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5 Factors That Affect a Roof's Lifespan

As a homeowner, you understandably want to get the most out of your roof. Reroofing is a big job, and you want to avoid premature roof replacements. One way to do this is to understand the different things that can impact your roof's lifespan. This not only means being aware of what can damage your roof but what can help prolong its lifespan too. The more you know about your roof, the more empowered you are to keep it in good condition for years to come.

Keep reading to learn about five things that can affect the lifespan of your roof.

The Type of Roofing Materials

There are many different types of roofing materials on the market. Asphalt shingles are the most popular in the US, but tile roofs are also very common here in Arizona. Wood shingles, shake, metal, foam, and modified roofs are other frequently used roofing materials.

While all roofing materials have their benefits, they do not all have equal lifespans. For example, asphalt roofs are popular in large part because they are relatively inexpensive to install, but they do not have the same lifespan as other types of roofs. Asphalt roofs can last around 20 years, whereas tile roofs can last upwards of 50 years. In fact, some tile roofs have lasted over a century!

If you aren't sure what material your roof is made from, ask your roofer for more information during your annual roof inspection. Your roof will identify what type of roofing material you have and can help you know where in its lifespan it is.

The Construction of Your Roof

Another major impact on the lifespan of your roof is its construction. Pitched (or sloped) roofs and flat roofs are both very common in the Phoenix area, and both have unique benefits. Drainage is better on a pitched roof, but flat roofs are ideal for installing solar panels or roof-top air conditioning units. However, they do not have the same lifespan.

Typically, a pitched roof will last longer than a flat roof. This is largely because sloped roofs can utilize a wider range of roofing materials, such as long-lasting tiles. Additionally, a pitched roof can better withstand the damaging effects of water.

The Weather Where You Live

One of the greatest threats to your roof is the weather. Here in Arizona, we have to contend with high heat and the damaging effects of the sun. Both heat and UV rays can degrade your roofing materials. This can result in a shortened lifespan. We also have to deal with the monsoon season, when heavy rains dump large amounts of water in a relatively short period of time. Even well-maintained roofs are not impervious to water, and in heavy storms, water can permeate pinpoint holes or cracks in your roof, leading to water damage inside your roof's structure.

Wildlife & Pests

We don't often think much about wildlife and pests when we think about things that damage our roofs. We're more inclined to think about wind, water, and things falling on the roof. However, pests and wildlife do a remarkable amount of damage. Squirrels and birds can nest and roof in your roof, damaging your roofing materials and creating an unhealthy situation for you and your family. Raccoons and larger wildlife have even been known to cause roof damage.

You may also be surprised to learn that small pests, like insects, can also cause significant roof damage. Termites (and other wood-boring insects) are especially problematic as they can get into your roof structure and completely compromise it without you even knowing. Additionally, termites tend to live in colonies of thousands, meaning they can make short work of your roof.

It is recommended that, in addition to your yearly roof inspection, you also schedule routine pest control inspections. This can go a long way in keeping your roof safe from pests.

Performing Regular Roof Maintenance

A well-maintained roof is a happy roof. By scheduling routine maintenance with our professional roofers, you can stay abreast with the condition and overall health of your roofing system. It is also important to remember that maintaining your roof involves more than scheduling a yearly inspection. You should also stay on top of roof repairs. Correcting small problems as they occur is what keeps your roofing system in good condition and extends its lifespan. When issues are left to fester, the damage can spread and can result in needing to replace your roof sooner than you otherwise would.