
Your Roof Will Give You Signs
Many Florida roofs age naturally and reach the end of their lifespan without the need for many repairs. Sure, they may look worn, but with preventative maintenance, most roofs live a long life.
Even so, watch for the following warning signs that your roof needs your attention:
- Missing Shingles
- Broken Shingles
- Curled Shingles
These aren’t the only signs you may need repair or replacement. If you notice shingles with missing granules or bald spots, those are also clues you shouldn’t ignore.
Recent weather can offer clues about the lifespan of your roof. If you’ve endured worse rain and winds than usual, it could result in a replacement sooner than you expect.
Now is the time to verify the quality of your roofing materials. Modern shingle roofs can withstand up to 90 mph winds. Many Florida homeowners opt for shingles that can bear the brunt of winds up to 150 mph.
Who Installed Your Current Roof?
We’ve mentioned several times the relationship between roofing material quality and the lifespan of asphalt shingles.
If you’re the original owner of your home, you should have records about the installation of the current roof. You may discover the contractor used top quality materials (or not). You’ll also know the exact age of the roof.
With that information in hand, you shouldn’t have trouble determining whether you need to consider a replacement. There is one more thing to keep in mind. Even if you have the best materials on the roof, a poor quality installation could cause the roof to fail sooner than anticipated.
Whether you’re the original owner or not, when you select the new roofing contractor, take time to do your due diligence. That means asking the right questions, checking their references and online reviews, and understanding the warranties they offer.
Ready to Schedule a Roof Replacement?
After determining the age of your roof, quality of your roofing materials, and any visible damage, you may still have questions about roof lifespan.
Can you extend the roof’s life with a few strategic repairs, or do you need an immediate replacement? Those are questions better answered by your roofing contractor.
We’ve spent over 30 years caring for roofs in the Sarasota area. Contact us today and let us help you determine whether a repair or a replacement is your best solution.