What is the average lifespan of a roof?

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Morgan Family Roofing

The Average Lifespan Of a Roof Done With Various Materials

No doubt about, replacing a roof is an expensive project. However, the labor of the job is usually the most expensive part so the longer you can extend the life of your roof, the more you actually save. Some of the cheapest composition shingles are only guaranteed for 15 years. Then, you’ll have to pay roofers to tear off the old shingles, put on new ones, and haul away the debris. In the long run, paying just a little bit more would double the life of the roof and save you the high cost of labor. And, who knows how much labor might cost in the future? Here are some of the various roofing materials summarized and the average lifespan of a roof using them.

Composition, The Old Standby

One of the most common roofing materials for the past 50 or more years has to be composition shingles. They come in dozens of different colors and there are now a bunch of different styles as well. They are very straightforward to install and won’t be damaged when you walk on them.

They are also slip resistant when you’re up walking on your roof and fairly fire resistant too. It takes a pretty strong fire to ignite a composition roof. The least expensive asphalt or composition shingles can last only 10 years, that’s not long, and you’ll be sorry. You can buy higher quality shingles that will last 20-25 or even 30 years, and the price is only a few dollars more per bundle.

There are also newer architectural asphalt shingles that are thicker and heavier that are supposed to last up to 50 to 55 years. They also look nicer, a little like a shake roof. Of course, they do cost more, but again, the labor of the tear off and replacement should be taken into consideration. So the average lifespan of a roof made of composition shingles is 10 to 55 years, not bad.

Wooden Shakes and Shingles

These are usually made from cedar, which has its own wood preserving oil already in it. Then, you should also have your roof cleaned professionally every few years as well. Allowing a wood roof to get covered in leaves and debris can ruin it very quickly.

Many of the roof cleaning companies will also offer an application of a stain mixed with a preservative like copper naphthenate, or zinc naphthenate that will stop all fungal growth, and deterioration for about 5 to 7 years. Then you can have it reapplied indefinitely to extend the life of your wood roof.

Wooden roofs are high maintenance, they cost a lot in the first place, and if you don’t maintain them and treat them, they won’t last longer than 25 to 30 years. Taking good care of them you could get 50 to 70 years out of them, and they look fantastic.

The longest lasting roofs are those made of slate or concrete materials which can last 100 or more years. They also can be slippery when wet, they’re heavy, and they will break sometimes when you walk on them. Plus they are expensive in the first place, but if they’re going to outlast you and your children they’re probably worth it.

Replacing your roof comes with some considerations that you’ll need to sort through on your own. Keep in mind that a slightly more expensive material might last 10 or more years longer than a cheap one, and the labor is only going to get more expensive in the future.

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