Depending on the material, a roof can last as long as seventy years. However, some factors like neglect and weather extremities can influence this lifespan. For instance, in Pittsburgh, severe winds and tornadoes can damage your roof from time to time. Still, there is a lot that you can do. 

How long does a typical roof last?

Pittsburgh homeowners can take various steps to improve their roofs’ longevity. Before we discuss these, though, let’s look at some common roofing materials and how long they can last on average. This will give you a baseline to compare and assess the time you can expect the roof to last.

  • Asphalt shingles: These are regarded as the most affordable roofing material and can last anywhere between 15 and 30 years. 
  • Metal roofing: If you opt for more affordable metal roofing, you will get thinner sheets that can last between 20 and 25 years on average. A high-end metal roof can go as long as seventy years.
  • Slate: The most expensive roofing material out there, but it pays you back well in terms of investment because a good-quality roof can last as long as 100 years. 

These time periods are based on ideal circumstances, though. Weather extremities and a host of other factors can impact how long the roof lasts. It is best to get in touch with a reliable Pittsburgh roofing company to get an idea of the condition of your current roof, the best care tips, and whether you need a replacement or not. Also, they can let you know which material will be best in your case.

That being said, here are some tips to improve the longevity of the roof in your home:

  1. Start by trimming trees

Having trees on your property has many advantages, yet there can be disadvantages, particularly if they are in close proximity to your home. Some of these include:

  • The rain gutter system on your roof may become clogged with tree leaves and twigs, resulting in water damage.
  • It would merely be a matter of time until severe winds break off a fairly substantial branch or extension and drop it onto your roof, damaging it. This will happen if you have trees with branches or twigs hanging over the house, especially on the roof.
  • Trees can also provide access to birds, insects, and larger animals like squirrels to get on the roof, build a nest and damage it in various ways.
  • Insects and pests from trees can also become a source of damaging the roof in various ways.

In order to avoid these issues and mitigate damages to your roof, you can take several steps. If moving trees away by having them dug and replanted is possible, do that. In case that cannot be done, you must routinely prune them to ensure all the branches stay far away from the roof of your property.

  1. Clean rain gutters from time to time

Depending on the area where you live, strong winds, rain, and snow can drop debris on the roof that can eventually block rain gutters. Trees and plants close to your home can also drop twigs and leaves, which can hinder the normal flow of rainwater down the spouts. Other elements can also block gutters, including dismantled nests, dead animals or insects, etc. 

A clogged gutter can have a lot of drawbacks, like causing seepage because of stagnant rainwater or even damage to the attached pipes. In order to avoid all this, start by cleaning the gutter at least twice a year. Another effective solution is to attach fascia boards to the gutter system, which can block larger debris from getting into the pipes. 

  1. Inspect the roof on a regular basis

Regardless of whether your roof is slanted or straight, it has the tendency to collect almost everything that drops on it. Depending on what is left on the roof, the consequences can differ and can include cracks, broken shingles, seepage, and even extensive damage to the underlying structure of the roof. This is why it is best to inspect the roof from time to time. 

Ideally, it is recommended that a thorough inspection at least two times a year should suffice. If access to the roof is easy, you can climb on it to scan every inch of it. If that’s impossible, you can use a pair of high-powered binoculars to perform the examination. An aerial drone is best for the scenario, but it is an investment many people may not be open to making. 

Most often, it works to hire a professional company to perform the inspection because they can identify a lot of the minor issues that would otherwise miss your eye. These problems, if left unattended for a long time, can lead to major damages that are not just a hassle but heavy on the pocket too. 

  1. Get rid of stagnant water as soon as possible

Besides trees and high winds, one of the biggest problems that can arise for your roof is stagnant water. For roofs that are slanted, moisture, humidity, and rainwater lodged amongst the shingles can eventually lead to mold, cracking, or breaking off of shingles and a variety of other issues too. For straight roofs, puddles of water can accumulate due to clogged gutters and a host of other reasons giving rise to not just the foul smell but seepage and other problems too. 

Since all of these issues are pertinent and can result in major damages if left unattended for long, it is best to address them from time to time. Contacting a professional roofing maintenance company is ideal; they have the tools and expertise to tackle these issues effectively. You can take steps to dry up any stagnant water on your roof by clearing out gutters or addressing any other problems that are causing the roofing material to retain water. 


Ensuring the longevity of the roof at your home is all about the care and maintenance that you dedicate toward it. Being aware of issues that can occur and knowing how to tackle them is enough to ensure that the respective material lasts as long as ideally possible.