How Often Should Roofs Be Replaced?

January 6, 2023

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Are you a homeowner asking how often roofs should be replaced? If so, you’re certainly not alone! Knowing a roof’s expected lifespan can help you budget for needed replacement. Additionally, you can make better decisions regarding a home you might eventually sell.

There is no “one size fits all” answer as to a roof’s overall longevity. Not only do different materials last longer than others, but higher-quality materials also offer more durability. You might get far more years out of a name-brand roofing material than something cheaper! Keep reading to discover what that means and what to expect from your home’s roof.

how often should roofs be replaced

How Often Should Roofs Be Replaced, by Material

It can be difficult to know where to start with a roof replacement. Remember to check with a roofing contractor about their warranties before choosing a material or scheduling your installation. They can usually help you choose the best material for your property’s needs and budget.

  • Asphalt shingles usually last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. Some higher-quality brands might last 30 years, but most will need replacing after just a few decades.
  • Wood shingles might last just 20 to 25 years.
  • Clay roof tiles often last some 40, 50, or 60 years, or even longer.
  • Metal roofs typically last some 50 years, if not longer.
  • Slate often lasts 50 to 60 years.
  • Concrete tiles might last 20 years or more, depending on their manufacturer.

Is Metal a Good Roofing Choice for My Home?

Metal roofing is gaining popularity with homeowners today for a variety of reasons. Recyclable metal is very eco-friendly while also being lightweight and durable. Metal is also fire-resistant, something to consider in areas prone to lightning strikes.

Manufacturers can color or powder coat metal in a variety of tones. In turn, you’re sure to find something that matches your home’s exterior perfectly! A blue roof can offer a farm-style appearance, while darker red tones provide warmth and elegance. Lighter gray tones also reflect sunlight, keeping interior rooms cool.

Lastly, note that a roofing installer might place lightweight metal over existing materials if allowed by building codes. This can mean lower costs since your home’s roof won’t need a full tear-out.

roof, metal roof, tin roof

How Do I Know When I Need Roof Replacement

Regular inspections can alert a homeowner to roofing issues. A professional contractor can spot signs of leaks, worn shingles, and other issues before they become severe. They can also tell you about how much life is left on the roof! In turn, you can plan and budget for a future replacement.

Also, consider that you might schedule a replacement at about 85% of the roof’s expected lifespan. In other words, consider replacing a roof every 8.5 years for every 10 years of its lifespan. For instance, you might expect to replace a 20-year roof after 17 years. Replacing the roof before it’s expected to fail avoids leaks and other damage.

Additionally, you might note some common signs of roof damage and needed replacement. This includes interior water leaks and drafts on cold days. Moreover, you might spot missing shingles or “bald spots” on the roof, even from the sidewalk.

Likewise, watch for wavy, buckled, or otherwise misshapen shingles. This often indicates water damage, algae growth, and other issues. You might also notice mold, mildew, and algae between shingles. These often damage a roof right down to the decking! In these cases, call for an inspection and a price quote on needed repairs.

What Is the Average Lifespan on the Roof of a House?

Most homeowners opt for 20-year or 30-year shingles and might need roof replacement after just 20-25 years. However, this expected lifespan varies according to several factors. For instance, poor-quality installation usually shortens a roof’s lifespan. Also, harsh weather and strong sunlight can wreak havoc on roofing materials.

Additionally, homeowners should exercise caution against causing roof damage. As an example, avoid walking on a roof as much as possible. Walking on shingles and tiles weakens them and can pull them out of place. Moreover, always leave roof cleaning to a professional as harsh power washing also damages a roof easily.

Homeowners should also schedule timely repairs for their roof, to protect its lifespan. Missing or damaged shingles can risk water-damaged decking and resultant leaks. Replacing those shingles and worn-out flashing keeps your home’s roof in good condition for as long as possible.

old roof needs to be replaced

Factors that Impact Roof Lifespan

Factors that affect a roof's lifespan include climate, quality of materials, quality of installation, roof pitch, and ventilation. Climate is important because different climates can lead to extra wear and tear on the roof, including high winds, hail, and other inclement weather. The quality of materials used for the roof will also determine how long it lasts. For instance, asphalt shingles may last longer than wooden shakes in some climates.

Quality of installation is also critical; if a roof is not properly installed, it may be susceptible to leaks or other damage sooner than expected. The roof's pitch can also affect its lifespan; steeper roofs generally must have less maintenance and last longer than flatter roofs. Finally, proper ventilation is key to helping a roof resist water damage and heat buildup, which can cause premature deterioration.

When you have your roof installed, ask the contractor about the factors that affect your roof and if you need your roof replaced.

Difference Between a 20-year and 30-year Shingle Roof

Simply put, the longer the shingle lifespan, the thicker the material. As such, a 30-year roof means thicker asphalt shingles than a 20-year roof. Thick shingles tend to last longer before being so worn that they need replacing, which means a longer lifespan.

Also, those 30-year, 40-year, or 50-year shingles also offer more interior insulation! Your home’s roof keeps out heat, cold, and humidity. The thicker those shingles, the more effectively they insulate your home. Consequently, investing in higher-quality shingles can mean fewer replacement costs and lower utility bills year-round.

On the other hand, remember that thicker shingles also weigh more than their thinner counterparts. Older homes especially might need added bracing to support those shingles. Your roofer might also recommend new decking to avoid cracks and leaks. This can add to your overall roof replacement costs.

brand new roof

Which Roofing Material Is Best for a Home?

No roofing material is “best” for a residential home, as they all offer various pros and cons. Additionally, a homeowner needs to consider a wide range of factors when selecting roofing materials. Check out a few of those details here and then discuss your options with a roofing contractor as needed:

  • When comparing roof material installation prices, remember also to consider long-term costs. For instance, a lower-quality material is cheaper to install but might need replacing in just a few years. That lower-quality material might also mean more repair bills! Investing in top-quality metal or clay can then mean less cost over time.
  • How long do you plan to own your home? If you might sell it in five to ten years, why invest in a roof that will last 50 years? A sturdy, 20-year roof is typically enough to attract potential buyers.
  • Don’t overlook your home’s architectural style when choosing a roofing material. For example, rounded clay tiles typically create a Mediterranean look, which might not suit a traditional or modern home.
  • Heavier slate and clay are less likely to blow away in a storm. In turn, they’re excellent for tropical areas or those prone to storms. On the other hand, your roof might need added support to hold up that weight! This adds to your installation costs.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask your roofing installation contractor for added advice. They might note other details about your property that could affect your decision! They can also explain roofing materials in more detail overall.

Worcester Roofing Pros is happy to help answer the question, how often should a roof be replaced? Hopefully, you found this information helpful and informative! If you’re ready for a quality roof overhead, call our Worcester roofing installation contractors. We start every project with a FREE, full-scale inspection. Additionally, we can help you choose the right materials for your property and explain all their pros and cons. To find out more or to get your property started with all the roofing you need to have done, call us today!

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