Common Roofing Myths Debunked, Part 2

Roofs are intimidating to a lot of homeowners. Aside from what they can see, many do not fully understand how their roofing system works. This can cause a lot of anxiety when it comes to knowing how to take care of your roof. Additionally, there is a lot of bad information out there. Lyons Roofing believes that educated homeowners are more empowered and ultimately happier with their roofing.

Back in November, we reviewed a few common roofing myths, and now we're back to debunk four more! Our fully trained and licensed roofing professionals love answering our clients' questions, and we're excited to share our passion with homeowners.

Myth #1: My Roof Will Last Forever

Many people mistakenly believe that if they just keep repairing their roof, they will never need to replace it. While it is true that most roofing systems are designed to last for decades, this doesn't mean that your roof will last indefinitely. The type of roof you have, the materials it is made from, and the manner in which it was installed will all impact how long it lasts.

Average lifespans for different roofing materials are:

  • Asphalt shingles – 20 years
  • Cedar shake or shingles – 30 years
  • Foam roofs – 50 years with proper maintenance (periodic re-coats)
  • Metal roofs – 40+ years
  • Tiles – 50-100 years with the tile underlayment lasting 15-20 years

Over time, materials wear out and degrade. While replacing the occasional broken or missing shingle isn't a big deal, there will come a time when replacement is your best option. Our goal is to help you get the most out of your roofing system. As your roof reaches the end of its lifespan, you should consult with a reliable, trained roofing specialist. They can help you determine when replacement is appropriate.

Myth #2: Mild Winters Mean My Roof Is Fine

In Arizona, we enjoy very mild winters. The temperature rarely drops below freezing, and we don't receive much rain. However, this does not mean you can ignore your roof. Though the temperatures are mild, your roof is still susceptible to environmental damage from debris, winds, and even the occasional freeze. In fact, when temperatures fluctuate around freezing, your roof can become damaged as water and moisture freezes and unfreezes, tearing small holes in your roofing materials and leaving you susceptible to leaks.

The cooler weather may also reveal insulation and ventilation issues, and you may notice that all the warm air from your heater is escaping through your poorly insulated roof. Indeed, winter is a great time to schedule your annual roof inspection and to perform yearly maintenance!

Myth #3: Annual Maintenance Is All You Need

If you're scheduling yearly inspections of your roof, good job! You're already ahead of the game. Routine maintenance with a professional roofer is one of the best things you can do to take care of your roof. However, this is not all it takes to keep your roof in good condition. Over the course of the year, your roof takes a beating, especially during monsoon season. It is important to remain aware of what is going on with your roof and perform ongoing maintenance.

Things you can do between annual maintenance visits are:

  • Visually inspect your roof, looking for missing or broken shingles, damaged flashing, and other signs of problems
  • Check areas around chimneys, skylights, and other roof installation for damage, corrosion, and other issues
  • Keep your roof clear of debris, such as leaves and branches
  • Trim surrounding trees and plants, especially those that overhang your roof
  • Make sure roof drainage pathways are clear and unobstructed
  • Remove moss and other plant growth

During monsoon season, small problems with your roof may crop up, like small leaks. The heavy rains and high winds can put significant stress on your roofing system. If you notice any problems after a storm, reach out to a roofing specialist to schedule an inspection.

Myth #4: You Should Never Walk on Your Roof

Homeowners have told us that they are hesitant to perform necessary roof maintenance because they have heard that you should never walk on your roof. The question of whether you should walk on your roof is more complicated than a simple yes or no. If you have excessive leaf buildup or need to make a quick repair, you may have no choice.

What you do not want to do is make a habit of walking on your roof. Asphalt shingles can suffer granular loss and can become dislodged. Clay and concrete tiles are also susceptible to cracking and breaking. A good rule of thumb is to only go up on your roof when necessary, and if you are unsure, call a professional roofer for guidance.

To learn how to correctly walk on your roof, read our blog here.