Metal roofs come with a lot of advantages, and one of the biggest ones is their longevity and ability to withstand all of the extremes that Florida weather can throw at them. On average, a metal roof lasts around 50 years compared to the 10-20 year lifespan of shingles.
But what factors affect how long a metal roof lasts in Florida? We’ll answer this question and go over some tips to ensure they reach the longest possible lifespan.
What Type of Metal Roof Lasts the Longest?
The material used in your metal roof directly affects its lifespan. Here are five of the most common roofing materials and how long you can expect them to last.
Copper roofing has one of the longest lifespans of metal roofing types. It can last anywhere from 50-100 years and even longer with proper maintenance. There are still copper roofs that were originally installed in the 1800s that are still functioning today. Copper roofing starts as a shiny bronze color, but over time gains a blue-green patina. This patina is not corrosion and is not damaging the roof, but instead is a protective layer that helps further waterproof the roof.
Steel roofing has an average lifespan of about 40 years. Steel roofs can come in different designs to make them look like slate, shingles, or clay. The biggest threat to a steel roof is rust, so most manufacturers coat them to help prevent rust damage and get an even longer lifespan.
Aluminum is the most lightweight metal roofing and has an average lifespan of about 50 years. For coastal areas, like Florida, it’s a better option than steel because it is energy-efficient. It’s better suited for the hot humid summers and can help keep your home cool during warmer months while still providing the protection you need.
Zinc roofing has about the same lifespan of copper with an average lifespan of 60-100 years. Zinc roofing has such an amazing lifespan because it has self-healing properties. While it can’t heal from a major puncture or tear, it can correct the damage and restore its structural integrity after being scratched. Like copper, zinc changes color with time, starting as a dark gray and then becoming bluer as the years go by.
Tin used to be the popular choice for metal roofs, but it’s lost its popularity as cheaper metals with longer lifespans entered the market. Tin has an average lifespan of about 50 years but is easy to damage. Some modern ‘tin’ roofs are actually rolled steel that is coated with a thin layer of tin.
What Affects the Lifespan of a Metal Roof?
Metal roofs can have long lifespans, but if you want to make sure you get the most from your roof, you should consider these four aspects that directly affect the lifespan of your roof.
Installation – How your roof is installed lays the groundwork for the rest of your roof’s life. Simple mistakes, improper handling of the materials, or sloppy installation can directly impact the lifespan of your roof. However, when all of the roofing components, accessories, and materials are installed correctly by a professional with experience, you set your roof up for a very long life.
Maintenance – Metal roofs require less maintenance than shingle roofs, but it is still an important part of getting the most from them. Frequent maintenance (which we’ll talk about later) helps identify potential issues before they become much more costly.
Climate – Metal roofs are durable, but climate and weather can directly impact their lifespan. Any prolonged weather like the extreme heat of an Arizona summer or the freezing cold of an Alaskan winter will take a toll on a metal roof. Additionally, seawater can also affect your metal roof, so if you’re in a humid coastal city you should think about making sure you have a corrosive-resistant metal roof.
How Do You Maintain a Metal Roof?
The easiest way to maintain a metal roof is to schedule an inspection every two years as well as after any major storm or weather event where you suspect your roof could have been damaged. This inspection should include a surface level inspection that will check for dents, scratches, and divots in the metal panels and seams; as well as a structural inspection that will check the sheathing and underlayment.
Your roof will be due for a cleaning around the same time as the inspection; you can schedule them for the same day, or do it yourself. Cleaning will help keep dirt and debris from collecting on your roof and help prolong your roof’s life.
What is the Best Roof for Florida?
The best roofing material that can withstand the warm coastal summers of Florida is aluminum. It has high wind resistance, does not absorb water or moisture, and does not experience cracking or peeling from heat or sun damage. A corrosive-resistant material can extend how long a metal roof lasts in Florida. Compared to asphalt shingles, aluminum roofing doesn’t hold heat for very long, reducing the temperature of the home.
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