Roofing work is a critical part of protecting your home. However, it's something most folks avoid until they have to. If you're not sure how long your home's current roof will hold up, here are four things a residential roofing contractor will tell you to consider.
Age and Materials
Unsurprisingly, a recently installed roof is going to usually last longer than an older roof. The choice of materials, though, is also a major factor. Many roofs use asphalt shingles, and these usually deliver between 15 and 50 years of service. Slate tiles can last more than 100 years. The trade-off is the longer-lasting roofing materials tend to be more expensive.
Also, never assume that a fresh layer of materials means a roof was newly installed back in its day. Especially with asphalt shingles, people often stack at least a couple of layers on the roof before scraping the materials off and starting fresh. This process of reroofing can save some money, but it also can weigh the roof down and shorten its life span.
A region's climate also dictates how long a roof might last. Some materials will perform poorly in certain environments. For example, metal roofing in coastal air with high salt content in the air can be a sketchy proposition. Similarly, a tile roof might perform poorly in a region that gets lots of windstorms or hurricanes.
Winter weather and roof slopes matter too. Even if you live in a relatively mild climate in the US, there's a good chance your roof will get some snow or ice on it a few days out of the year. The roof's slope generally encourages the precipitation to go away sooner.
The original installation quality makes a big difference with nearly all types of roofs. Ideally, a roofing contractor took the time to line all the materials up and attach them correctly. Likewise, they should have done clean work at the cap, near the house's fascia, and anywhere something like a chimney or dormer juts out. If a previous contractor messed up in one of these areas of the job, it could let moisture in under the materials and reduce the life of the roof.
A certain amount of a roof's survival boils down to just dumb luck. You might put a roof on a house one summer and see a tree limb go through it the next year. Conversely, someone in a tornado-prone region might never see a twig hit their roof. The important thing is to hire a roofing contractor and address things as soon as possible if something does happen.
For more information, contact a local roofing contractor.