The roof over your head is one of the most important features of your home. It keeps you, your family, and the inside of your home safe from the elements. That’s why it’s important to know how to properly care for your roof — and how to avoid replacing it entirely.
How Often Does a Roof Need to be Replaced?
Knowing how often to replace your roof will depend on a few things. In Florida, a good rule of thumb is to replace your roof every 15 to 20 years. The humidity, heat, and UV rays bearing down on your roof every day create wear and tear over time that you’ll need to address.
Beyond the weather and environmental conditions that contribute to the health of your roof, the materials used to build it and how well you’ve cared for it also factor into replacement timelines.
How Long Does a Shingle Roof Last?
One of the most popular roofing materials is shingles — not only in Florida but nationwide. Shingles are affordable and work well in Florida’s climate. Here are a few of the most common types of shingles and how they each work a bit differently:
- Three-tab shingles – Three-tab shingles are single-layer shingles. They have three asphalt tabs on their lower edge, which allows them to fit together like puzzle pieces when installed. They typically last up to 20 years.
- Architectural (dimensional) shingles – Architectural shingles have two layers, which makes them a better choice for areas with high winds and rainfall. They typically last up to 25 years.
- Wood shingles – Wood shingles can last up to 30 years but do require more maintenance and annual upkeep — especially with the heat and humidity in Florida. Cedar is the most common wood shingle material because it’s less likely to rot.
How Long Does an Asphalt Roof Last?
Asphalt shingles are also common in Florida homes. They’re waterproof and fireproof, and they provide excellent protection against the sun and harmful UV rays, high heat, high winds, and rainfall. Asphalt roofs are economical, require very little maintenance and upkeep, and typically last about 20 years.
How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Roof
No matter what material you use on your roof, there are a few best practices that will help you keep your roof as healthy and cared for as possible.
- Get regular roof inspections. Regularly inspecting your roof is the best way to keep tabs on any damage. Once the heat starts to ease a bit at the end of the summer or in early fall, it’ll be easiest to perform an inspection. Look for any loose or missing shingles, or debris laying on your roof, and check for any leaks. You can perform the inspection yourself, or call a roofing contractor to provide an inspection for you.
- Clean your gutters. Clearing debris from your gutters is important, too. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up onto your roof, which can lead to water damage and leaks.
- Trim your trees. Take care of all of the trees near your roof and regularly trim the branches. Branches can break and fall onto your roof, which can tear or rip your shingles out entirely. Overhanging tree branches can also drag across your roof in high winds, which hurts or dislodges shingles as well.
- Check your insulation. Check the insulation in your attic to make sure it’s adequate. Without proper insulation, the air under your roof can overheat, which causes your shingles to decay. Good attic insulation also prevents the buildup of moisture on your roof, which in turn prevents your shingles from rotting.
- Work with a professional roofer.
The team you choose to work on your roof is one of the most important things you can do to increase its lifespan. Reputable, expert roofing contractors will be able to make inspections, perform repairs, and replace your roof entirely when it is needed. Look for a contractor that’s fully insured, has certificates from manufacturers, and has good reviews from other clients.
Roof maintenance is important, just like roofs themselves. To learn more about getting a quality roof inspection, repair, or replacement, give us a call today.