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How long will my roof last?

by: Kirsten Land on February 19th, 2019 about Roofing Advice

No one likes having to pay for home repairs, especially when it comes to the more expensive parts of your home like a new roof.

Roofing isn’t cheap, but a well-applied roof should last for a long time. Here in Oklahoma, though, we have a unique set of circumstances that can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Let’s take a look at life expectancies for different roofing materials, some factors that can shorten those, and how to know when it’s time to get your roof replaced.

Shingles

Most of the roofs in Oklahoma are made of various types of shingles. The lowest grade of shingle is three-tab, which is not used a lot in Oklahoma because of the very low wind rating. They’re the ones that look completely rectangular, which you may have seen on trailer homes. These can last from ten to twenty years, but in windy areas or areas with high temperature variance, the lifespan can be dramatically shorter.

Most houses in this area have architectural or dimensional shingles, which are made of multiple shingle layers. They’re more durable than three-tab and have a higher wind rating, which makes them the most cost-effective choice for many Oklahoma roofing applications. They usually last from fifteen to 25 years.

Finally there are premium shingles, which are used on higher-end homes. These are thicker and fancier-looking, and they can last from twenty to 30 years. Some also have special properties like reflectivity or impact resistance, which can help cushion against the worst environmental factors that shorten the life of a roof.

Metal

There are multiple different kinds of metal roofing, including standing seam, ribbed metal, and metal shingle. These are all very durable with ribbed metal occasionally lasting a little shorter time depending on the installation method. In general, metal roofs should last between 30 and 50 years.

Tile

Tile roofs aren’t often seen in Oklahoma. They require more bracing to deal with the weight of the roof, but if your home can stand it, they have very good durability. Clay tile roofs can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. Concrete tile comes in slightly lower at 40 to 75 years.

Other roofing materials

Slate is one of the best and most expensive roofing materials with very high durability. It can last between 50 and 100 years.

Composite shingle systems can last between 30 and 50 years, but those systems cost more than regular shingle roofs.

Cedar shingle or shake roofs are more common on the coasts, and they’re designed to last twenty to 35 years. They require some maintenance, however, and can last longer if properly taken care of. Wind uplift ratings depend fairly heavily on installation.

There are some other options for flat roofs, but those are typically found in commercial roofs rather than residential applications.

What can shorten the lifespan of my roof?

Oklahoma isn’t a great place to live if you’re a roof. Wind is one of the worst offenders for tearing up a roof, and high winds are common here. In addition, the frequent temperature fluctuations cause the shingles to expand and contract, which causes cracks to form over time. Ice can form in these cracks in the winter months and cause the cracks to expand. Proper installation can help, but roof lifespans in Oklahoma tend to be short.

How can I tell if my shingle roof needs to be replaced?

There are quite a few signs that can indicate it’s time to replace your roof:

 Cupped or curled shingle edges

 Bald spots without granules

 Visible cracks

 Age or visible wear

Another key sign that your roof might need to be replaced is when your neighbors are getting new roofs. Most homes in a neighborhood are built around the same time, and the roofs will begin to wear out around the same time as well.

If you think your roof is approaching the end of its life, call us at 405-359-3951 or send an email to info@landroofingokc.com to schedule a free roof inspection.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: None

What if your roof didn’t just protect your house but also helped power it? That's the idea behind the solar roof, an innovation that's slowly starting to catch on in the United States.

Solar panels on the roof are not a new idea-they've been around for years. But recently some companies are working to make the solar roof more accessible. Solar shingles are a new development that help a solar roof look much more like a regular roof as compared to bulky solar panels.

What are solar shingles?

Solar shingles, also known as “building-integrated photovoltaics” or BIPVs, are designed to make solar roofs more cost-effective and more unobtrusive. There are a few different options on the market from companies like CertainTeed, Forward, SunTegra, and Atlantis. They all function on the same general principle though.

Though some manufacturers have toyed with other technologies, most of the solar shingles are made up of silicon solar cells. Shingles tend to be slightly less energy-efficient than the equivalent square footage in panels, mainly because no air can circulate under the solar cell. They have the benefit of blending in with the regular roof though. Some (including CertainTeed's) can be installed directly onto roofing felt, while others go on top of an existing roof.

What other solar roof options exist?

There are some manufacturers who offer other solar options, too. These include both fixed and flexible solar panels. These are usually slightly cheaper than solar shingles, but they need to be installed on top of an existing roof and directly screwed to the rafters or trusses.

Is it worth the cost?

The answer to that question depends on where you live. Solar roofs are not cheap-they usually come in between three and six dollars a watt. In some states like Massachusetts and California, there are tax credits and incentives that can help offset the cost. There is a 30 percent federal income tax incentive that applies anywhere as well.

Once they're installed, though, they can be surprisingly durable. Most solar tile companies offer a warranty between 25 and 30 years, with some offering an even longer warranty.

If a solar installation were to be damaged by a hail or wind storm, it should be covered by insurance, but it's worth checking with your insurance agent before investing in a solar roof.

Solar roofs in Oklahoma

Land Enterprises Roofing offers solar roof installations for CertainTeed, and we personally have a backup solar system at our house. Here in Oklahoma where wind and sun are common commodities, renewable energy can cut your bills back by a fair amount. In the case of an ice storm or tornado that knocks power out for a couple of days, a solar roof can be a nice alternative to a generator.

If you'd like to learn more about solar roofs, there's an excellent piece on EnergySage that lays out the basics. Interested in discussing a solar roof? Call 405-359-3951 or send an email to info@landroofingokc.com, and we can see if a solar roof is the right fit for you.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: None

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