The roof is the most important part of any building as it keeps us warm and dry from Mother Nature. Aesthetically, it completes the look of a house. Often under-looked, your roof can take a toll from the elements or experience gradual weathering over time. This is why it’s important to take action when it’s necessary.
So in this blog post, we’ll tell you how long roofs typically last, what the signs are of roof wear and tear and what the signs are of roof damage.
How Long Do Roofs Last?
The average life expectancy of a roof varies depending on the materials used. There are several different possible roofing materials to choose from. Some roofs are made of asphalt while others are made of wood, specifically cedar. In the instance of the latter, these are called cedar shake roofs.
Asphalt Roofing Shingles
How long asphalt roofing shingles last depends on what kind you’ve got. If you’ve got 3-tab asphalt shingles, then you have an average of 15-18 years. However, if you’ve got architectural asphalt shingles, you can expect an average lifetime of 24-30 years. Here is an excellent comparison of the two types of shingles.
Cedar Shake Roofs
Most roofs in Metro Vancouver are cedar shake roofs. We do a lot of residential re-roofing jobs in Langley and Surrey and we see cedar shake roofs all the time. Since wood can weather quite quickly with moisture, cedar shake roofs require plenty of continuous attention. This means regularly cleaning debris like leaves, dirt and anything else that can leave moisture. Cedar shake roofs usually last around 15-30 years, depending on the quality of cedar used in the roof.
Our roofs go through so much over their lifespan protecting us from the elements. So here’s an important question: Do you know how to tell if there’s any roof damage, or if there is wear and tear of your roof?
What are the signs of regular wear and tear on a roof?
As the roof ages, you will see different signs that roof maintenance and possible re-roofing is needed.
Five signs that your roof is damaged:
- Curling Shingles – If you notice a curl in your shingles around the bottom edge, it’s a sign of the wear and tear they experience. These curls are noticeable in colder weather and are a normal occurrence. Why? Because of poor ventilation or roof decking underneath the shingle.
- Missing Shingles – Shingles can fly off due to weather (windstorm, hail, blizzard, lightning, etc.). Don’t wait to get these shingles replaced.
- Shingle Decay – Decaying is easy to notice with chipping, peeling, cracking, splitting, and blistering which is caused by moisture buildup inside of a shingle. If the blister bursts, it will shorten the lifespan of your roof.
- Flashing Damage – Roof flashing is sheet metal that is installed on any point of your roof to prevent leaks from occurring. You’ll have to identify which of the many types of flashing that you’ll have to repair. Chimney flashing, step flashing and skylight flashing are amongst the many different kinds. All metal flashings should be inspected on a regular basis.
- Rotting – When an excessive amount of moisture that has been absorbed by wooden shingles, especially in areas around the world that are significantly humid or rainy like Vancouver, your roof can experience damage.
- Splitting – This is from the quality of the shake or the amount of foot traffic. It can cause splitting or cracking.
- Moss and Buildup of Debris – This can cause acceleration in the rotting process and can cause leaks because of damming and diverting water flow.
- Cedar Shakes Blown Off Your Roof – If you’ve noticed wood on the ground or in your gutter, it could be a result of cedar shakes that have been blown off your roof thanks to storms or wind.
- Flashing Damage – Roof flashing is sheet metal that is installed on any point of your roof to prevent leaks from occurring. You’ll have to identify which of the many types of flashing that you’ll have to repair. Chimney flashing, step flashing, and skylight flashing are amongst the many different kinds. All metal flashings should be inspected on a regular basis.
If you decide to check your roof yourself, always remember that your safety is a priority. We don’t recommend making your roof a “DIY” project. At the same time, we’ve seen professionals do worse work than what the average homeowner is capable of. Whether you require roof maintenance or you simply need a second opinion on common roofing problems, give us a call at 604-409-4536.
Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, “if you think hiring a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur.”
We’re professionals and we rack up awards every year for a reason. We service all areas in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. If you’re unsure of anything or if you see anything unusual on your roof, contact us and we’ll come by and take a look.