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There are a handful of factors that determine how often to replace roof materials on your home. 

  • Geographical location
  • The type of material (whether shingle, metal or something else)
  • How it was installed
  • How it’s maintained 
  • The difference between what a manufacturer says and what a seasoned roofer says. 

In this blog, I will discuss the different types of roof materials and give a short understanding of what effects the timeline for how often to replace roof materials on your home. 

What Affects Every Roof System.

No matter what roof system you have on your home, these dynamics will apply for either prolonging or decreasing the lifespan of your roof. 

Exposure To The Sun

Any roof that is covered by the shade of the trees around it can potentially last longer because the sun is what ages a roof the quiet. Having trees around your home can also slow down the wind, preventing fewer blow-offs. But the flip side of this would be that trees can also drop debris or even large branches that would damage the roof. 

Poor Workmanship

Poor workmanship can drop the life span of a roof significantly. If all or most of your flashing is compromised, for example, it will probably be cheaper to just replace the whole roof than to go around and address all the flashing. 

Ventilation Of Your Roof

Ventilation systems on roofs that require ventilation. When your roof system requires ventilation, if this step is not adequately installed, the excessive heat in the attic will cause the shingles to age significantly faster. I’ve seen a roof with a 50-year shingle, age so fast that in year 15 it needed to be replaced because of poor ventilation. 

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Manufacturers vs Roofer – How Often to Replace Roof Material

There’s a difference between what a manufacturer says and what roofers experience. 

Manufacturers will typically say the following about roofing material:

  • Shingle roof, three-tab, 25-year
  • Shingle roof, architectural, 50-year “lifetime”
  • Metal roofs, As high as 50-years
  • Roof Tiles, “lifetime”
  • Single Ply Flat Roof, as high as 30-years
  • Other flat roofs, 15-years.

When a manufacturer gives a warranty on their product, for example, when shingle manufacturers say they have a 25-year shingle warranty, the unfortunate outcome is that we see them age quicker. 

Roofers will tell you if they are being honest, that most 25-year shingles end up being replaced closer to years 18-20. Of course, there are exceptions to the norm. I’ve seen a 25-year shingle “last” up to about 28/30-years but that was only possible because they had a roofer giving them free maintenance every year. 

General maintenance is important to perform on any roof. We highly recommend it for prolonging the life of a roof. Especially if you live in a high wind area or under trees. 

So the unfortunate reality is, that here in South Florida, you have extreme heat, high winds, and rapid temperature changes that all affect the longevity of your roof. The roofing material will expand and contract when the temperature shifts between extreme heat or cooling rain. These changes come back to back so often that they can negatively affect your roof. This is why there are strict regulations around roofing in Florida

Building Code And Insurance Companies

Because of the weather, especially hurricanes, both building codes, and insurance companies have laid out some strict guidelines to follow. The main one to point out is how insurance companies are going to want you to replace your roof sooner than when the shingle manufacturer says you “need to”. This leads back to the geographical dynamic of life expectancy. 

Make sure your roofer is following all the building code requirements and check with your insurance company to see what they require for your roof system and what they say for how often to replace roof material. 

In Conclusion

Invest in regular maintenance to prolong the life of your roof. The most important thing to consider is the roofer who is replacing your roof. Are they certified by the manufacturer, are they following local building codes, have they been in business long enough to provide a legitimate warranty on their labor?

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