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Mastic Asphalt Life Expectancy

Several factors can impact the overall life expectancy of a mastic asphalt roof. Generally, when this type of roof fails, it’s not due to the roof itself but is caused by other things. So how long does a mastic asphalt roof last?

In general, a mastic asphalt roof has a lifespan expectancy of 25 years before problems should start appearing. However, due to other causes, it may fail sooner rather than later. Additionally, proper maintenance is required to meet this life expectancy.

We’ll cover all the problems a mastic asphalt roof can face that can affect its life expectancy. Read on for everything you need to know.

Common Issues Facing Mastic Asphalt Roofs

While your mastic asphalt roof should last approximately 25 years before you start to have problems, certain situations can arise that cause early failure. These can be caused by moisture and HVAC technicians.

Not Using a Damp Proof Course (DPC)

Coping stones are tools placed on a flat roof to help divert water away from the roof to help prevent its opportunity to pool. However, these coping stones are often problems for the roof, which ends up getting blamed on the mastic asphalt. 

The issue comes into play when a coping stone does not have a damp proof course (DPC) installed under it. The job of the DPC is to help prevent water ingress. While DPC installation is now common practice, it wasn’t always. Older flat roofs didn’t always have them, resulting in the dampness caused by the coping stones.

This dampness was incorrectly blamed on the mastic asphalt. Additionally, without DPC on a mastic asphalt roof, the mortar between the joints on coping stones would begin breaking down and letting water pool. This problem would eventually lead to the roof leaking. 

Careless HVAC Workers

With the addition of HVAC systems on the roofs of many commercial buildings, workers in this field now perform many of their job duties on the mastic asphalt roof. While their job itself isn’t the problem, the materials they use are.

These technicians often use oil to complete their repairs. When this spills on the mastic asphalt, it ruins the material. Often, the blame is placed on the roofing contractors who laid the asphalt roof instead of the oil that spilled on the surface.

Improperly Installed or Maintained Lead Flashings

Another cause of failure in a mastic asphalt roof is the use of lead flashings. When they are improperly installed or maintained, it can lead to leaking, which lends the appearance of the mastic asphalt being the cause. 

What’s really happening is the mortar between the flashing and roofing is failing. Because of the weight of the lead pulling on the chase, this mortar breaks down over time. The result is a gap between the asphalt and the wall. Within this gap, water can pool and create an ingress point.

Failing To Maintain the Mastic Asphalt Roofing System

While it’s quite easy to blame roofing problems on a failed system, one of the major issues that is frequently overlooked is the failure to properly maintain the roof. 

One critically important step that many fail to do is to have an annual inspection completed to identify any problems that need repair. Once the issues are identified, the repairs would need to be completed as soon as possible to ensure the health of the roof is kept at its peak. Doing this will help extend the life of the mastic asphalt roofing system.

By not performing the required routine maintenance, severe problems can arise, leading to water penetrating the roofing membrane and causing leaks. This can occur from any of the problems we have already mentioned.

Another maintenance requirement is keeping the gutters clean. When gutters become blocked with debris, such as leaves and animal nests, they are no longer free-flowing. The result is a failure of water to drain off your roof properly. When water ponds on your flat roof, it can become a serious problem, especially if you already have small cracks or splits. 

Many roofing companies will also clean your gutters for you as part of the annual inspection services. You will have all your potential roofing problems handled with one visit. 

Maintain Your Mastic Asphalt Roof To Get the Best Life Expectancy

With proper maintenance, you will get the most out of your mastic asphalt roof. It is essential that you have your annual inspection and gutter cleaning completed to ensure your flat roof is in peak health.

While many problems can affect the life expectancy of a mastic asphalt roofing system, ensuring your flat roof is properly maintained will go a long way toward ensuring you reach that 25 years with no problems.