The roof of your home is the first line of defense against the elements. However, as your roof ages, its ability to protect decreases.
Please note: A manufacturer’s estimated lifetime rating for roof shingles is determined under ideal circumstances, but actual conditions that your roof endures could be far from “ideal” depending on your location, as well as, what mother nature brings your way.
Here are some factors that affect the lifespan of roof shingles:
- overall climate – A major cause of roof damage is caused by hail storms. Nearly all “super-cell” thunderstorms produce hail, ranging in size. A hail‑producing storm moving through a residential area can potentially cause widespread roof damage.
- improper installation – Waves or ridges in the roof line; these can indicate a problem with the roof decking or framing. Insufficient or poorly installed decking can increase moisture exposure, low spots which pool water, improper runoff and dry rot. Also, beware of roofs installed with vertical racking, where the shingle edges run in straight lines up a roof, rather than being staggered. This can result in poor sealing of shingles and lifting of corners.
- improper ventilation – The purpose behind roof ventilation isn’t just to control moisture. Unvented roofs are vulnerable in so many ways, whether you live in a sunny and hot climate or wet and cloudy one. Roofs without proper ventilation are more vulnerable to all types of weather conditions, and will deteriorate faster. Replace your roof when condition or age indicates it may be losing its ability to divert moisture.
- slope of the roof – In some areas, an extreme pitch is not only wise for precipitation run-off, but it’s also the latest aesthetic style. Higher pitched roofs tend to last longer. This is because they do well at preventing damming, seepage, and other problems.
Proper maintenance of your roof, chimney, flashing, vents and gutters can slow the deterioration of your roof. Inspect your roof regularly so that you can address small problems quickly, avoiding costly roof failures down the road. Look for conditions that may indicate a problem: like curling, lifting, clawing, granular loss, presence of moss or algae, waves or ridges, etc.
Replacing an aging roof can help maintain your home’s top defense. If you replace your roof, please let your insurance agent know immediately to assure that your home is insured for the correct value.
Finally, if you have a roof claim, look for a local, established contractor to do any necessary repairs. Be careful of unusually low bids – a roof is a major investment and a major protective feature of your home.
Additional Resource: For information on the material types of roofing used, please refer to todayshomeowner.com