How Long Do Roofs Last In Florida?

One question we often get from customers is, “how long will my roof last?” It’s hard to answer this question with a specific number because the lifespan of a roof depends on many different factors. The most notable of these are the type of roof system, the quality and type of materials used, and how the roof is installed. Below, we will look at four common types of roof systems and how long they tend to last in Florida’s climate.

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years. Whether your tile roof lasts 10 years or closer to 50 years primarily depends on how it is installed.

Tile roofing is installed over an asphalt underlayment. If the water ever seeps under the tile, it will erode away this asphalt, creating “potholes” like you see in asphalt roads. This happens due to a process called oil migration. As water runs over the asphalt, oil rises to the top. Eventually, the asphalt loses so much oil that it becomes brittle and starts to erode.

If roofers install a layer known as top flashing on a tile roof, water is kept from coming into contact with the underlayment. A tile roof with top flashing can last 50 years. One without top flashing can start to leak in as few as 5 years. Many properly installed tile roofs in Europe have lasted as long as 100 years.

Maintenance is also essential for tile roofs. If you have broken tiles, have them replaced ASAP to keep water from reaching the asphalt underlayment.

Shingle Roofs

In Florida, shingle roofs last anywhere from 18 to 25 years. The lifespan mostly depends on the quality of the shingles. Today’s shingles are made with a fiberglass mat trapping the granules, giving the asphalt base layer more protection. Shingles with a better-quality fiberglass mat last longer.

To make sure your shingle roof lasts as long as possible, you must be careful to keep the granules intact. Never powerwash a shingle roof, even to remove algae. Doing so displaces the granules and will cause the roof to fail sooner. Soft Wash cleaning methods are much kinder to your roof and remove algae without causing damage.

We also recommend trimming any trees overhanging your roof. Tree branches scraping over a shingle roof can scape off the granules.

Metal Roofs

The lifespan of a metal roof largely depends on the type of finish.

  • Mill Finish: These roofs have a clear, protective coating applied over the galvanized metal. They last about 20 years.
  • SPM: SPM stands for siliconized modified polyester. This finish provides good, long-term protection from elements, including saltwater. SPM roofs last about 25 – 30 years.
  • Kynar: Considered the premium finish for metal roofs, Kynar gives you about 30 and 40 years of protection.

Kynar roofs are often preferred to SMP roofs because Kynar does not fade as quickly in the sun. SMP roofs sometimes take on a white cast after years of sun exposure. While this does not necessarily impact the function of the roof, it can be visually off-putting. 

Regardless of the finish, metal roofs are heavily affected by salty sea spray. Any exposed or cut edges will begin rusting quickly. As such, metal roofs should regularly be rinsed with fresh water to guard against rust. How often should you have the roof rinsed? That depends on how far your home is from saltwater.

  • Within 1500 feet: Rinse every 6 months.
  • 1500 feet – 1 mile: Rinse every year.
  • More than 1 mile: Rinse every 2 years.

If you keep up with freshwater rinses as recommended, your metal roof will better resist damage.

Tesla Solar Roofs

Tesla Solar Roofs are made from a combination of metal and glass. The finish used on the metal parts is similar to Kynar. As such, these components have a similar life expectancy to a Kynar-finished metal roof. They also require the same maintenance. Freshwater rinses will prevent damage from saltwater over the years, extending the life of your roof. 

The glass portions of your solar roof will last virtually forever. Glass is simply sand and does not deteriorate over time. This is one reason we highly recommend solar roofs for so many of our customers in Florida. In addition to generating green power, solar roofs are incredibly durable and long-lasting. 

Regardless of the type of roof you have, regular cleaning and maintenance will help ensure it lasts as long as possible. Kelly Roofing is proud to offer Roofiversary, a roof maintenance program designed to double the lifespan of your roof. Roofiversary includes regular inspections, gentle cleaning, and immediate emergency response after a storm. Contact Kelly Roofing in Florida to learn more about Roofiversary and our roof replacement services.