Central Florida is a great place to call home, but the climate and harsh weather can leave local residents in need of a roof replacement sooner than they anticipated. As a result, durability and lifespan is a top concern for many Florida homeowners, especially during the roof replacement process.
While certain types of materials, like asphalt shingles, perform well and last for decades in other parts of the country, they may only last a fraction of the time in certain parts of this area. Without durable materials, regular maintenance, and frequent cleaning, the average lifespan of a Florida roof can be greatly diminished.
Factors That Can Shorten Your Roof’s Lifespan
There are several factors that can accelerate the need for a roof replacement, but for Floridians, severe weather can be the culprit. Below are weather related factors that can ultimately damage certain types of roofing materials:
- Long term sun and UV exposure can cause asphalt shingles to warp, bend, or crack overtime.
- High wind speeds and heavy downpours from hurricanes can destroy roofs or lead to leaking
- Thick humidity can push moisture underneath your roofing materials and ultimately create a breeding ground for mold or rot
- High concentrations of salty air can lead to corrosion of metal roofing systems.
To put it into perspective, the Oviedo area sees an average of 232 sunny days per year, which is significantly higher than many other areas of the country. Studies also suggest that Central Florida air contains high concentrations of salt. As a result, Central Floridians need to take extra care precautions or will otherwise accelerate the need for a roof replacement.
Since we can’t control the weather or climate, we recommend investing in solid roofing materials and focusing on maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep as the primary ways to increase your roof’s longevity. Good insulation and ventilation is also important, as it will help prevent moisture from building up underneath your roofing system. Small issues such as leaks, missing shingles, or mold can quickly compound into larger problems that will result in the need for an expensive roof replacement.
Average Lifespan By Material
Roofing materials are the largest factor when it comes to determining the lifespan of a roof. Below is a breakdown of common materials used in Central Florida along with their associated average lifespan.
- Asphalt Shingles: 10 to 30 years
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials in America, and they are also the least expensive. However, asphalt shingles are also the most susceptible to weather related damage. They can bend, warp, or buckle after extended exposure to sunlight and UV rays. Strong hurricane winds can loosen shingles or knock them off entirely, leaving your roof’s sheathing exposed. Shingles are also prone to rot or decay from heavy concentrations of moisture that can build up underneath.
Your traditional three-tab shingles have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years, while higher quality shingles may give you a good 30 years before a full roof replacement is required. If you do decide to go with asphalt shingles, we recommend purchasing a lighter color to minimize sun absorption. The good news is that most asphalt shingles do come with a 15-30 year warranty.
- Clay Tiles: 50 to 100 years
If you invest in a new clay tile roof replacement, there is a good chance you won’t need to worry about a roof replacement again. Clay tiles are one of the most durable roofing materials on the market. Costs typically range anywhere from $750 to $1,000 per square, so while tiles might be expensive, their lifespan is what makes them an economical option. Clay tiles are able to easily withstand long term UV ray exposure. They are also water proof, which means your roof will be less likely to leak overtime. Clay tiles are one of the heaviest roofing materials, which makes them tough to install but great for resisting high wind speeds. Because clay tiles have a curved shape, you’ll have increased ventilation underneath your roof which can prevent moisture build up (and can even help your home stay cool / reduce utility bills).
- Metal Roofs: 40 to 70 years
Metal roof replacements are a great option in Central Florida because they’re able to reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, which can ultimately help keep your home cooler. Many metal roofs are capable of withstanding wind speeds up to 160 miles per hour. Because they’re constructed with fewer pieces, you won’t have to worry about small pieces breaking loose during severe weather. Metal roofs are also easy to clean and maintain, which diminishes the risk of unwanted mold or moss growth. Salty air may damage your roof overtime, so make sure to ask your roofing contractor about special treatment to prevent corrosion.
How To Maximize Your Roof’s Lifespan
While roofing materials have the largest influence on your roof’s lifespan, the manner in which you care for your roof also plays a role. Regular cleaning, inspection, and maintenance are the keys to avoiding a premature roof replacement. Follows these tips to keep your roof in good shape:
- Have your roof inspected on an annual basis by a certified roofing professional.
- Take care of any minor problems, such as leaks or missing shingles, before they turn into larger issues that require an expensive roof replacement.
- Keep your roof clean and free of leaves and tree branches. Also keep nearby trees trimmed to prevent falling branches from causing damage to your roof.
- Ensure your attic has proper ventilation so humidity isn’t trapped beneath the roof.
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris. Otherwise, you might end up with water in your sheathing, which can ultimately lead to rot and premature roof replacement.
No roof lasts forever, so most homeowners will face a roof replacement at one point or another. However, Central Florida residents should take extra care to protect their roofs through regular maintenance and care. If you’re due for an upcoming roof replacement, consider investing in a durable material that is capable of withstanding severe weather. While it may cost you more upfront, it’ll ultimately save you in a big way down the line as a roof replacement won’t be needed for several decades.
If your Central Florida home needs a roofing inspection, maintenance, or a full roof replacement, finding a reputable contractor isn’t always easy. Contact us at Native Building Services & Roofing. We provide no free estimates and no obligation consultations to help you make the best decision for your home.