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How Long Does a Roof Last in Florida?

sealing broken roof_ZohairMirza_Unsplash

As a general rule, various roofing materials have pretty standard life spans between each other. For example, a slate tile roof typically lasts upwards of 75 years and beyond, while an asphalt shingle roof usually lasts 20 to 30 years and is covered by a warranty for that long.

That being said, several things about Florida typically decrease how long a roof lasts. This article explores a few of these things and provides ideas for a few things you can do to help lengthen the roof’s lifespan.

house dividerHow Long Does a Roof Last in Florida?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the lifespan of a roof in Florida because it depends on the type of material used.

tile roof
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingles are a common roof material. In Florida, their average lifespan is around 20 years if you take care of them. This assumes hurricanes or high winds don’t damage them first.

When it comes to shingle maintenance, there are a few things you can do to maximize their life:

  • Ensure that the roof has proper ventilation.
  • Use a high-quality shingle when doing the roof initially.
  • Use a thicker shingle.
  • Avoid putting things on the roof that could rip up the shingles in high winds.

Tile Roof

A tile roof is another great choice in Florida but comes in at a slightly higher price. With proper maintenance, life expectancy on this type of roofing material is around 50 years. Florida weather is the main cause of a shorter lifespan for tile roofs—they don’t do well with high humidity or high winds.

There are some things you can do to improve their lifespan:

  • Keep gutters clean so that water can drain off the roof properly.
  • Avoid shrubs or trees getting too close to the roof as that can increase the moisture in the area.
  • Use high-quality roof tiles during initial construction.
  • Roof tiles are susceptible to impact damage, so avoid having things close by that can fall on the roof.

Metal Roof

Metal is one of the best materials you can use on your Florida roof. Typically a metal roof will last around 40 to 50 years. In some cases, if it’s done correctly, a standing seam roof can last around 70 years.

The nice thing about a metal roof is that they reflect heat in the summer, unlike an asphalt shingle that absorbs it. So, they will help save you money on your air conditioning.

Also, a metal roof is relatively maintenance-free other than if repairs are needed. If the metal sheets are nailed, you may deal with rusting and leaks. But a nailed roof is much easier to repair than a standing seam metal roof.

corrugated metal roof
Image Credit: sandid, Pixabay

Contributing Factors to Roof Lifespan in Florida

The biggest reason roofs don’t last as long in Florida is primarily the heat and the UV damage from the intense sun. Normally asphalt adheres better with heat, but there comes the point where it’s too much heat, and they actually begin to detach.

Another factor is the humidity. Many different materials do not withstand intense humidity over long periods. Typically metal roofs are made from non-rusting metals. However, the salt and humidity in the air will begin to rust or corrode even the most durable metals.

Ways to Extend the Roof’s Life

Other than the specific maintenance things with each type of material, you can do a few general things that will help extend your roof’s life.

  • Regular roof cleaning—this includes the gutters and any fixtures on top of the roof.
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation so that moisture and heat aren’t trapped.
  • Have a professional inspect the roof once or twice a year to ensure everything is in good shape. Sometimes if a problem is caught soon enough, it’s much cheaper to fix.

house dividerClosing Thoughts

Unfortunately, your roof probably won’t last as long in Florida as in other places without at least needing repairs. But as long as you take care of the roof and choose high-quality materials, you won’t have to worry too much. Replacing a roof after 20 years instead of 30 seems to be a small price for that incredible Florida weather!


Featured Image Credit: Zohair Mirza, Unsplash

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