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How Long Does a Roof Last in Wisconsin?

Date: March 9, 2023

The average lifespan of a roof in Wisconsin is 20 years. However, this still depends on several factors, such as the material used, maintenance, weather conditions, and the quality of the installation. 

Materials such as asphalt shingles, metal, and rubber can all have different lifespans depending on how they are cared for and how often they are exposed to harsh weather conditions like extreme heat or snow. With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the life of any roof significantly.

How Long Does a Roof Last?

Generally, a well-maintained roof can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years. On average, roofs made from asphalt shingles last between 15-30 years; however, some have been known to last up to 50 years. Metal roofs tend to have a longer lifespan ranging from 40-70 years. Tile roofs have the longest lifespan of 70-100 years if regularly maintained.

Close-up photo of the roof in wisconsin

Factors affecting a Roof’s Life Span in Wisconsin

  1. Climate

As the climate changes, it can have a significant impact on the longevity of roofs. Increasing temperatures and more extreme weather conditions can cause accelerated wear-and-tear on roofing materials, leading to faster deterioration and requiring more frequent repairs or replacement.

Photo of houses in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Weather

Wisconsin’s weather is known for its extreme temperature swings.  With harsh winters, high winds, and extreme temperatures, its weather can cause damage to roofs made of asphalt shingles, metal panels, and clay tiles. 

An example of this is the heavy winds of Lake Michigan. During winter months when ice forms on the lake, it further contributes to granule erosion along the shore. This can lead to significant damage to houses nearby.

Extreme heat and cold can cause roof materials to expand and contract, resulting in wear and tear that shortens their lifespan. Heavy snowfall can lead to structural damage and leaks if left unattended. Frequent rainfall can also cause mold growth and further damage if not properly managed. Understanding Wisconsin's weather patterns are essential for ensuring that your roof lasts as long as possible.

  1. Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is a critical part of maintaining the life of your shingles in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, only 10% of homes in the state are adequately ventilated, leading to premature deterioration and shortened lifespans for your roof’s protective layer.

Understanding how ventilation can extend your roof's lifespan is important for homeowners who want their roofs to last. It is the key to increasing the lifespan of a roof, as proper ventilation prevents heat from building up in the attic and damaging the roof over time. Without proper ventilation, a roof can be more prone to cracking, warping, and even leaking due to rising temperatures. Additionally, a lack of good ventilation in an attic can build up moisture and cause damage by promoting mold growth or corroding metal elements in the roof.

House repair
  1. Proper Installation and Material Quality

The installation of a roof and the quality of the materials used can have a significant impact on its lifespan in Wisconsin. Proper installation helps ensure that the roof is able to withstand the state's extreme weather conditions and other environmental factors while high-quality materials provide additional protection from water damage, UV rays, and more. 

Investing in high-quality roofing materials can also help you save money in the long run as you won't have to replace them as often as lower-quality options. There are many options for shingles, underlayments, and other high-quality roofing materials that you can find in Wisconsin. In addition to finding the right materials for your roof, you should also consider hiring a trusted contractor to help you with the installation process. This can ensure that you get the best results and that the roof is properly installed and functions as intended. 

  1. Maintenance

Some Wisconsin homeowners often neglect to properly maintain their roofs, which can lead to significant issues. Regular maintenance of the roof will help keep it in good condition for years to come. It will also help to save money on costly repairs down the line. By taking steps such as cleaning your gutters, inspecting for damage, and replacing worn-out shingles or tiles, you can extend the life of your roof and keep it looking great.

Ways to Help Your Roof Last Longer

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A well-maintained roof can last for decades, while a neglected roof can lead to costly repairs and premature replacement. As a homeowner, you want your roof to last as long as possible. 

Here are five effective ways to help ensure your roof’s longevity:

  • Inspect your roof at least twice a year

When checking the condition of your roof, look for missing shingles, loose seams and flashing, and crumbling mortar around chimneys or vents. Routine inspections will ensure that any new replacement parts are correctly installed and that the materials used are of high quality. 

  • Clean out gutters regularly 

Clogged gutters can trap water which can lead to leaks and rot in the roof’s underlayment and decking material. Regularly cleaning out the gutters can help to prevent any blockages or buildup that could cause further issues down the line. Doing this job yourself, or hiring a professional for gutter cleaning services, can ensure that your home stays in good condition.

  • Address moss growth on your roof

Moss traps moisture, which can cause damage to shingles over time leading to leaks and rot. It can create a slippery surface, cause roof tiles to shift and crack, and remove granules from shingles. By taking the necessary steps such as regular cleaning, applying sealants or fungicides, and ensuring proper ventilation, you can help keep your roof free from moss growth.

  • Trim back overgrown trees

Trimming back overgrown trees will help keep the branches away from the roof, preventing them from rubbing against it or causing it to cave in due to extra weight. Doing this regularly will ensure you that your roof will be free from moisture and debris buildup while keeping it safe from any potential hazards.

  • Prevent Ice Dams

Ice damming is a common issue when winter weather hits. One of the most effective ways to prevent ice dams is to ensure that your attic is properly insulated and that the air sealing between the attic and the rest of your home is completely sealed off. This will keep warm air from entering your attic, which can cause snow and ice on your roof to melt and then refreeze when it hits colder sections. 

Removing snow from the roof quickly and safely will also help you manage ice dams. You can use calcium chloride to melt the ice safely and without damaging the roofing materials underneath.

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Waukesha WI 53186
(262) 226-9451
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