How Long Does a Roof Last in Michigan?

A roof’s lifespan in Michigan is impacted by all four seasons, from the bitter cold and potentiallyhazardous winters to precipitation-heavy springs, to the relentless sun of the summer, and the falling leaves of autumn. Plus, with so many trees and the occasional storm, there’s always the potential for freak incidents that damage parts or all of a roof.

Still, freak damage is rare, and if you care for you roof throughout the year, you can avoid potential problems and enjoy your roof for its entire expected lifespan.

How Long a Roof Typically Lasts

A roof is a substantial investment, but is generally one of the best investments you can make in a home. A quality roof installation saves you a lot of money in potential costly repairs from damage that comes from a deteriorated roof, and home buyers will pay more for a house with a new roof.

How long do roofs last in Michigan? Their lifespans vary by materials:

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

The most common material for homes, asphalt shingles, typically last 16-20 years. Asphalt shingles are durable, versatile (available in seemingly limitless colors and textures), and they’re much less expensive than metal roofs. Good for insulation year-round and relatively easy to repair and replace, it’s no surprise most homeowners go for asphalt.

Metal Roofs

The lifespan of a metal roof is an incredible 40-70 years. It’s a huge range, but even on the low end, a metal roof is going to last 2 to 2.5 times as long as an asphalt roof. On the high end, it’ll last 3.5 to 4 times as long as an asphalt roof.

Not surprisingly, you have to pay for that durability. Metal roofs are significantly more expensive, but with their energy efficiency, light weight, and ability to withstand all four seasons, the investment pays itself off if you plan to be in your house for a long time. Metal roofs are so light, they can actually be installed over top of existing asphalt roofs (depending on warranty requirements), eliminating some of the cost that would normally be involved.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs have a similar lifespan to asphalt-shingle roofs (warranties are usually good for 10-20 years), and can last up to 25 years if properly maintained. The keys to flat roofs are a proper installation and regular maintenance. Avoiding puddles and standing water are especially important with flat roofs. A good installation will help prevent such things from happening, and quick action if you do notice a puddle will help prolong your roof’s lifespan.

How Michigan’s Weather Can Affect Your Roof

Icicles on a roof's edgeWe mentioned it a little earlier, but each season in Michigan can impact your roof in different ways. The most potentially damaging season is winter; if you don’t have proper insulation and ventilation in your attic, you are at risk for ice dams and icicles, which can lead to more serious and expensive problems.

Keeping your roof clear of branches, leaves, and other debris all year, along with cleaning your gutters at least once annually, will help maximize the health and effectiveness of your shingles in the spring, summer, and fall.

How to Get the Most Value from Your Michigan Roof

Be diligent. Take care of your roof, checking it annually—at least—for any symptoms that could mean bigger problems. Check for puddles, gutter clogs, loose or damaged shingles, and anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Remove fallen tree branches as soon as you see them, and get rid of leaves as they drop in the fall. In the winter, pay special attention to icicles and any potential for ice dams.

Another benefit of proper maintenance: Roof warranties, while often covering many years, are usually only valid if you’ve been taking care of your roof.

To make your Michigan roof last, the simplest rule is to pay attention to it. Take care of it as necessary. If you need help, we’re happy to inspect your roof or give you some tips on what you should know. We serve West Michigan and beyond, with local offices in Spring Lake, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo

Check out these related articles:

How to Get Your Homeowners Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement

Residential Roof Warranties Explained

How Old Is My Roof?