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Mastic Asphalt Roof Life Expectancy

There are various things that can impact an asphalt roofs life expectancy and by recognising these issues and addressing them it is possible to increase your roof’s lifespan. It is worth noting that most asphalt roofs will have at least a 25 year life expectancy before any issues arise. Further to this, by taking care of your mastic asphalt roof you are also able to extend its life expectancy. Let’s explore some of the key issues with a mastic asphalt roof below.

Coping Stones

Any flat roof is at risk of becoming problematic and one of the prime causes of flat roof issues lies with coping stones which often appear on flat roofs as a tool to direct any water away from the roof and reduce the chance of pooling. However, all coping stones should have a DPC (damp proof course)1 under them as this will help prevent any water ingress. Unfortunately, older flat roofs haven’t always had this DPC and so the dampness caused by using coping stones without DPC was often wrongly blamed on mastic asphalt. The lack of DPC on mastic asphalt roofs meant that the mortar between the coping stone joints would start to break down allowing water to pool and causing leaks to occur.

Lead Flashings

The use of lead flashings surrounding a mastic asphalt roof can also be the cause of leaking and make it appear that it is the mastic asphalt at fault, when in fact the mortar between the flashing and the roofing that is the true issue. The mortar that has been used to bond the lead flashing around the roof often breaks down over time from the weight of the lead pulls on the chase. This then creates a chasm between the asphalt and the wall allowing water to pool and create an ingress.

Air Handling Units

A common feature with new roofs is air handling units2, these generate air conditioning for the room below. Unfortunately, these can cause problem spots to occur, as when tradesmen come to repair these units they can accidentally allow oil to come into contact with the mastic asphalt. This oil causes damage to the mastic asphalt surface and the blame is often laid upon how the mastic asphalt has been laid instead of the oil which has caused the damage to the roof.

Maintaining Your Mastic Asphalt Roof To Achieve The Maximum Lifespan

Now that we have addressed three common issues that occur with flat roofs and are often blamed upon the substance mastic itself, it is important to consider ways that you can maintain and care for your asphalt roofing system to boost its life expectancy. Firstly, it is important to check your asphalt roof each year for any potential problem areas and to ensure it is clean and free from any debris. Secondly, ensure that every 3-4 years you are applying a coat of solar reflective paint3 to your mastic asphalt roof to protect it from any sun damage.

If you would like any more information regarding the life expectancy of mastic asphalt roofing, please get in touch with our friendly team at RJ Evans by calling 01277 375 511 or by using this web form.


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