We recently shared a post about what could happen with your homeowner's insurance coverage when your roof hits the 15-year mark Knowing the anticipated lifespan of a particular roofing material is very important.  But there are a number of things you should take a look at as far as roof life expectancy.

When you are getting ready to replace your roof, we recommend you compare different materials.  You'll find that roofing life can vary - all the way from 12-15 years for inexpensive asphalt roofing to 70 or more years for metal. But some roofs with long expected lifespan - such as tile, that can be functional for 100 years or more - aren't recommended for homes in our area. So don't let the expected life of a roof to be your main factor when choosing.  It also helps to consider how long you expect to remain in this particular house.  If you're planning on selling in the next 10-15 years, a roof with a 50+ expected life probably won't matter for you.  On the other hand, if this is your 'forever home' and you intend to spend the rest of your days in it, a metal roof might be a great investment.  It will most likely outlive you, and it will require virtually no maintenance, which should appeal to those approaching their leisure years.

  • What does the manufacturer's warranty state in terms of years of coverage?  Is it full replacement value or prorated?  Materials only or is the labor cost included? 
  • Ask your prospective roofing contractor.  You may get a different expected age, because there are factors that could cause a roof to fail prematurely.  The slope of your roof, the amount of full sun it gets, the weather in our area, nearby trees, etc. can all affect expected roof life. For example, an asphalt shingle roof on a home here in the Minneapolis area where we get frequent hailstorms won't last as long as one in a climate that's a little kinder to homes.
  • And is there suggested maintenance that may extend the life? (The converse is true; are there things that can cause a roof to fail early if not attended to?)  Wood shake roofing should last quite awhile, but it requires a lot of upkeep  Some roofing experts refer to it as a roof that needs to be treated like a needy baby.  And we don't recommend it for wooded areas because of the fire danger.
  • Do a little research on the particular roofing brand you're considering. What do actual owners say about it?
Of course, there are other questions you should ask your roofing contractor before deciding on a particular roof material and brand, but expected age is a good place to start.  Watch our blog for an upcoming post on more wise questions about a new roof.

Quarve Contracting, Inc. is a licensed Minnesota roofing contractor.  We specialize in the installation of steel and other metal roofing here in the Twin Cities metro area.