How Long Will a Roof Last? 3 Signs It Needs to Be Replaced Now
How often do you think about the condition of your roof? Or do you assume it’s fine until you see obvious signs of wear and tear such as leaks or dislodged roofing materials?
Unfortunately, although you may see your roof every day, you don’t truly SEE it. This isn’t too surprising because your roof lifespan could be 20 to 25 years, based on the age of your home. Roof repairs or roof replacement shouldn’t be necessary for quite a few years.
But don’t take this fact for granted. The number of roof replacements in the US account for 94% of all roofing projects. Roofs lose their durability over time depending on the roofing materials used during installation.
Yours might be one of them. Here’s what homeowners should know about lifespan based on the type of roof you have and the signs to look for to determine if a roof replacement is necessary.
What’s A Roof Lifespan?
A roof lifespan indicates how long your roof will last before you need to replace it. Roof lifespans are roughly 30 years. But there are some roofs that can last much longer.
How long your roof actually lasts before roof replacement becomes necessary will be dependent on a few factors. Some of these factors include:
- Quality of roofing materials used
- Quality of roof installation
- Environmental conditions
- Type of roofing materials used
Poor workmanship, cheap materials, levels of exposure to inclement weather, and falling debris can all affect your roof lifespan. Unfortunately, if you purchase a home that was already built you would not have had any control over a few of these factors.
If you do learn that you require a new roof, you should find a reputable roof replacement service to ensure your roof lasts as long as possible. It will also be a great opportunity to get advice on the type of roof that’s best for your home. You should consider the weather conditions where you live when considering the pros and cons of each roof type.
Types of Roofs and Their Lifespans
The type of roofing material you use when installing your roof is a major factor in determining how long it will last. Here are a few of the more common types of roofing materials available.
The most common type of roofing material used in America is asphalt shingles. They consist of a base made of felt paper or fiberglass with an asphalt sealant topped with granules of ceramic. Some of the features of asphalt shingles include:
- Solar Reflection
It’s easy to see why 70% of single-family homes in the United States use asphalt roofing. They not only protect your home from UV rays, snow, rain, and wind, but most installations include a warranty of up to 25 years. This will more than likely work in your favor if you choose this type of roofing because they usually last between 15 and 30 years.
This lifespan will, of course, vary depending on weather conditions in your area. They won’t last as long and may start to crack, especially in states where there are extreme temperature changes.
Slate Roofing Lifespan
Slate is a type of metamorphic rock composed of sedimentary rock from volcanic ash or clay. It’s one of the finest-grained metamorphic rocks. Most slate roof shingles have no additives and are 100% natural stone.
The composition of the minerals found in slate determines its weathering properties and color. Slate with a lot of chlorite has green tones while those with hematite have purple tones. A few features of slate roofing include:
- Low maintenance requirements
Many of these features result in slate roofing lasting anywhere from 75 to 200 years! So long that many manufacturers of slate tile roofing offer lifetime warranties. Any non-lifetime warranties offered are usually at least 50 years.
However, surprisingly, despite having one of the longest roof lifespans, they’re not a popular option. This could be due to the weight of the material. Homeowners must ensure their structure can take its weight.
Metal Roofing Lifespan
Premium metals such as copper and zinc are part of the composition of most metal roofs. This ensures that they are:
- Low maintenance
Metal roofs have tough finishes and can last between 40 to 70 years. Some have been even known to last 100 years! Minimum warranties offered on metal roofs are usually 20 years but some manufacturers also offer lifetime warranties.
Warranties on metal roofing vary depending on the type of metal roof. There are 3 types you can choose from:
- Steel tiles coated with stone – can last 30 – 50 years
- Stand seam – can last for approximately 50 years
- Ribbed metal panels – can last 30 – 50 years
In the past, metal roofing was more widely used for commercial properties. But due to its durability, it’s becoming a more popular option for residential properties.
Clay Roofing Lifespan
Baking molded clay is the process used to create clay roofing tiles. The temperature used and the length of time heated can change the tile’s density. Clay roofing tiles also vary in color including shades of brown, white, orange, and yellow. However, terra-cotta is the most common color.
Clay tile roofs are:
- Low maintenance
- Not suitable for colder climates
- Aesthetically pleasing
The durability of clay roofing results in it lasting between 50 to 100 years! Warranties are usually from 30 years to a lifetime. Regular cleaning prevents algae, mold, and moss from accumulating.
Although not as suitable for colder climates, they can last if properly sealed to reduce the impact of the changing weather.
Wooden Roofing Lifespan
There are two main types of wooden roofing – shingles and shakes. Shingles are tapered and thin while shakes are usually thicker as they’re hand-split from logs. Types of wood used for roofing include cypress, cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated pine.
The type of wood used will determine how long the roof lasts. However, wooden roofs can last up to 30 years.
Wooden roofs require cleaning, staining, or repainting at least every five years. Depending on the type of wood used wooden roofing can be:
- Unique and aesthetically pleasing
- Environmentally friendly
Despite the maintenance required to keep a wooden roof looking good, it’s also quite easy to repair.
3 Signs It’s Time for A Roof Replacement
Once you’re familiar with the features of the type of roof you have, maintenance should be easier. However, some signs can indicate you need to replace your roof. Here are three of the major ones:
1. Leaking or Stained Ceiling
Leaking is one of the more obvious signs of roof damage. If you notice water stains on your ceiling, visible leaks, or pools of water in your home, chances are likely your roof needs repair or replacement.
If it’s not obvious, some other tell-tale signs of water damage include wall or ceiling paint that’s peeling, bubbling, or discolored.
2. Damaged or Missing Shingles
Regular, visual checks of your roof will allow you to observe any missing, buckling, or cracked shingles. Shingles should lie flat against your roof but can become dislodged after heavy rains or a storm. The more issues you notice with your shingles, the more likely it is they are at the end of their lifespan and require replacement.
3. Granules in Your Gutter
Shingles are usually layered with granules for moisture protection. These granules tend to start falling off the older the roof gets. The granules will be black and the consistency of sand, but larger.
There may also be specific signs based on the type of roof you have that will indicate you need to have it replaced. Here are a few:
Asphalt Roofing – Granules in gutters, cracked or curling shingles.
Slate Roofing – Water damage in your attic and/or cracked or missing shingles.
Metal Roofing – Mold and/or water staining in your attic, lots of rust, roof leak damage, or discoloration.
Clay Roofing – Leaking roof and/or water staining in the attic, chipped or cracked tiles, or tile pieces in your gutter.
Wooden Roofing – Algae and/or mold growth, rotting or splitting shingles, or pest damage.
If you’re noticing any of these, it’s time to get a roof assessment.
Finding a Roof Replacement Company
How do I find a company that does roof replacement near me? You might be asking this question if you’ve noticed some of the signs above.
There may be many companies providing the service near you. But how do you ensure you find the best roof replacement?
If you don’t want the hassle of doing the research or asking around for referrals, some companies will do the legwork for you. They can provide you with an estimate for repair or replacement. They make the process easy and pain-free.
Looking Upwards to a Brighter Future for Your Roof
Though essential, roofs are often forgotten until they’re no longer protecting your family and home efficiently. Proper, regular maintenance can help you avoid this. However, a roof lifespan that is coming to an end will inevitably result in a roof replacement.
Although most roofs last for years, their lifespan will depend on the age of your home or when the roof was last replaced. Unfortunately, shoddy workmanship and the quality and type of materials used can shorten your roof’s life.
You can avoid this by choosing the best roof replacement company using Best Roofing Estimates. We can provide you with a list of roofing companies in your area and an estimate for your roof repair or replacement. Let us do the looking up for you to ensure a brighter future for your roof! Get a quote today!
Phew! I was so lucky I came across this article first. You see, my cousin is in the midst of finalizing her plan for the renovation of her getaway cabin. So, thank you very much for stating that clay roofs are sturdy and highly compatible with hotter climate as well. I’ll show this info with her so she can order the right material very soon.
I appreciate that you explained how a roof’s lifespan could be compromised by its material quality. My brother just purchased a house for a very low price, and he wants to invest in its renovation. I visited the house last week, and I do think it could use a new roof, so I’ll suggest it to my brother. Thanks for the information on inspecting a house’s roof’s lifespan and its conditions.
It does make sense to consider having your roofing system replaced when it’s showing signs of deterioration due to age. I plan to invest in a historic home so I can retire with my wife in style. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind and consult a roofing expert whenever this happens to me.
Before deciding on replacing your roof, have a roof professional evaluate whether or not roof repair is called for instead. Butyl Liquid Rubber is ideal to recoat existing roofs and add a significant number of years to the life of a roof. In fact, our customers have described it as essentially getting a new roof for a fraction of the cost, since, for most roof types, this is a single application with significant cost savings when compared to multiple coat systems. The cost savings alone have made it the choice for thousands of our customers over the years. Labor costs are also decreased since you only need one coat versus 3-4 with other systems. On a regular basis roof maintenance should be performed using Butyl Liquid Rubber roof coating