How Often Should Roofs Be Replaced?

Homeowners take pride in their homes, but the roof is often the last item on the maintenance list. If you’re wondering how often you should replace your roof, it’s probably because you may have noticed signs of damage such as mold, missing shingles, water stains, sagging spots, or you’ve spotted cracks or sunlight from within the attic. This can be especially true after experiencing strong winds or heavy weather patterns.

Photo of a Builder Working on Roof

The Average Lifespan of a Roof

The lifespan of a roof may vary depending on several factors, including the type of roofing material, the quality of the installation, the local climate, and how well it’s been maintained. If you don’t keep up with checkups, you could be prone to extensive damage and the roof may need to be replaced. Here are some general guidelines for how often roofs require replacing based on common roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice due to their affordability, ease of installation, and versatility. They typically have a lifespan ranging from 15-30 years when correctly installed. However, the lifespan can be affected by external factors such as harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, storms, high winds, extreme heat, etc. These can all affect and cause damage to your roof.

Nonetheless, cleaning the gutters, replacing damaged shingles, removing debris from the roof, and fixing leaks promptly — can help the lifespan.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing typically lasts 50 years, depending on the type of metal roof you prefer and how it is installed. A roof made of copper or zinc can last for up to 100 years or more.

The climate — such as heavy rain, snow, hail, or extreme temperatures — may affect the life expectancy of metal roofs and could make them susceptible to rust, patina, or corrosion. Exposure to chemicals and pollutants could also affect the lifespan of a metal roof. It’s important to check for water damage regardless of the material on the roof.

Tile Roofing

With regular roof servicing and care, concrete and clay tiles are the most durable and last on average between 50 and 100 years. Some high-end tiles have been known to last up to 150 years. Although tile roofs are one of the longest lasting roofing systems available, tile roofs do have their challenges. Tile roofs have a higher up-front cost than other materials, they are much heavier than other roofing options, and they can be brittle and break easily. As well, you will need to clean and repair the roof if damage occurs.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is known for its durability. These roofs can last upwards of 100 years, possibly longer. You wouldn’t regret opting for having a slate roof installed. Once installed, you require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure it lasts.

The main reason that slate lasts for so many years is that it’s a natural stone. It’s resistant to the weather, fire, and pests. That being said, slate tiles are a very heavy product, and many structures cannot take on the additional weight of a slate roofing system. A slate roof is an investment into the property. They are not recommended for homeowners who have plans to sell their property within 20 years as it is typically more costly up-front than asphalt shingles.

Wood Shingles

When it comes to roofing materials and installing a new roof, you can expect wood shingles to last between 20 to 50 years. The lifespan of this type of roof shingle may be affected by moisture, sunlight, and insects.

To keep your wood shingles in good shape, it’s paramount that you have them installed by a qualified professional. It’s essential to have your wood shakes treated and coated before they go down to ensure they last longer. Additionally, regular cleaning helps identify issues before they get out of hand.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

When you ask yourself how often should you replace your roof, it’s a good idea to consider looking at the home improvement records to determine the age of your roof. You might want to see how old your house is because the roof usually lasts around 20 to 25 years. If your current roof is 25 years or older, it might be time to replace it.

If you notice in your house signs of cracks or missing shingles, you may be experiencing water damage. Regularly inspecting your attic for signs of mold growth and moisture is always recommended and can help prevent water damage from occurring within the home. Regular estimates and maintenance will help if there is trapped moisture, rotting boards, moss growth, sagging spots, underlying problems, dark spots, etc.

A sagging roof may require immediate attention as it may mean you have other factors affecting the structure of the roof. This could have happened due to harsh weather, leaks, strong winds, or shingles that have fallen off.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to contact a professional roofing contractor to come and perform repairs or replacement.

Regular Roof Maintenance

The lifespan of all roofing systems depends on proper upkeep and yearly maintenance. Roof replacements can be a stressful time for homeowners and it is often difficult to determine if a roof repair or roof replacement is necessary. Small signs of damage may only require roof repairs instead of a full roof replacement.

As a homeowner, it’s important to take care of your roof to ensure that it lasts as long as possible and protects your home from the elements. Here are some things you might do to maintain your roof:

Clean Your Roof

Leaves, branches, and other debris may accumulate on your roof, which could lead to water damage and other issues. Clean your roof regularly to prevent debris buildup.

Trim Trees

Overhanging tree branches can scratch your roof, drop debris onto it, and promote the growth of algae and moss. Trim any trees that hang over your roof.

Check Your Attic

Check your attic regularly for any signs of water damage, such as mold, mildew, or wet insulation. These can be signs that there are leaks in your roof.

Photo of a Man Working on Roof

Hire a Professional

It’s a good idea to have a professional roofer perform maintenance and repairs on your roof for any issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Remember that regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the life of your roof and prevent more costly problems down the line.

If you’re unsure about the age or condition of your roof, it’s best to consult a roofing contractor for guidance.

Final Thoughts

Running a home is a challenging task on its own — the last thing you’d want to worry about is your roof. It’s important to have roof maintenance on your to-do list as it’s the piece that keeps all your home’s contents safe. With regular maintenance, you can ensure that your roof will last as long as possible.