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How Long Does a Roof Last in Minnesota

Minnesota has a beautiful but varied climate. We sometimes experience harsh winters and high winds which can contribute to a great deal of damage when it comes to our homes. Hail can pummel your roof, and wind can rip off shingles. Let’s see what this extreme weather means for a roof’s lifespan in Minnesota.

Typical Roof Longevity in Minnesota

How long does a roof last? In short, several factors can impact the lifespan considerably.

A high-quality, well-maintained roof may last your home up to twenty years, but it depends upon several factors, such as:

  • Quality of roofing materials, in both construction and repairs
  • Timeliness of maintenance and regular care
  • Weather conditions over time

Many homeowners take good care of their roofs but do not know what repairs previous owners did or did not accomplish. In other instances, current owners do not have the finances to keep up with the maintenance they’d like to do. These situations can produce a broad range in the longevity of a roof in Minnesota.

What Deteriorates Roofing?

Deteriorated shingles on roof with moss growing.

We enjoy Minnesota living and wouldn’t want to be situated anywhere else. However, living here comes with specific environmental challenges that can affect the longevity of your roof. Here’s what factors you have to consider as a home or business owner in Minnesota:

Hail Damage: Roofing hail damage is among the most common problems for roof lifespans in our neck of the woods. While some areas experience milder winters due to the lake effect, most areas of Minnesota feel the full brutality of the winter season and all its weather. That includes hail.

Often, we think of hail damaging personal property like cars and mailboxes because those dings and dents are especially noticeable. We know not to go out when large hailstones fall. But some of the most frequently damaged surfaces during hail storms are roofs. Your roof is intended to protect your home from inclement weather, but over time, it takes damage, and hail is a major offender.

Wind Damage: Wind can also cause harm to your roof. Major winter storms form in Minnesota beginning in October and continuing through the winter. High winds can remove shingles, unmount gutters, and lodge debris in any open areas of your roof, causing significant problems down the road. Inspecting your roof regularly can help prevent these smaller problems from becoming major issues.

What Are Common Signs of Roof Damage?

You can look for several key indicators of roof damage to determine whether you need a closer look or an inspection from a professional. Here are some obvious things to be on the lookout for, especially if your roof is more than a decade old:

  • Black Granules in Gutter: If you have shingles and start to notice black specks in your gutter near the roof or by the runoff area, it’s likely you have some shingle damage. These granules come off of the shingles when your roof experiences damage from substances like hail.
  • Mystery Sunlight in Home: Do you have a curious beam of sunlight in your home, particularly in your attic? It probably shouldn’t be there, and its presence can indicate a gap in your roof. It’s pretty easy to trace this to its source problem on your roof.
  • Leaks Ahoy: Do you have water leaks? Drips and unexplained moisture could occur as the result of roof damage, especially following a storm.

If you notice any of these potential indicators of roof damage, record the information and location of your findings. Those details help your professional roofing inspector figure out precisely where the problem is so repairs can begin quickly.

How Can You Prevent Roofing Damage?

The best way to prevent roofing damage is to inspect it regularly and troubleshoot small problems as they arise. This habit is especially important if your roof is shingled. If one of your shingles takes massive damage from hail or other environmental issues, it’s inexpensive and easy to replace. If you let the problem continue, you could end up with leaks and significant moisture damage. That type of problem requires a lot more time and money to fix and sets up your family for more hazards, like mold growth and invasion.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Roof for Damage in Minnesota?

We recommend that you plan for an inspection of your roof yearly. A roof inspection can be a dangerous process. Please don’t try it yourself unless you have professional roofing experience and feel qualified to handle it. Roofing injuries are very serious.

If you do decide to inspect your roof on your own, make sure you have appropriate footwear, a spotter, and a secured ladder. Never embark on this process alone. Be sure you know how to spot the damage before you go up, so you are not reading materials or engaging in other distractions while you’re up there.

Minnesota residents should consider annual inspections by the end of the summer each year. This gives you and your roofer time to handle significant problems before the weather gets too cold and before those famous midwest winter storms hit. This timely maintenance also ensures the security of your roof with the high winds that are typical of the fall and winter seasons.

Be Prepared: The Costs of a New Roof

Man calculating budget at table.

Depending on what your roofing professional finds, they may recommend a quick repair, a new roof, or a repair with the advisement of a new roof in the next year or so. When thinking about a new roof, you should research and consider the following options, listed from most to least expensive:

  • Slate
  • Clay
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Asphalt

And remember, if your roof needs repairs, don’t delay. It’s much more affordable to fix an immediate problem than to let it get worse. Keep in mind, depending on your policy and how the damage occurred, your insurance may cover the whole thing.

Need Help? Call Built Strong Exteriors

At Built Strong Exteriors, we’re ready to help Minnesota residents and business owners inspect their roofs. We provide an honest outlook for you about your roof’s longevity, with a strong emphasis on prevention and annual inspections to keep your roof healthy and your family safe. Give us a call today to get a roof inspection.