Know Your Roof’s Lifespan!

Eventually, everything will wear out and break down, often coming as a surprise that can be extremelyRoof_Houston irritating and expensive, especially when it pertains to a roof. One way to prevent this as well as stay on top of preventive maintenance is to learn how to recognize when a roofing system is approaching the end of its service life.

There are several factors that can affect the life expectancy of the top covering of a house, including: materials used in the construction process; quality of workmanship; installation process; scheduled maintenance; and weather or climate conditions.


The service life of a roofing system varies depending upon the materials used as each type has its own expected lifespan. Asphalt shingles could last anywhere from twenty to thirty years, depending on the environment and fiberglass matting. Wood shingles and shakes generally last from thirty to forty years and are also affected wood quality as well as exposure to different weather conditions. Properly installed slate, clay tiles, and metal roofing can last for fifty years or more if a good routine maintenance program is followed.

Age Estimate

Determining the age of a roof is not always easy. For newly-built houses, it is fairly easy to determine as it would be the same age as the house. For older homes, age can be determined by inspecting the different layers of the structure. When estimating age, it is vital to assess each layer separately if: various materials were used; the same materials were used but the exposure to weather varied; or if materials were used with varying production dates. By using such a method, it is possible to approximate the age of the structure.

Service Life

The expected number of years that a roof will last depends primarily on the type of material used; however, other factors can have a great impact on the actual life expectancy. Exposure to different weather conditions such as sun, wind, rain and snow can significantly reduce the length of service. Poor installation, an inadequate design, and the lack of maintenance can result in system failure which could also decrease the functional time of the structure. In addition, material property can also result in failure; for example, if protective coating is compromised, resistance to water penetration, damage and deterioration could be limited.

Accurate Assessment

Taking into consideration the factors discussed above, the number of usable years left on a roof cannot be reduced to a simple equation of subtracting the approximate age of the materials from an ideal expected lifespan. Lifespan is also decreased by poor design, poor workmanship, and product defects – and that is just a few of the factors affecting the aging process of this system. In addition, the type of product used, wear and tear, climate, and lack of preventive maintenance can further impact the current roof condition which is the reference point against which the remaining service life is determined.

Each type of material has its own life expectancy; however, a number of factors can affect this such as: climate, pitch, quality of materials, amount of shade, protective coatings, installation, and maintenance programs. If these are not properly addressed, premature failure could result that would compromise the integrity of the roof and reduce the remaining number of service years left. Knowing the lifespan of a roof should be a good incentive to pay attention to its actual condition and follow a good maintenance program to keep it in top shape!

If you need a roof Houston contractor, call Schulte Roofing today!

Have you been searching for a roof Houston company to help you with any roofing problems? Call Schulte Roofing at 800-367-7663 – they can help all greater Houston area customers with any roofing issues including determining if it has reached the end of its lifespan!