The majority of America’s 102 million housing units are single-family homes. Every year, around 5 million of these homes need re-roofing. Florida homes tend to need re-roofing more often than homes elsewhere in the nation.
Why is that the case? How long does a roof last in Florida? Is there anything you can do to extend the life of your roof? Keep reading now for answers to these important questions.
How Long Does a Roof Last in Florida?
The average lifespan of a roof in Florida depends primarily on what kind of material the roof is made of. Florida homeowners tend to choose one of several types of roofing for their homes:
- 3-tab shingles
- Architectural shingles
- Metal (steel or aluminum)
3-tab shingles are often the least expensive option. They also have the shortest lifespan, lasting between 10 and 15 years when well installed and maintained. Architectural shingles are slightly more expensive and last slightly longer. Well-maintained, they have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years in Florida. Both metal and tile roofs can be more expensive to install than shingles but also boast longer lifespans. Tile lasts an average of 25 to 50 years. Metal roofing tends to last between 40 and 70 years.
Across the board, the average life of a roof in Florida is three to five years less than you might expect to get from the same roofing material in other parts of the country.
What Factors Affect the Lifespan of a Roof?
Numerous factors influence how long your roof will last. Some of these factors are within a homeowner’s control. Others are not. Understanding these factors is the first step to extending the life of your roof as long as possible.
Weather and the environment top the list of factors that homeowners cannot control. Specifically, storms and heavy exposure to UV rays can quickly take a toll on roofing materials in Florida.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can bring:
- Hard winds
- Battering rain
- Salt spray
- High humidity
- Debris damage
Combined with intense heat and UV ray exposure from Florida’s beautiful sunshine, this can lead to:
- Corrosion of metal roofs or metal hardware in other types of roofing
- Physical damage from impact or wind sheer
- More than average wear and tear each year
- Repeated and damaging expansion and contraction in the roof
- A general breakdown of roofing materials
The impact of environmental factors can be exacerbated by non-climate factors also outside homeowners’ control. These include the slope and orientation of your roof.
Flatter roofs have more surface area exposed to high heat and UV rays during the day. This makes them age faster than steeper roofs, which are somewhat shielded from that exposure and its effects.
Likewise, roofs oriented so that they face east or west will age faster than those facing north or south as they are harder impacted by the wear and tear of sunlight.
Together, these factors largely explain why the answer to “how long does a shingle roof last in Florida?” is “three to five years less than the same roof anywhere else.”
Fortunately, many of the factors that influence how long a roof will last are under homeowners’ control. These include:
- The quality of materials used
- Roof color
- The quality of installation
- Presence of trees
Quality of Materials and Installation
High-quality materials are more likely to last and withstand tough environmental conditions than low-quality materials. This, for example, is why architectural shingles outlast 3-tab shingles. Choosing the highest-quality roofing materials that you can afford will help extend the life of your roof.
Similarly, quality installation is essential to a long-lasting roof. Even good materials will not hold up well if they are poorly installed. They may become loose, or experience preventable water or wind damage if constructed improperly or carelessly.
Working with qualified and experienced roofing contractors will ensure that your roof is solidly constructed and prepared to withstand Florida’s heat, sun, and storms.
Color and Ventilation
Regardless of material, lighter-colored roofs absorb less heat than darker ones. This reduces warping and other heat and sun damage and extends the roof’s lifespan.
Proper ventilation helps mitigate the effects of heat and moisture on roofing, as well. Good ventilation prevents stagnant moisture and mold, both of which can shorten a roof’s life.
Maintenance and Trees
Proper maintenance is essential to keeping a roof in good condition for as long as possible. Repairing leaks, tightening loose nails, replacing damaged roof tile, and regularly checking flashing are all vital to maintaining roof health.
Homeowners with trees near their houses should ensure that sticks, leaves, and other debris do not accumulate on their roofs. Such accumulation can lead to trapped moisture and related damage.
If possible, homeowners should cut trees back to prevent them from damaging the roof during storms, as well.
Tips to Make A Roof Last Longer
There are many ways to extend the life of your Florida roof.
- Get the roof inspected after storms and other bad weather to identify and address storm damage
- Keep gutters and the surface of the roof clean
- Keep trees and other hazards trimmed back away from the roof
- Purchase and install lighter-colored roof material whenever possible
- Choose high-quality materials and have roofing installed by experienced professionals
- Have the roof periodically inspected regardless of weather and make small repairs where needed
Addressing small roof repairs regularly can prevent cumulative damage and keep your roof in good condition for as long as possible. This will help your roof last and let you get the most out of your investment.
Schedule an Inspection
How long does a roof last in Florida? A very long time, but only if you take care of it. Schedule a roofing inspection today.
Let our experienced roofing professionals help you determine the state of your roof, identify any repairs necessary, and help you get the most out of your roof.