Homeowners often wonder how often roof replacement is required. The simple answer is as often as needed. The complex answer requires a bit more information.
What Determines When a Roof Needs to be Replaced?
Some roofs last for 25 years or more, while others need to be replaced in less than 15 years. What factors determine when a roof needs to be replaced?
- Quality of materials – Some roofing materials are made better than others. For example, the lowest grade asphalt shingles are not going to last as long as a metal roof. Even among the same type of roofing material, there are different grades of quality.
- Quality of installation – Installation quality plays a major role in how long a roof will last. Poor installation methods can compromise the waterproofing of the roofing materials. A loose shingle can let water get to the roof deck. A bubble in a flat roof membrane can burst and allow water through.
- Quality of maintenance – Despite their endurance, roofs do require some maintenance to keep their integrity. For example, letting leaf debris gather in roof valleys can lead to backflows under shingles which increases the likelihood of water damage to the roof deck.
- Weather – Roofing materials are made to take a lot of weather, from pounding sun to drenching rain. However, hail storms, high winds, and other violent weather events can cause damage to roof materials, requiring repair or replacement.
When Do You Need to Replace Your Roof?
If you had the roof replaced within the past decade, it’s likely you won’t need to replace it anytime soon. Modern roofing materials are made to last 20+ years.
However, if a previous owner had the last roof put on, you need to pay attention. Unless you have a copy of the receipt for that replacement, you may not know the age of the roof. It could be 6 years old. It might be 20.
When you aren’t sure of the age or condition of your roof, the best approach is to bring in a professional roofer to do an inspection. The roofer can estimate the age of the roof, look for any signs of deterioration, and make recommendations on needed repairs or replacement.