Lifetime of a Roof: When to Replace Your Roof by Type
Predict How Long Your Current Roof Will Last
Published: 2022-06-30 07:29:27
How Long Does a Roof Last?
The life span of a roof will depend on a variety of factors, including weather elements, the amount of roof maintenance, the roofing material, and the quality of the roof installation. That being said, there are some things you can do to lengthen your roof's lifespan and predict how long your current roof will last.
The average lifespan of a roof is 20-50 years. However, this number will differ depending on the type of roofing material you have. For example, asphalt shingles last an average of 15-20 years, while tile and metal roofs can last upwards of 50 years with proper care.
Keep in mind that within this period your roof may function well but still require cosmetic improvements such as paint, protective coating, or other treatments to maintain energy efficiency.
We'll go over a few different roof types and give you an idea of what to look out for to make the most of your investment.
Life Expectancy of Most Common Types of Roofs
A metal roof is one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. With proper installation and maintenance, a metal roof can last 50 years or more. These roofs are made with either steel, aluminum, or premium metals - copper typically, each of which requires distinctive maintenance and installation.
Aluminum roofs are resistant to corrosion, however, to waterproof aluminum roofing, you'll need to apply an elastomeric coating.
Steel is more prone to corrosion over time than aluminum, however, it is significantly sturdier than architectural shingles and can easily last 50 years or more, it just might not look as pretty at the end of its life.
Copper roofing will develop a patina over time, so if you're attached to the shiny bronze look, you might be better off with a painted aluminum roof because once a copper roof is exposed to rain, UV rays or humidity, it will begin to develop the signature green patina.
One of the biggest benefits of a metal roof is that it requires minimal care - you won't have to worry about shingles blowing off in high winds, getting damaged by hail, or falling tree limbs.
Common damage that can occur to metal roofs includes corrosion and rusting, which is why it's important to choose a metal roof that has been treated with a protective coating.
Tile roofs are a popular choice for homeowners who want a long-lasting roof. They're most often made from fired clay or concrete, which makes them incredibly durable options. In fact, with proper care, a tile roof can last 50 years or more.
One thing to keep in mind with tile roofs is that they're susceptible to breakage. To prolong the life of your roof, be sure to trim trees that extend over the roofline and to secure heavy objects on your property that could become airborne in heavy wind.
If you do notice a tile is cracked or broken, the affected tiles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent water damage to your roof and home.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most quality roofing materials for homeowners. They're affordable and easy to install, which makes them a great option for many homeowners. However, these won't last as long as some of the other common roofing materials on this list because they're made from a petroleum-based product that will degrade over time. They're susceptible to storm damage and impact damage.
You can expect asphalt shingle roofs to last 15-20 years on average. However, the lifespan of your shingles will depend on the quality of the material, the installation, and the weather conditions in your area.
To get the most out of your asphalt roofs, be sure to have them installed by an experienced roofing contractor and perform regular roof repairs and improvements. This will help to ensure that your shingles last as long as possible. Make sure to clean your gutters regularly and inspect your roof for any damage after severe weather conditions.
Cedar roofs are a popular choice for homeowners because they're long-lasting and beautiful roof options. Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant wood, which makes it an ideal material for roofing. When properly maintained, cedar roofing can last 30-40 years.
The color of cedar shingles and shakes will change drastically in the first few months after installation, especially if you live in a coastal climate like Florida. The moist air, sun, and saltwater react with the wood to change it to a greyish color that many homeowners prefer to the original red. The discoloration is not evidence of damage and is a natural process in the life of cedar shakes and shingles.
To prolong the life of your cedar shingles, be sure to treat it with a water-repellant sealer every few years. This will help to protect the wood from moisture and prevent rot. You should also have your roof inspected regularly for any damage or loose shingles.
Wood roofs are a beautiful and excellent option for homeowners. They're most often made from cedar, which is a naturally rot-resistant wood, however other options include pine and fir. When properly maintained, wood shakes can last 30-40 years.
The best way to prevent rot and keep your roof looking good is to apply a sealant as often as every few years. This will help to keep the wood shingles dry and free of decay. Your roof should be inspected on a regular basis for any damage or loose shingles.
Slate roofs are a durable and long-lasting roof option for homeowners. They're most often made from a type of metamorphic rock that is incredibly strong and resistant to weathering. In fact, slate tile roofs can last 100 years or more with proper care.
One thing to keep in mind with slate roofs is that they're much heavier than alternative materials. This means that your roofing structure will need to be able to support the weight of the slate roof tiles. In addition, slate roofs are susceptible to breakage, so it's important to trim trees that extend over the roofline and to secure any heavy objects on your property that could become airborne in high winds.
If you do notice a tile is cracked or broken, the affected roof tiles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent water damage to your roof and home.
Shingle roofs are one of the most popular roofing materials for both residential and commercial buildings. Asphalt shingles are durable, affordable, and easy to install, making them an excellent choice for many structures. Other roof shingle materials include plastic, composite, metal, stone, and wood.
You can expect most shingle shake roofs to last 15-20 years on average, but the lifespan will depend on the material, installation requirements, and weather conditions in your area. While the shingled roof may not last as long as other roofing options, they are simple and cheap to repair and replace in most circumstances, balancing out costs.
Concrete tiles are a durable and long-lasting roofing material. They're most often used on commercial buildings because of their weight, but they can be used on residential roof structures as well. Concrete roof tiles can last up to 50 years with proper care.
These are often chosen as an alternative to clay roofs because they tend to stand up better in extreme weather conditions, avoiding cracking.
To prolong the life of your concrete tile roof, it's important to have it inspected regularly for any damage or loose tiles, and it must be treated with a sealant. Over time concrete can become prone to holes and wear from excessive rain. You should also clean your gutters regularly to prevent debris from building up and causing damage to your roof.
Flat roofs are a popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings. They're easy to install and offer a variety of colors and a wide range of design options. However, because they don't shed water as effectively as pitched roofs, they require more maintenance. Flat roofs should be inspected regularly for any problems with the drainage roofing systems.
You can expect most flat roofs to last 20-30 years with proper care, including regular roof inspections and improvement.
Clay Tile Roofs
Clay tile roofs are a durable and long-lasting option for homeowners. They're most often made from a type of fired clay that is incredibly strong and resistant to weathering. In fact, clay tile roofs can last 100 years or more with proper care.
One thing to keep in mind with clay tile roofs is that they're heavy. This means that your roofing structure will need to be able to support the weight of the clay tiles. Our licensed contractors at Mighty Dog Roofing company will be able to answer your questions about whether your home is a suitable candidate for this type of roof.
In addition, clay tile roofs are susceptible to breakage over time, especially in freezing weather, so these might not be the best choice if you live in a chilly climate. If you do notice a tile is cracked or broken, the affected tiles should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent water damage to your roof and home.
Factors that Affect Roof Lifespan
When trying to determine how long your roof will last, it's important to keep in mind the varied factors, including workmanship, that affect its durability. Here are a few things to consider:
The quality of the material: Cheaper materials will generally have a shorter lifespan than more expensive options. If you're looking for a roof that will last, be sure to choose an excellent material such as aluminum, clay tile, or high-quality shingles.
The quality of the roof installation on a new home: Even the best roofing materials won't last if they're not installed properly. Poor installation is often a result of hasty construction, lack of protective materials, and skipping important steps in the roof installation process.
Make sure to hire a professional roofing contractor who has experience installing the type of roof you've chosen in your area. This is not a project you want to risk doing yourself.
The weather conditions in your area: Certain weather conditions can shorten the lifespan of your roof. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of extreme weather conditions like high winds, major storms, hail, or heavy snowfall, your roof will be more susceptible to destruction and will likely need to be replaced sooner than if you lived in a more moderate climate.
If you live in a cold climate, one of the biggest risk factors for your roof is ice dams. Your roof shape, installation, and quality of materials should all be chosen to avoid this situation that can build up pressure on your roof and cause flooding or damage to shingles, gutters, or your home's structure.
Proper Maintenance: As we've mentioned, regular maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your roof. Make sure to inspect your roof regularly for signs of wear and tear, clean your gutters, and trim any overhanging branches. These simple steps can help to prevent major damage and extend the life of your roof.
When to Replace Your Roof
Even with proper care, there will come a time when you need a roof replacement. Here are a few signs that it's time for a new roof:
Your roof is leaking: One of the most obvious signs that you need a new roof is if your roof is leaking. If you notice water damage on your ceiling or water stains around your gutters, it's time to call a roofer.
Your roof is sagging: Another sign that your roof needs to be replaced is if it's sagging. This is usually a result of water damage or rot and can be dangerous if not addressed.
Your shingles are cracked, missing, or damaged: If you notice cracked and missing shingles, or are otherwise affected, it's time for roof replacement. Damaged shingles can lead to roof leaks and other issues, so it's best to take care of the problem as soon as possible.
Your roof is more than 50 years old: Even if your roof doesn't show any issues, it's a good idea to replace it every 20-50 years depending on the material type. This will help to ensure that your roof is up to code and can protect your roof structure from the elements.
If you're not sure whether you need a new roof, the best thing to do is call a professional roofer for regular roof inspections. They'll be able to assess the condition of your roof and let you know if it needs to be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I increase my roof's life expectancy?
The best way to increase the roof life expectancy is to perform regular repairs and choose a high-quality material with a manufacturer's warranty. An annual roof inspection will help you to catch any problems early on and choosing a durable material will help to ensure that your roof lasts as long as possible.
What is the most common cause of roof failure?
The most common cause of roof failure is leaks. Roof leaks can be caused by a variety of things, including damaged shingles, ice dams, and clogged gutters.
How long should my roof warranty last?
The average lifespan of a roof is 20-50 years, depending on the material type. However, with regular roof maintenance, your roof can last even longer.