There are many things to consider when running a business, from everyday operations to HR, but one of the most important and often neglected is a commercial building’s roof.
Without it, business simply can’t go on.
With that in mind, it is important to know the condition of your roof and where it is in it’s lifespan. So how long should a commercial roof last?
Let’s take a closer look.
Commercial Roofing Overview
Depending on many variables, such as the material of your roof and environmental factors, the lifespan of your commercial roof could vary from 12 to 100 years. Wow!
Sounds like a large range, right?! It is and that is because there are many factors at play. It’s important to know and understand these different factors in order to invest in a roof that will be durable for years to come.
Your choice of material is one of the most important decisions.
The material used on roofs varies according to the location, the type of building, and the desired aesthetic appeal. Although the lifespan of roofing materials last for an average of 20 – 40 years, here are some industry-wide estimates for specific materials:
- Asphalt shingles made out of synthetic or organic fibers can last from 20 to 30 years. These are often used for a more residential look on converted historic buildings.
- Metal roofing can last from 20 to 100 years, and can withstand strong winds and other extreme weather.
- Wood shakes, slate shingles, and tile roofing are often used for their durability and beauty.
While they are more expensive, they last the longest, spanning a period of 45 to 100 years depending on climate conditions.
*Tip: Roofs are designed with a much more efficient energy rating today. So if your roof is older than 10 years, you may want to consider upgrading to save on energy costs.
While materials will be large determining factor in a commercial roof’s lifespan, there are other factors worth considering which will make an impact as well.
Other Factors to Consider
- Heat – Extreme heat can shorten the lifespan of roofs due to frequent expansion and contraction.
- Gutters – A roof needs to be well-guttered to drain water off the roof efficiently. Ponding of water on roofs can lead to water damage and even leakage into the building.
- Maintenance – Roofs require regular check-ups for any leaks or other problems in order to get the most out of them. No roof is maintenance free, so don’t skimp on check ups.
- Ventilation – Roofs also need to be well-ventilated to prevent ponding issues.
- UV Rays – Protection To prevent roofs from deteriorating quickly, they need to be protected from UV Rays.
- Design – A well-designed roof is made of quality materials and takes into account the climate and weather conditions.
- Flashing – Flashing needs to be installed properly to keep mold and mildew from taking over the attic and ceiling.
How to Lengthen the Life of Your Commercial Roof
The best way to lengthen the life of your commercial roof is to choose a material that will last and take care of it.
Of course, it’s also important to start out with a well-designed roof, installed by a professional roofing contractor with extensive experience in commercial roofing. This can save you from large repairs and premature roof replacements down the line.
If you are adopting a roof that someone else chose, you can still take action. A roof inspector will be able to check the state of your roof in terms of its sheathing, flashing, roof structure, drainage, and covering. They can then offer specific suggestions to extend the life of your roof through upgrades, maintenance, and/or repairs.
For business owners in New Orleans and all of Southern Louisiana, JOI is at your service. We have the skills and experience needed to build commercial roofs that last and we can also help to maintain existing roofs. Get in touch with us today and ensure you keep your business running as usual.