How Long Does a Roof Really Last?

One of the biggest concerns homeowners can have about home maintenance is the roof. The prospect of replacing a roof is a daunting one, both in terms of the cost and the hassle of getting it done. If you have just purchased a home with an older roof, or if you have been under the same roof for a number of years, you are probably wondering how long you have before it needs to be replaced.

The answer to the question of how long does a roof last is a bit complicated. There are a number of factors that influence the lifespan of a roof, but the two most important are what the roof is made of and the climate in which you live. Some materials typically last longer than others, and some parts of the country are harder on roofing than others.

How Do I Know If My Roof Needs Replacing?

There are some telltale signs that your roof is wearing out and needs to be replaced. These will vary by the type of roof you have, and sometimes it can be hard to tell.

The most common type of roofing material is asphalt shingles. When your asphalt roof is breaking down and needs to be replaced, there’s a good chance you can see it yourself. Common indications that an asphalt roof needs to be replaced include:

  • Shingles pulling away from the roof
  • Cracking or breaking shingles
  • Bits of roofing debris washing into the rain gutters

Other roofing materials like clay or stone tile roofs and metal roofs (which can be made of aluminum, steel, zinc, or copper) tend to last longer. Indications of tile roofs in need of replacement include cracking and breaking tiles.

Metal roofing can show signs of deterioration, but it can be hard to tell because the wear and tear can occur below the surface. This is where a professional roofer can help you by taking a good look.

If you see some of these indications, especially if your roof is getting older, then you should call a professional to inspect your roof. Even if you aren’t sure about the condition of your roof, a professional can let you know. It can be a good idea to have a roofer take a look at your roof, even if it’s not so old, so you can get an idea of how long your roof has left. This will help you plan and save for that roof replacement.

How Often Does a Roof Need to Be Replaced?

So how often does a roof need to be replaced? The average lifespan will vary significantly by the roofing material, your location, and how well the roof was installed. Here is a general guide to give you an idea:

  • Asphalt roofing lasts anywhere from 15 to 25 years.
  • Clay or stone tile roofing can last between 20 and 30 years.
  • Metal roofing varies depending on the type of metal, but it can last over 50 years.

If you live in a harsh climate, your roof can really take a beating. This will affect how long your roof will last. Climates with harsh winters that include a lot of snowfall and cold temperatures can contribute to shorter roof lifespans. So can climates with a lot of intense sun and heat or consistently high winds.

How well your roof was installed can also make a difference. This is especially the case for heavier roofing material like metal. For example, if a metal roof is poorly installed, water and debris can find their way underneath and degrade the material beneath the surface. This can drastically reduce the lifespan of an otherwise strong roof.

A good professional roofer will make sure the structure beneath is strong. They will also take care of all the seams on the roof and make sure it is properly ventilated.

Regular roof inspections and maintenance can help you get more out of your roof, no matter what it is made of. Contact us today to schedule a roof inspection. We will let you know the condition of your roof, whether it needs to be replaced, and how long you can expect it to last.