When homeowners ask us how long their roof will last, we generally respond with a range. For instance, a tile roof will last 10 – 50 years, and metal roofs will last 20 – 50 years. These are pretty broad ranges. So, you may be wondering what the difference is between a roof that needs early replacement and one which lasts its full life expectancy. Climate, installation technique, and material choices all play their roles. However, the factor you have the most control over is roof maintenance.
Roofs which are properly maintained simply last longer. Whether you have a metal, shingle, tile, or solar roof, maintaining it well will extend its life.
Here’s a closer look at the recommended maintenance for common roof materials in Florida.
In Florida, a key determining factor in metal roofs’ lifespan is how much salt spray the roof is exposed to. Salt in the air will settle on the roof and accelerate the corrosion rate. How do you minimize this issue? The best approach is to have your metal roof periodically cleaned with fresh water. The fresh water rinses away the salt buildup, reducing corrosion and extending the life of your roof.
If your home is less than 1500 feet from the ocean, you should have your metal roof rinsed twice a year. Homes between 1500 feet and 1 mile from the water should be rinsed yearly, and those more than 1 mile from water can be rinsed every 2 years.
If you run your hands over a shingle, you’ll feel its rough texture. This texture comes from the granules on the surface of the shingle. The granules offer protection, and once they wear away, your roof is more likely to start leaking. Modern shingle manufacturers specifically design the shingles to cling to the granules for as long as possible. Proper shingle roof maintenance, therefore, involves keeping these granules in place.
Over the years, we’ve seen so many Florida homeowners pressure wash their shingle roofs to remove algae. Unfortunately, this does more harm than good as it displaces the granules. We recommend a gentler cleaning method to prevent granule loss.
When maintaining a shingle roof, you must also be careful to minimize traffic on the roof. In other words, avoid walking on the roof when possible, since stepping on the shingles can displace granules.
Shingle roofs do have some metal flashing components. Periodic fresh water rinses can help prevent corrosion and extend the lifespan of these parts. Roofiversary, Kelly Roofing’s own roof care program, includes Soft Wash cleaning and rinses which work well on shingle roofs.
Proper tile roof maintenance centers around two goals. The first is to prevent the roof tiles from cracking. Next is to prevent the metal top flashing from corroding. Both corroded top flashing and broken tiles can allow water to seep beneath the tiles. Once water runs beneath the tiles, it acts like a river, eroding away the waterproof barrier beneath the tiles. And once this barrier is compromised, your tile roof starts leaking.
To protect the metal flashing, ensure you rinse your tile roof with fresh water at least every 2 years. To protect the tiles, you must minimize traffic on the roof. Don’t walk on the tiles, and trim back any tree branches that may fall on your roof during a storm. Kelly Roofing’s Roofiversary program is also a heart way to extend the life of your tile roof.
Tesla Solar Roofs
Tesla Solar Roofs are the lowest maintenance of all common roof types. The metal components should be rinsed periodically to prevent them from corroding. But the rest of the roof is made from glass. This glass is incredibly long-lived, and it doesn’t really require careful cleaning or maintenance to extend its life.
You should, however, have your Tesla Solar Roof periodically inspected by a Tesla Certified Installer. This way, any issues can be noted and corrected early on. Only allow Tesla Certified Installers to work on your Tesla Solar Roof. Roofers who are not certified do not have the expertise needed to repair these unique roof structures.
According to the NRCA, about 80% of roofs are replaced prematurely due to lack of maintenance. If you maintain your roof properly, using the advice above, it can be one of the 20% that last their entire lifespan.
Kelly Roofing is dedicated to helping our customers get as many years as possible out of their roofs. We offer Roofiversary, a cleaning and inspection program which allows you to enjoy a worry-free, clean roof. We also offer comprehensive repair services for tile, shingle, and metal roofs. Contact us if you’re looking for roof maintenance or repair services in South Florida. Our knowledgeable, professional roofers would love to help extend your roof’s lifespan.