The timeline for a roof replacement isn’t set in stone. The lifespans of roofs vary based on the materials used, the quality of construction, and the amount of sustained exposure. Heavy snow loads, hail, excessive rainfall, and general storm damage matter too. With Little Rock seeing just four inches of snow or less most years, UV rays, wind, and general leaks are the most prevalent aging factors. Read on to determine the best time to schedule your next roof replacement.
Recent and Significant Changes in Winter Weather
Local roofing companies generally offer materials and design techniques that have long worked in the region. Many roofs in the area don’t have excessively steep slopes and aren’t built with high levels of ice or snow resistance. Unfortunately, while low-slope designs have worked well in the past, there have been several heavy snow storms in recent years, along with fair amounts of ice and hail.
These recent and significant changes in winter weather may have taken a serious toll on your roof. Thus, even if your roof is only at the halfway point of its expected lifespan, you shouldn’t be surprised by evidence of excessive wear.
These changes in winter weather have had a major impact on many older roofs throughout the area. They’ve also made annual roof inspections more important. Check for shingle granules in your gutters and at the base of your downspouts. If your shingle granules have started to come off, this indicates that you need a roof replacement. Having multiple missing, buckled, curling, or otherwise damaged shingles is a sign of advanced aging too. When shingles start to fall off, roofs often develop dark, discolored patches that are visible from the curb.
Separation at the Roof’s Valleys
Roofs in any area are most vulnerable at their valleys and points of extrusion. Roof valleys are where two roofing sections are joined together, such as at corners, soffits, or slight elevation changes. Other elements that break up the continuity of roofs also create areas of vulnerability. These include skylights, chimneys, and vents. If there’s separation in any of these areas, the likelihood of performing successful repairs is minimal. As roof separation continues, repaired areas will again become viable points of ingress for rainwater and other moisture.
Soft, Springy Roofing Substrate
Roofs are many-layer constructions. Shingles and shingle coatings are the first defenses against UV damage and moisture. During the early stages of a roof’s life, these outermost additions should provide an impermeable barrier. Unfortunately, as roofs age, the layers beneath shingles can increasingly suffer.
If you can mount a ladder and walk on your roof, you might find that it feels soft and springy under your feet. This means water has seeped into the roofing substrate to cause wood rot and other damage. There is no simple fix for a damaged substrate. From the foundational layer out, every damaged feature must be replaced.
The General Timeline for Roof Replacement According to Roof Type
With superior workmanship and diligent roof maintenance, roofs made from composition shingles can last between 12 and 20 years. If your roof is comprised of asphalt shingles instead, it has an expected lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. Some asphalt shingle roofs may last as long as 30 years if they aren’t plagued with ventilation or insulation-related problems such as ice damming.
Metal roofs can last between five and seven decades, and rubber roofs typically last between three and five decades. If you’ve opted to install a wood shingle roof, your roof might last between 20 and 25 years, but only if you practice good termite prevention and general roof maintenance.
The most important thing to know about maintaining and replacing roofs in Little Rock is that changing weather has a definite impact. To extend the lifespan of your roof, consider scheduling twice-annual inspections, especially in years when winter and spring weather is especially extreme. When replacing your roof, it’s also a good idea to consider upgrading to more resilient materials in colder temperatures and under heavier snow and ice loads.
We’ve been proudly serving residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, for more than 10 years. We know how to build and maintain roofs that endure in the local climate. We offer residential roof replacement, inspection, and repair services. We also provide emergency roof repairs and storm damage repairs. If you have questions about the lifespan of your roof or if you need roofing service, get in touch with Big Rock KangaROOF today!