Raise the Roof: How Long Does a Roof Restoration Last?

Raise the Roof: How Long Does a Roof Restoration Last?

The average roof, for the most part, is unseen and often forgotten. The roof sits above our heads silently doing its job. That is until a problem develops.

The roof is like the fifth wall which takes the brunt of all the elements. It’s no wonder then, that most roofs have a limited lifespan. Replacing an entire roof could be expensive.

Perhaps you’re facing the prospect of having your roof restored. You will want to make sure that the cost is worth the investment. Read on to find out about the factors that influence how long your roof restoration will last.

Extend the Roof’s Lifespan

The first important thing to note is that a roof restoration is intended to extend the lifespan of the existing roof. So if a roof is designed to last 25-30 years, then extending the lifespan through a roof restoration will likely add another 15-20 years or so. Of course, that depends on many factors which we will discuss here.

The principle point though is that restoration is not the same as a roof replacement. In the latter, you will get a completely new roof which will last longer than a restoration.

However, a restoration project is also significantly cheaper and will serve most purposes when a roof needs attention. Sometimes though, a roof is too damaged to be restored and a complete roof replacement is the only option.   

Material Lifespan

Now that you’ve got a realistic view of what a roof restoration can achieve in extending the roof’s lifespan, it’s important to understand that the potential increase in the roof’s lifespan is also dependent on the material used for the roof. Any restoration will not last longer than the inherent lifespan of the material used, no matter what the advertising may say.

Shingles

Shingle roofs are the most popular type of roof in the U.S with around 80 percent of homes using them. There are different material types for shingles. The above statistic applies to asphalt shingles.

These are very popular because they’re good value, last a reasonable period of time and look good with many different home styles. Asphalt shingles will last about 15 to 25 years depending on the weather and other environmental factors.

You can also use fiber cement shingles on your roof. This is another good material which will last around 20 years. Perhaps one of the most attractive looking shingles is using wood. For example, cedar shakes are a beautiful material for rooves that will last around 25 years and longer depending on where you live in the country and weather conditions, etc.

Thatched

Thatched roofs are an amazing feat of human ingenuity and construction and have a long history. A typical roof could last up to 50 years. That said, the outer part of the roof which faces the elements would need replacing every 10 years or so. 

Slate

This is a natural material specially cut for the roof. It is heavy and durable. For this reason, it’s an excellent material for the roof.

Slate roofs can last over 100 years if they’re well maintained. Due to the weight of slate, it is resistant to high winds, yet, if they do fly off they can be very dangerous. 

Metal

Possibly the least attractive but one of the most practical materials for roofs. Metal roofs can last around 50 years or more. There are many different metal types that can be used for roofing; some are considered more attractive than others.

Roofing options include exposed fasteners or concealed fasteners which will affect both the price and longevity of the roof. It’s also possible to use metal shingles. so there are lots of options with metal roofing.

Importance of Preparation

Roof restoration is not simply identifying loose and damaged shingles and replacing them. Every roofing material has its own structural integrity and that needs to be reinforced in some way so that the roof will last longer, that is to say, you can extend its natural lifespan. 

Adding a protective layer to the roof involves using a special primer that coats the roof and seals the material beneath it so that it can continue to withstand the elements.

The success of this primer and the subsequent duration of the roof’s lifespan is often dependent on how thorough was the preparation of the roof, before application. It is of paramount importance that the roof is pressure cleaned so that the primer can properly seal the material surface.

Influence of Structural Integrity

Your roof has several layers that are designed to protect your home from the outside elements. Some layers of the roof are designed to channel water away from the roof and other elements of the roof provide airflow and ventilation. So your roof is not just the part that you can see on the outside.

If the outer part of the roof becomes damaged in some way or is compromised in some way, that can lead to problems within the ‘roofing system.’ Poor ventilation and airflow can lead to a build-up of moisture and further problems result.

So the key take-home here is that the lifespan of a roofing restoration will also depend on how sound the underlying structural integrity is of the roofing system as a whole.

Weather Factors

Weather will affect the lifespan of your roof. The roofing material will also make a difference in terms of its ability to withstand the weather. However, a general principle is that the more extreme the weather patterns are where you live, the shorter the lifespan of your roof and any restoration.

Don’t Delay Restoring the Roof

In this article, we have discussed many factors that influence the lifespan of the roof. The lifespan of your roof restoration will follow the basic principles discussed in this article. Material type is a major factor, as is the underlying structural integrity of the roof itself and the weather pattern in your area.

Last but not least, is the quality of the preparation and work performed during the restoration. One thing is for sure, if your roof needs a restoration, do not delay as this could lead to further damage. Check out the other recent posts on our site that fit with your lifestyle and interests.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Wayne Probert

Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.