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5 Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Your Roof

5 Factors of a Roof Lifespan

5 Factors That Affect The Lifespan of Your Roof

A working roof over your head is often a comfort that goes unnoticed until it’s too late and you need a new roof. And when most roofs are made to last 20+ years, it’s ok if you’re not thinking about roofing 24/7. That’s what Alliance Roofing is here for. Knowing what affects the lifespan of your roof can help you plan for the future and get out in front of leaks, holes or any other upcoming repairs.



The type of material your roof is made of affects its life expectancy the most. The higher the quality of material used, the longer your roof can expect to last. 3-tab asphalt shingles can last 20 years, with high quality versions up to 50. Wooden shingles are most commonly used for residential properties and last nearly 30 years. Concrete tiles are common in roofing among commercial properties because they can last up to 50 years as well. And finally, metal roofs, metal being the least porous of the materials used in roofing, can expect to last between 40 and 80 years.


Roof Pitch

Another factor that goes into estimating your roof’s lifespan is the angle at which it’s positioned, also known as the roof’s pitch. A higher pitched roof will last longer, since its angles deflect precipitation, like heavy rain and hail, better. The flatter your roof is, the shorter its lifespan will be. Flatter roofs don’t shed weight well, leading to more rapid degradation from pools of water, heavy snows or leaves and debris. Leaks can form, leading to even more rapid degradation. It’s important to have an effective gutter system installed to help your roof stay in good shape.


Exposure to the Elements

Your roof is your home’s first contact with the weather outside. The sun’s light, the air’s temperature and the wind’s touch all affect the integrity of your roofing. Light from the sun’s UV rays send thermal shocks of energy to the roofing materials, causing them to shrink and expand through the transfer of energy. Rapid degradation follows inside and outside the roofing system and tiles will begin to tear, curl or crack. Not only does the heat damage hurt your roof’s ventilation, but your home’s heating and cooling will be off as well. Damaging weather from heavy rains and snows can rip up your roofing in a moment’s notice. High winds cause tiles to loosen and create leaks. If your roofing already has existing vulnerabilities, you can expect the elements to expose them and worsen them.



Balancing the right amount between air intake and output for your roofing is highly important to maintain a decent lifespan. The right ventilation breaks up moisture accumulation and lowers the external temperature, which helps the rest of your roofing system operate normally. You also won’t get ice dams during freezing temperatures, so your gutters will be better able to drain your roofing system without those blocks. Ice dams occur when heat from under your roof and heat from the sun above melt snow and ice on your roof. The melted water accumulates at the roof’s edge and refreezes. With the right ventilation, however, the warm air from inside gets out before it melts the snow or ice on your roof. Ventilation also helps you out in the heat if the system’s correct. A poorly ventilated system leads to a hot attic in the summer. Over time, this heat buildup in your attic will damage shingles and will shorten your roofing’s overall lifespan.


Poor Installation

Your roof’s lifespan will certainly depend on the quality of its installation. The likelihood of degradation from and cost to maintain a poorly installed roofing materials increase over time, as you’ll have to get another contractor to make frequent repairs or to install a new roof entirely.


With these five factors in mind, you can get a good estimation of how long you can expect your roofing to last. We offer free estimates on roofing repairs and replacements for residential and commercial roofing in the Mobile & Baldwin Counties. Contact our team at Alliance Roofing for your roofing needs.