The estimated lifespan of a residential roof is around 25 to 40 years, depending on the material. However, not all roofs maintain optimal functionality throughout the projected usable life. Some crumble within a few years, cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs, and eventually fail.
Various factors affect the performance and lifespan of a roof. Thus, it’s essential to know them, so you achieve a reliable and long-lasting roof. With this in mind, here are the four factors that may impact your roof’s performance and tips on how to improve it.
1. The slope of your roof
Roofs are generally categorised into two: Flat and pitched roofs. The slope of your roof can affect how well it holds up to weather elements such as rainwater and UV radiation. Flat roofs are low-sloped, which means they have difficulties draining water away from the surface. Therefore, issues of ponding and leaking are common in flat roofs as compared to pitched roof systems.
Similarly, since flat roofs have an almost non-existent slope, solar radiation hits directly on the surface. Increased UV exposure increases the risk of fading, UV damage and energy inefficiency. Thus, if you have a flat roof system, the odds may be against you regarding performance and longevity. Therefore, regular maintenance is crucial to prevent leaks, limit UV damage and extend the structure’s lifespan.
2. Roof orientation
Australia is in the Northern Hemisphere; thus, most areas experience a sun directed from the north. For this reason, homes facing north usually get more sun exposure than south-facing ones. This orientation is also the best for maximum solar energy output. However, it can affect your roof’s performance. Roofing systems with a northern orientation get a lot of exposure during the day.
More UV exposure means your roof fades faster than those with minimal exposure. This not only reduces aesthetic appeal but also impacts the energy efficiency of the roof. UV rays can also accelerate wear and tear due to material expansion and contraction with the changing temperatures.
If you have a north-facing roof, you need to stay on top of maintenance. Inspect it regularly for signs of fading, premature wear and leaks. Also, monitor energy consumption, especially during the summer, when there is significant UV exposure. Repaint your roof and repair damaged components to extend the structure’s lifespan.
3. The climate of your area
Inclement weather such as hail and thunderstorms can affect your roof’s performance. Unfortunately, these are quite common in spring and summer. Hail can dent a metal roof and dislodge weak tiles. It also leaves dings and dents on aluminium siding and metal gutters. Over time, severe hailstorms can weaken your roof, leaving it vulnerable to leaks. If left unrepaired, leaking roofs and drains can cause costly structural damage to your home.
If large tree branches are overhanging your roof, severe storms can cause these branches to fall on the structure. Just like hail, heavy branches cause physical damage to a roof by denting and dislodging materials. It’s crucial to schedule a professional roof inspection after an incidence of inclement weather. The roofing contractor can repair any damage before it affects the rest of the structure.
4. Roof colour
Your roof’s colours can affect its performance. Dark colours absorb a lot of radiation and heat, which increases the home’s cooling demand and impacts the durability of the materials. Lighter colours reflect solar radiation, prevent heat gain and keep your roof cool during the hot season.
Today, there are cool roofs, which have highly reflective paint coating to reduce heat absorption. If you don’t have a cool roof, you can repaint it using light, reflective colours to achieve similar results. Regularly repainting your roof every few years can optimise performance and extend its usable life.
These factors determine how well your roof holds up to the elements. However, with regular professional inspections, maintenance and repairs, your roof can withstand harsh conditions and last for a long time. Contact us today for professional roof repairs, painting and restoration.