If you’re investing in a new roof in Quebec, Canada, you probably want to know how long it will last. The roof is one of the most important structural elements of a home, and it has to be capable of withstanding all the elements, from high winds to snow and hail.
The lifespan of a roof depends on several factors, including the type of roofing material, the installation quality, the level of exposure to the elements, and local weather conditions.
Our Montreal roofers take a closer look at the potential lifespan of both pitched (sloped) and flat roofs in Quebec. We also offer tips on how to extend the lifespan of your roof and avoid costly repairs.
Typical roof lifespan
The lifespan of a roof depends on many things, including the type of roofing materials you choose, how often you maintain your roof, the type of weather it is exposed to, etc. In general, a well-maintained roof can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, and in some cases even longer.
Asphalt shingle roofs, the most common for residential homes, generally last 15 to 25 years. Metal roofs, on the other hand, can last up to 50 years or more, while tile roofs can have a lifespan of up to 100 years.
Generalizations aside, the actual lifespan of a roof is affected by external factors. For example, if your region experiences extreme weather conditions (as in Quebec), your roof may deteriorate more quickly. Similarly, poor installation or lack of regular maintenance can noticeably shorten the lifespan of your roof.
It is important to monitor the condition of your roof and schedule a professional inspection every few years, to confirm it is in good condition and detect any signs of damage or wear. This way, you can extend the life of your roof and avoid the high cost of premature roof replacement.
Lifespan of a flat roof
It is important to know what your options are so that you can choose the right membrane for your specific situation.
Multi-layer asphalt and gravel membrane
Flat roofs equipped with a multilayer asphalt and gravel membrane tend to deteriorate after prolonged exposure to the sun. UV radiation causes the asphalt to lose its oils and form cracks, compromising the flat roof’s membrane system. This is a bigger risk for roofs where the gravel has moved and is no longer shielding the asphalt against the sun.
If neglected, a multi-layer asphalt membrane will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. However, if you make sure that the gravel stays in place, provide proper drainage and promptly repair any cracks in the membrane, it could last for 15 to 20 years.
Elastomeric bitumen membrane
Installing an elastomeric bitumen membrane on a flat roof costs more, but the expense is justified by this product’s long life and easy maintenance. As an added bonus, white membranes have a solar reflectivity index (SRI) that contributes to increased comfort and lower air conditioning costs during hotter months.
The average life of an elastomeric bitumen membrane is 20 to 25 years. If yours is installed by a professional and maintained every two years, it can easily last over 30 years, especially if your roof system components are optimal.
Single-layer EPDM and TPO membranes
EPDM and TPO single ply membranes are environmentally friendly flat roof coatings that are well-suited to large roofs. They do not require much maintenance, but they do need to be monitored if exposed to hot sun, as is common in Quebec, to make sure they remain watertight.
Many homeowners opt for this type of membrane because it is not expensive. Under optimal conditions, these membranes can remain functional for more than 20 years.
Lifetime of a pitched roof
Pitched, or ‘sloped’ roofs are the most common type of roof on residential homes. They are often constructed using asphalt or wood shingles, or clay or concrete tiles. Their lifespan varies depending on the type of material, and the quality of installation and maintenance.
Asphalt shingles are the most common for sloped roofs and last an average of 20 to 30 years. Some manufacturers offer a warranty of up to 50 years. Proper installation and regular maintenance can significantly extend the useful life of asphalt shingles.
Clay or concrete roof tiles
Clay or concrete tiles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they also last longer. Clay tiles can last from 50 to 100 years, while concrete tiles can last up to 50 years.
Tiles are not suitable for all types of buildings as they are heavy and not 100% waterproof. Contact a professional roofer to help you choose the right roofing material!
Cedar shingles are a more expensive option, but they offer a unique aesthetic. They usually last about 50 years, but regular maintenance, such as using anti-moss treatments and repairing cracks, can make them last longer.
In general, pitched roofs require regular maintenance to make them last as long as possible. This means regularly inspecting shingles, cleaning rain troughs and replacing damaged or missing shingles.
Metal roofs generally last longer than other types of roofs – from 30 to 50 years. However, several factors can influence this, including environmental conditions and the quality of both installation and maintenance.
When to renovate your roof
Knowing how long your roof should last is one thing. You’ll still need to know exactly when to replace your roof to avoid serious problems. In general, a roof should be renovated every 20 to 25 years, but the type of materials used and your maintenance schedule will affect this.
There are signs other than a roof’s age that indicate it should be replaced. If you notice water leaks or seepage into your home, missing or damaged tiles, blisters or cracks in the roof materials, roofing granules in the rain troughs, or your roof looks discolored or faded, it’s time to pay attention.
Remember that if you plan to sell your home, an aging roof can significantly reduce its value. Renovating your roof before putting it on the market will help you get the best price possible.
Preventive roof maintenance and repair
Regularly inspecting a roof membrane is one way to make sure it lasts as long as possible. You can verify the condition of the membrane by checking the state of the roof, the solidity of the structure, the waterproofing of the building, and the integrity of roofing materials and their resistance to bad weather. If anything is out of order, you can make repairs before your building is damaged by water infiltration.
Periodic roof inspection is also the best way to find out whether your home is properly ventilated and insulated. This can significantly impact the lifespan of your roof, as is proven by the fact that these elements are included in manufacturers’ warranties. It is a fact that poor ventilation or insulation prematurely wears out roof membranes.
Make your roof last longer with Duro-Toit!
The lifespan of a roof depends on several factors including the type of roofing material, local weather conditions and your maintenance schedule. It is always important to monitor the condition of your roof for signs of deterioration like leaks, mold and warping.
A healthy roof is essential to protect your home and family from the elements and to prevent long-term damage. By relying on professional advice and services for taking care of your roof, you can make it last longer and avoid unnecessary costs.
To maximize the return on your investment, trust Duro-Toit with your roof repair and maintenance.
Contact us for a free quote!