According to the latest data, the median age of owner-occupied housing units in the US is 39 years. However, that goes up to 60 years in New York, which has the oldest homes in the nation.
Some of those aging homes, in turn, still have the original roofing system installed. But unfortunately, not all types of roofs can last as long as the building itself.
So, how long does roofing last on average, then?
This guide answers that question (and more), so read on.
So, How Long Does Roofing Last?
Asphalt shingle, the most popular roofing material in the US, has an average service life of 20 years. Wood lasts for about 25 years, while metal roofing can stay intact for 40 to 80 years. The life of slate roofing spans 60 to 150 years, while clay or concrete can last for a century or longer.
What Affects Roof Longevity?
Local climates and weather conditions can have a drastic effect on the life of a roof.
For example, hot climates and high UV indices can cut short the life of asphalt shingles. The sun’s heat, coupled with its ultraviolet rays, can dry out the asphalt’s oils and make it dry and brittle. That makes the shingles more prone to cracking, curling, and warping.
Likewise, the constant battery from rain, high winds, and snow can reduce a roof’s lifespan. For instance, prolonged exposure to these elements can impair roof adhesives. Ultimately, that can lead to moisture seeping into the home and causing damage.
Another factor is a lack of maintenance, which a licensed roofer should carry out at least once a year. Without it, minor and isolated roof damage, such as a missing shingle or a tiny crack, can get worse.
The longer a system goes without upkeep, the more susceptible it can be to weather damage.
Can You Extend a Roof’s Life?
While you can’t control the weather, you can invest in routine roofing maintenance.
Start by hiring a licensed, highly-experienced roofer to perform a yearly inspection. That can help uncover any potential problems with your roof and, from there, have them fixed ASAP.
Likewise, get an inspection after extreme weather, such as heavy rain or hailstorm.
Another way to extend the life of your system is to have a pro apply a fresh layer of a protective roof coat. It can help seal roofing materials and make them more resistant to fire, water, and UV radiation.
Lastly, remove leaves and other plant litter from your roofing system and gutters. That can prevent them from interfering with rain or melted snow draining away from your roof.
Make Your Roof Last Longer
And there you have it, the guide answering your question, “how long does roofing last?” Now you know it varies based on the types of roofing material; 20 years for asphalt shingles, 100+ years for clay. However, no matter how durable a roof is, environmental factors and a lack of upkeep can cut its life short.
Thus, it’s best to have your roof inspected and serviced yearly. That can help extend its life and prevent costly premature replacement.
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